24 February 2001.
Carlisle U (h)
27th February 2001
Devon (St Luke's) Bowl.
Ilfracombe v Exeter City
Exeter 1-0 Carlisle
Report by Vince Coulter
EXETER'S highest crowd of the season watched the Grecians gain another vital victory over fellow strugglers Carlisle. More than 5,000 saw Christian Roberts score the only goal of the game in the first half to secure the points for City.
Exeter were again resolute at the back and fully deserved to keep their fourth consecutive clean sheet. Exeter entered the game in buoyant mood after taking 11 points from their last five games, and they welcomed back skipper Chris Curran from suspension. City started the brighter side and Paul Buckle sent Andy Roscoe scampering towards goal in the open- ing minutes, but he failed to deliver a cross. A minute later Kwame Ampadu should have done better when Steve Flack nodded down Alex Inglethorpe's cross but he sent his shot high and wide. Curran's long awaited return lasted only 11 minutes. The skipper limped off and was replaced by Mark Burrows. Roberts showed his pace for the first time with a fine run on the right but he over-ran the ball. Roberts almost opened the scoring in the 18th minute. He controlled Buckle's throw-in and whipped a fierce low drive from the edge of the box into the side netting. Buckle broke well down the right and sent a dangerous cross towards Flack but the tall striker slipped as he at- tempted to reach for the ball. Carlisle appeared happy to sit back and soak up the pressure during the first half and failed to create a single chance in the early exchanges. Roberts began to worry Carlisle's solid looking back-line and had an appeal for a penalty turned down after a clumsy challenge by David Morley. Exeter took a deserved lead five minutes before the interval after a mistake by goalkeeper Matthew Glennon. Roberts launched a fine run which took him inside the box be- fore Glennon came off his line and appeared to smother the ball. But he failed to hold onto it and Roberts tapped into an empty net from close range. Carlisle started the second half with more intent and Richard Prokas struck a shot high over the bar after Mick Galloway's corner was only half cleared. Carlisle made a dou- ble substitution in a bid to get back into the game but always struggled to break down Exeter's well organised defence. Substitute Steve Halliday forced Arjan Van Heusden to make his first save of the game on the hour mark when he drilled a shot straight at the goal- keeper from the edge of the box. Inglethorpe should have put the result beyond any doubt with 20 minutes remaining when he met Roscoe's cross but headed 1 straight at the goalkeeper. Carlisle worked hard to try and get back into the game but never really looked like trou- bling Van Heusden as Exeter's new found strength at the back was again in evidence. City boss Noel Blake brought himself on as a late substitute to make sure there was no chance of conceding an equaliser in the dying minutes. But City held out for a deserved win and another crucial three points.
Van Heusden. Whitworth. Curran. Campbell. Power. Buckle. Roscoe. Inglethorpe. Roberts. Substitutes: Burrows (for Curran, 11), Blake (for Ampadu, 88). Not used: Fraser, Tomlinson, Breslan.
Glennon, Birch (Soley, 57), Whitehead, Morley, Carr (Winstanley, 72), Maddi- son, Connolly, Prokas, Galloway, Dobie, Stevens (Halliday, 57). Subs not used: Hemmings, Hopper.
Scorers: Exeter - Roberts, 40.
Referee: Lee Cable (Woking)
Star Man: Christian Roberts - another stunning display
27th February 2001
Devon (St Luke's) Bowl.
Ilfracombe 2-11 Exeter City
OUT-OF-FAVOUR midfielder Chris Hol- loway gave Exeter City boss Noel Blake a sharp reminder with four goals in the club's 11-2 demolition of Ilfracombe last night. The Grecians were anxious to avoid a repeat of their embarrassing 4-3 defeat to the North Devon side at the same stage of last year's Devon (St Luke's) Bowl. Despite driving rain, sleet and plummeting temperatures, City raced to a 4-0 interval lead. Front duo Rob Speakman and Graeme Tomlinson both completed their hat-tricks as Exeter ran riot in the second- half and Holloway and Geoff Breslan completed a handsome victory over a side struggling near the foot of the Screwfix Direct Western League. With Blake busy casting his eye over weekend guests Cheltenham, City were led by youth development officer Mike Radford. "The attitude of the players was spot-on and they played some very good football bearing in mind the conditions," said Radford. "We scored some excellent goals, although we had other opportunities and the scoreline could have been even greater in our favour. "If I was disappointed with anything, it was the two goals we conceded. But because of the manner in which we dominated possession, it was inevitable that someone or somebody was going to lose concentration. "This was a potential banana skin; the conditions were very, very wet and cold and it was their cup final. But overall I was delighted with the performance.'
Fraser, Cronin, Gross, Ashton (Casey, 46), McConnell, Zabek, Holloway, Goff, Breslan, Tomlinson, Speakman.
Subs not used: Mudge, Price, Hallam.