Match 13
22nd October 1988
Carlisle (home)

Saturday 22nd October 1988

"Report by Mike Blackstone from a series in the programmes 2011/12 Rewind games"

Darran Rowbotham gave himself two of the best birthday presents he has ever had when he celebrated reaching the age of 22 by scoring a couple of excellent goals, as Exeter City flattened struggling Carlisle United, who also had had Brent Hetherington sent off in the 68th minute. Afterwards, Rowbotham claimed: "I should have had more, but I'll settle for two goals and the win."

City's man of the match was denied a first hat-trick of his career by a breathtaking save from Carlisle keeper Dave McKellar in the second half. The irrepressible young Welshman may not have scored City's third goal of the afternoon, but he dud have a hand in setting it up from Tommy Langley ten minutes from time.City fully deserved their fourth win in five games, a result that pushed them up to eight place in the Fourth Division.

They worked hard to subdue a Carlisle side given early encouragement when Nigel Saddington headed against the Exeter crossbar following a 6th minute corner.

From then on it was all City, as they tore Carlisle to shreds, dominating in every department, as the players were all eager to receive the ball and there were plenty of options for them.

City played quick, confident attractive football. Carlisle were not given the opportunity to claw their way back into contention.

City were in a ruthless mood and although only one goal separated the teams at half-time, they had already proved how easy it was going to be to get through Carlisle's flimsy defences a couple of times before Rowbotham made a 17th minute breakthrough with a peach of a goal.

Lee Rogers, confident and assured at the back, played a lofted clearance over the Carlisle back line, Rowbotham ran on to it, controlled the ball neatly, and picked his spot, firing home into the corner of the net.

City ran riot in the period leading up to half-time. Paul Batty fired one shot just wide and there were a string of other chances, but the best one of the lot came in the 42nd minute when Harrower waltzed around opponents like they didn't exist and threaded the most inviting of passes through to Hiley, but with only the keeper to beat, he completely missed his kick.

Soon after half-time Rowbotham had the goal in his sights again, but this time his superbly struck from the edge of the penalty area was brilliantly saved by McKellar, who flung himself to his right to keep out a certain goal, and reacted smartly enough to smother the loose ball before City's strikers could pounce again.

Goal number two came in the 62nd minute when Steve Harrower picked out Scott Hiley with a diagonal pass to the right wing. He, in turn, left full back lan Dalziel for dead and curled a low cross for Rowbotham to stab home his second goal from close range in the 52nd minute.

City keeper Mel Gwinnett was brought down by Hetherington as he raced from his area to clear in the 68th minute. The Carlisle man then had words with the referee and as as a result Hetherington was sent off.

Dalziel was then booked for a foul on Richard Cooper two minutes later, as Carlisle strove to desperately limit the damage with no possible way back into the game for them.

Langley on as a replacement for the injured Hiley, went close on two occasions and Rowbotham netted again, before the inevitable third goal arrived.

Harrower's deep cross was knocked down by Rowbotham and Langley gleefully tucked away his second goal of the season to complete a victory.

EXETER CITY: Gwinnett, Banks, Dryden, Rogers, Taylor, Cooper, Rowbotham, Hiley (Langley 56th), Batty, Neville, Harrower.

CARLISLE UNITED: McKellar, Graham, Dalziel, Saddington, Ogley, Fitzpatrick, Walsh, Gorman, Fyle (Sendall 58th), Hetherington, Marshall.



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