Match 14
14 October 2000
Chesterfield (h)

Saturday 14 October 2000.

Exeter City 1 Chesterfield 1.

Bald and bold, Christian Roberts again proved the catalyst for Exeter in an encouraging recovery against the league leaders. The diminutive Roberts resembles a miniature clone of his many shaven-headed team-mates, but his performance on Saturday was thoroughly distinctive. The fact he was even playing was credit to the Welshman. He had been substituted the previous week at Shrewsbury after a blow to the chest which left him coughing up blood and suffering breathing difficulties. Exeter chipped away relent- lessly at Chesterfield's defence in a second-half reversal of the opening period, but it was Roberts' direct running which unsettled the Spireites and which led to the late penalty from which Mark Rawlinson equalised.

Roberts proved at former club Cardiff that he is another Blue- bird who could threaten the land speed record. But Exeter manager Noel Blake has utilised that pace by switching him from the wing. where he was often employed at Cardiff, to a more central role with licence to run at the heart of opposition defences. The result has been four goals from eight starts starts from the 20-year-old who allies skill and awareness to his obvious attribute. Roberts provided by far the highlight of the match during the second half. Defender Neil Whitworth broke up a Chesterfield attack on the edge of his own area and played the ball into space ahead of Roberts on the halfway line. The Grecians' gazelle set off on a 40-yard run which took him past two despairing challenges before firing a low shot toward the far corner which Mike Pollitt kept out with his fingertips. With Exeter in the ascendancy and Chesterfield's discipline heading the other way, Blake brought on Andy Roscoe to create problems down the wing, and he responded with a fine cameo performance. His free-kick struck the cross-bar in the 81st minute, but City equalised five minutes later. Roberts surge into the penalty area was abruptly curtailed by Ian Breckin, although Chesterfield claimed he tripped himself, Referee Cooper waved the appeals to one side and Mark Rawlinson, coolly converted the penalty, sending Mike Pollitt the wrong way with a clever feint before chipping the ball into the net. Roberts felt he should have earned another penalty barely a minute later, but his appeal was unsuccessful.

Report by Noel Sliney


Rawlinson 86 (pen)

Payne 24

Exeter City (4-3-3): A van Heusden: N Whitworth, C Curran, J Campbell, G Power (A Roscoe 72): M Rawlinson, L Zabek (K Ampadu 38), P Buckle, C Roberts, S Flack, G Tomlinson (A Inglethorpe 82).
Substitutes (not used): S Fraser (gk), D Roberts.

Booking: Campbell 46.

Chesterfield (4-4-2): M Police 1 Breckin, S Blatherwick, S Tuill, C Perkins: R Williams (Howard 67), S Payne, S Parrish, M Ebdon; R Willis, D Reeves,
Substitutes (not used): M Galloway, 1 Armstrong (gk). C Beaumont, Ingledow.

Bookings: Ebdon 44, Reeves 52, Willis 54, 87.

Referee: M Cooper

Attendance 2986 with 333 away fans.



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