1 September 2006.
Cambridge United (a)
Cambridge United 1 Exeter City 3.
Friday 1 September 2006.
JUST A STROLL FOR PHILLIPS
Dismal United fire Newman
IT IS usually fans who chant 'Can we play you every week', but Lee Phillips must have felt like shouting it after inspiring Exeter’s fightback victory.
The striker, who scored home and away against the East Anglians last season, struck twice at the Abbey as well as brilliantly setting up City's other goal for Jon Challinor. He blasted an equaliser off a post in the 41st minute, following Mark Peterscontroversial 21st-minute goal for United, then laid on the second for Challinor, before putting the result beyond doubt. And as well as leading the Grecians to their first win at the Abbey for 30 years and at the 20th attempt and at the effectively took the scalp of United manager Rob Newman. As Exeter's revival sent Cambridge crashing to their fifth defeat in six matches, and third in a row at home, the fans roared: "We want Newman out," a request grant- ed by chairman Lee Power after the game.
For the first quarter it looked as though Newman and assistant Tony Spearing might ward off the axe. Their side looked more commit- ted as they built pressure which led to their goal-albeit a strange one. As Jon Brady's free kick was flighted into the box a whistle blew among Exeter fans behind the goalIt distracted several defenders allowing centre-back Mark Peters a free header that he powered under the crossbar.
Cambridge, showing seven changes from their last matchfailed to follow up their advantage and began to look disjointed as the City midfield gripped the game. Three consecutive corners around the 35th minute seemed to be the turning point, and once Phillips hit a thunderous goal from Jamie Mackie's excellent cross. City looked the better side There was no doubting that after the break, Mackie hitting the crossbar light a fire under his team and dowsed the spirits of the home players. When the Grecians took the lead in the 55th minute the quality of the goal showed who the winners were going to be. Phillips weaved between two defenders on the left, cut across the box and rolled a pass into the path of Challinor who raced in to steer a shot between keeper and the post. United's Jon Brady hit the cross- bar with a 30-yarder on the hour, but that was a rare threat from a feeble attack to a solid defence well mar. shalled by Bob Edwards. It was all over, bar the shouting of the angry home fans, when Phillips almost strolled through a shambles of a defence to hit a shot in-off keep- er Paul Crichton in the 64th minute. It could have been more embar- rassing if City, without a goal in three away trips had not squandered chances. An Adam Stansfield run sent Matt Gill through for a one-on-one only for the mid- fielder to fire straight at Crichton. Then Stansfield himself had an opportunitybut blazed wide. In stoppage time off went United defender Ritchie Hanlon for two bookable offences, out came a huge banner demanding “Newman Out”, and the manager who presided over the club's worst start for 42 years was sacked after a 30 minute meeting with the chairman.
BBC match summary and Information
Exeter came back from a goal down to secure a 3-1 win over Cambridge. Mark Peters put the U's ahead after good work from Jon Brady on the left but Lee Phillips levelled from close range just before half time. Exeter took the lead when Jon Challinor collected Phillips' pass and finished with a neat right-foot shot. U's keeper Paul Crichton sealed his side's fate when he tipped a Phillips cross into his own net - before the U's had Ritchie Hanlon sent off late on.
Cambridge Utd: Crichton, Gier, Morrison, Peters, Bloomer (Robinson 60), Brady, Hanlon, Wolleaston, Pitt, Richardson (Gash 65), Carey-Bertram (Marum 65).
Subs Not Used: Josh Simpson, Smith.
Sent Off: Hanlon (90).
Booked: Hanlon, Gash.
Goals: Peters 20.
Exeter: Rice, Taylor, Edwards, Todd, Billy Jones, Challinor (Friend 90), Gill, Cozic, Moxey, Mackie (Stansfield 80), Phillips (Buckle 88).
Subs Not Used: Paul Jones, Richardson.
Goals: Phillips 40, Challinor 55, Crichton 64 og.
Referee C Evans (Lincoln).