21 February 2004.
Burton Albion (h)
Exeter City 2 Burton Albion 0.
Saturday 21 February 2004.
Referee: S Dorr
Exeter City have got their play off play-off hopes back on track with a convincing win against Burton Albion, reports John Ayres. The visitors – managed by the former Liverpool midfielder Nigel Clough – never really got into their stride and Exeter were always the most comfortable.
The Grecians very nearly went in front after just 10 minutes when Kwame Ampadu went clean through but put his shot wide of the post as the goalkeeper narrowed the angle. Exeter kept pushing forward and eventually took the lead four minutes before half time. Alex Jeaninn took a free kick which found Gareth Sheldon on the corner of the penalty area, he turned inside on his right foot and shot with his left giving the Burton goal no chance.
Exeter went further ahead at the start of the second half when Gareth Sheldon crossed towards the far post and Flack headed down from close range to give Exeter victory. Burton had a lot of possession in the second half but never really threatened the Exeter goal.
Manager Eamonn Dolan was pleased with his team’s performance: “We were like a rash – we were all over them,” he said. “I thought the game, considering pitches at this time of the year and the wind, was a credit to the conference. It was a thoroughly competent performance. And Dolan joked about the number of distractions surrounding the Grecians at the moment: “The latest rumour is that they’re going to deduct us 10 points for still being in the trophy! “More seriously though, it’s been another crazy week. How do you react as manager when you’re told that we may be deducted another 30 points?”
Exeter: Bittner, Hiley, Jeannin, Todd, Gaia, Sheldon, Moxey, Cronin, Ampadu, Flack, Afful. Subs: Rice, Thomas, Coppinger, Devine, Taylor.
Burton: Duke, Baptiste, Webster, Wassall, Chettle, Howard, Shilton, McMahon, Ducros, White, Anderson. Subs: Robinson, Talbot, Clough, Dudley, Corbett