24 March 2001.
Kidderminster Harriers (h)
Exeter City 2
Kidderminster Harriers 1.
Saturday 24 March 2001.
Referee: A Butler
ANY doubt about Exeter City's ability to beat relega- tion were swiftly dispelled at a sadden St James's Park as they scored early goals their way to a hard fought victory over Kidderminster. City entered the game on the back of a defeat at Hull that left them two places and four points off the bottom. However, City stretched their un- beaten home run to seven games, despite a late goal from Kidderminster's Dean Bennett their first in seven hours and 44 minutes. The visitors' former Torquay defender Scott Stamps was sent off in stoppage time for foul and abusive language. Leading scorer Steve Flack and Paul Buckle were Exeter's match-winners with goals in the 9th and 13th minutes. Exeter made just one enforced change from the side which lost at Hull. Goalkeeper Stuart Fraser made his first start since December with the unwell Arjan Van Heusden dropping to the bench. Transfer deadline signings Gary Birch and Steeve Epesse-Titi were named among the substitutes, while third new face Damian Spencer sat the game out through suspension. Both sides struggled to control the ball in the opening stages in diffi- cult conditions.
Exeter carved out the first chance in the seventh minute when Flack's headed flick-on found Alex Inglethorpe, who drilled his shot wide from 18-yards. Exeter took the lead two minutes later. Christian Roberts forced a corner, taken by Andy Roscoe, which was cleared only as far as Buckle on the edge of the area. His shot was deflected into the path of Jamie Campbell, who also saw his effort blocked, only for the ball to run to Flack, who side-footed home for his tenth goal of the season. City doubled their lead four minutes later. Roberts was again involved, his run and pass setting up Buckle, who struck a superb low drive from 20-yards, which went in off the post. City's dominance was short-lived however, as the visitors stepped up the pace in a bid to force their way back into the game. Striker Drewe Broughton headed narrowly wide after a right wing cross from Ian Clarkson. A corner from the opposite flank by Thomas Skovbjerg resulted in a dipping volley by Tony Bird which brushed off Mark Burroughs and narrowly over the bar. Fraser made a brilliant one-handed save from Broughton on the half hour after the lanky striker had met Skovbjerg's cross with a crisp volley. Exeter began the sec- ond half in positive fashion. Inglethorpe flashed a header just wide from Buckle's cross. However, most of the few chances created fell to Kidderminster. Clarkson's long ball was missed by Burrough's, but striker John Durnin mis-controlled the ball with only Fraser to beat and the glovesman gratefully gathered. Seconds later, strike partner Broughton miscued a far-post header from the dangerous Skovbjerg's cross. Exeter handed a debut to the 19-year-old Birch, on loan from Walsall, with 6 minutes remaining. But they were left hanging on when Bennett blasted home from a pass by Shaun Hadley.
2nd Report- BBC Match Report
Exeter boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from Division Three with a battling victory over Kidderminster at St James Park.
Striker Steve Flack blasted the Grecians into a ninth-minute lead before midfielder Paul Buckle added a second goal four minutes later.
Exeter were then forced onto the defensive as Kidderminster fought bravely to end a run of eight games without a win.
Dean Bennett pulled a goal back three minutes from time, ending his club's goal drought that had lasted seven hours and 44 minutes, but the home side held out for three vital points.
Exeter: Fraser, Power, Buckle, Burrows, Campbell, Inglethorpe, Ampadu, Roscoe, Zabek, Flack, Roberts. Subs: Van Heusden, Breslan, Speakman, Birch, Epesse-Titi.
Kidderminster: Clarke, Clarkson, Stamps, Shail, Hinton, Webb, Bennett, Skovbjerg, Durnin, Bird, Broughton. Subs: Brock, Ducros, Davies, Hadley, Doyle.