17 March 2001.
Hull C (a)
Hull City 2 Exeter City 1
Report by MIKE ACKROYD
EXETER City were sunk by an own goal from Mark Burrows and a dubious penalty awarded by champion whistle blower Phil Prosser and put away by Rodney Rowe. This pernickety referee gave 46 free kicks, including 29 against the Grecians but most damaging of all he pointed immediately to the spot when Jamie Campbell and Rowe became entangled midway through the second half. It looked harsh and Campbell was so incensed he tapped the ball away after Rowe had placed it for the spot-kick and got a yellow card for his pains. Rowe looked cool as he sent Arjan Van Heusden the wrong way but his over the top celebration then brought another yellow card. Shortly afterwards the outstanding Chris Roberts powered down the left wing and almost scored with a fierce cross shot, but Exeter then faded away, the stuffing knocked out of them by the penalty. A match which had started to look promising for the Grecians when Steve Flack equalised straight after half-time, finished on a further sour note when Graeme Power was sent off for a second yellow card during four min- utes of added time. Although Exeter manager Noel Blake thought Power was unlucky, Mr Prosser was left with little option when the defender stuck out an arm and brought David Brown to earth with a head high tackle. Exeter were growing in confidence after a slow start when Burrows gave Hull the lead in the 34th minute. Former Exeter player Kevin Francis rolled the ball along the six yard box and the indecisive Burrows, unaware that no Hull players were challenging, side- footed it past Van Heusden. Flack's equaliser, his ninth goal of the season, was a soaring header two minutes into the second half when Andy Roscoe whipped a free kick to the far post. Early in the game Van Heusden twice rescued Exeter when he grasped Gary Brabin's skidding free kick at the second attempt and then tipped another free kick, taken by Neil Mann, over the top. Roscoe delivered Exeter's first goal attempt but unfortunately no- one was on hand when Hull keeper, Paul Mus- selwhite, failed to hold a powerful shot. After Flack's equaliser Exeter stepped up the pace with some tremendous running from Roberts, who attacked Hull down both flanks. And they nearly took the lead through Flack, Musselwhite doing exceptionally well well to block the shot at point- blank range. Kwame Ampadu, increasingly making his presence felt, then shot only narrowly wide. For the first time in the match, Mr Prosser came to Exeter's rescue when the crowd screamed for a penalty for hand ball against Paul Buckle. The official decided it was 'ball to hand' and allowed play to continue. Exeter's last chance came when the referee awarded a free kick and then applied the 10-yard rule, enabling Roscoe to line up the ball just out- side the area. But it hit the wall and after that Exeter were unable to mount any real pressure. In fact Van Heusden saved them from an even heavier defeat with good saves from Rowe and Gary Fletcher.
Van Heusden. Zabek. Roberts. Campbell
Flack. Roscoe. Ampadu. Inglethorpe. Burrows. Buckle. Power.
Substitutes: Tomlinson (for Flack, 86). Not used: Fraser, Blake, McConnell, Cornforth
Musselwhite, Edwards, Holt, Whittle, Goodison, Brown, Brabin, Philpott, Mann, Francis (Fletcher 68), Rowe. Subs not used: Bracey, Whitmore, Whitney, Swales.
Hull - Burrows og 34,
Rowe pen 6;
Exeter- Flack 47.
Hull - Rowe 67, Brabin 79;
Exeter- Camp-bell 66, Power 77 and 90 (sent off).
Referee: PJ Prosser (Albrighton)
Christian Roberts - powerful forward running