27th January 2001
Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
31st January 2001
Exmouth Town (a)
Exeter 1-0 Brighton H A
Match report by Vince Coulter
EXETER recorded a vital home victory with a powerful performance against high-flying Brighton. Steve Flack's first half strike was enough to give the Grecians their first home win since November. City entered the game with the shocking record of only one win in their last 21 games and only one point out of a possible 30. By contrast Brighton had only lost four times on their travels all season. It took the visitors less than a minute to have their first strike on goal. Kerry Mayo's throw in was controlled by Gary Hart who unleashed a powerful strike which flew just over the bar. The visitors again went close in the eighth minute when Richard Carpenter's free kick was controlled by Bobby Zamora on the edge of the box and he skipped past two defenders before thumping a shot just over the bar. Exeter looked edgy in the early stages and with Flack playing as a lone striker they rarely looked like troubling Brighton. The visitors continued to press forward and Chris Curran did superbly to intercept a long ball as Zamora looked set to pounce. Whitworth was forced to scramble the ball off the line midway through the half when Zamora beat Arjan van Heusten in the air and Paul Rogers almost found the net with an ambitious overhead kick. Christian Roberts showed his pace for the first time after half an hour when he launched an electrifying 60-yard run but just carried the ball too far. City enjoyed a good spell of possession and began to grow in confidence. In the 34th minute they stunned Brighton by taking the lead. Defender Charley Oatway had plenty of time to clear a long ball but his clearance was charged down by Paul Read. Read whipped the ball across the box and Flack lunged well to convert from close range. City now dominated and Flack almost connected with Roberts' low cross. Curran then rose well and headed Paul Buckle's corner just over the bar. As Exeter enjoyed their best spell of the game they went in at half-time a goal ahead. Within a minute of the restart Mark Rawlinson connected well with Graeme Power's fine cross but struck his volley past the post. Flack twisted and turned on the edge of the box and fired just over the top. Exeter should have increased the lead in the 53rd minute when Read sent Roberts clean through but the goalkeeper spread himself well to deny the effort. Brighton pushed forward in search of an equaliser but City always looked dangerous on the break. Whitworth scooped the ball over the bar following a goalmouth scramble and Jamie Campbell should have done better when he failed to connect to a dangerous cross. Exeter were well organised at the back and rarely looked like conceding. City have let in crucial late goals in recent weeks and faced a nail-biting last spell but they celebrated victory in front of the newly! opened Ivor Doble stand by holding on for a crucial victory that slightlyg eases their relegation fears.
Van Heusden. Whitworth. Power. Campbell. Curran. Ampadu. Roberts. Rawlinson. Buckle. Flack. Read.
Substitutes: Roscoe (for Roberts, 83). Not used: Fraser, Burrows, Mudge, Tomlinson.
Kuipers, Watson, Mayo, Crosby, Rogers (Jones 46), Hart (Freeman 46), Oatway, Brooker (Ramsey 74), Carpenter, Wicks, Zamora, Subs not used: Melton, Virgo.
Scorers: Exeter - Flack, 34.
Exeter- Flack 65;
Brighton - Crosby 30, Jones 73.
Referee: Trevor Parkes (Birmingham)
Star Man: Christian Roberts pace was always a thread
Perryman sees Exeter cruise in. Exmouth are outplayed in Luke's clash
Exmouth 1-3 Exeter City
BY Nick Beer Football Reporter
HOT prospect Jamie Mudge was on the scoresheet as Exeter cruised to a 3-1 Devon St Luke's Bowl victory over Exmouth Town last night. City's technical assistant, Steve Perryman, was among a sparse crowd at Southern Road who saw a strong Grecians side comprehensively outplay their Screwfix Direct Western League opponents. John Wilkinson supplied a pinpoint cross for fellow wingback Barry McConnell to nod City into a second minute lead. Exeter restricted their hosts to a long-range Spencer West effort in the first-half, while Geoff Breslan and Alex Inglethorpe both went close for the visitors. City doubled their advantage soon after the break when a looping Mudge header found the net via the far post. A Breslan 25-yarder was claimed at the second attempt by Exmouth goalkeeper Simon Harris and Graeme Tomlinson controlled superbly before stabbing a foot wide. Substitute City striker Rob Speakman then headed wide following a typically surging run down the left flank by the excellent Wilkinson. But Exmouth pulled a goal back five minutes from time when Jon Ashton handled inside the Exeter box, former Grecian Richard Pears converting effortlessly from the spot. Pears was then given a glaring chance to haul the home side back on terms, but his volley flew well wide of the target. Speakman wrapped up victory in the dying moments with a crisp volley from Breslan's chipped cross. "It wasn't a good pitch and so it was difficult to judge the perform- ance," reflected Exeter boss Noel Blake. "But John Wilkinson did smashing and Barry McConnell also did well."
EXMOUTH: Harris, D Burwood, S Burwood, Wilson, Taylor, Moore, May, Roddick, West, Pears, Alfresi.
EXETER: Hallam, McConnell, Ashton, Holloway, Burrows, Wilkinson, Zabek, Tomlinson, Mudge, Breslan.