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09:39 13th August 2001

Exeter City 1 Hull City 3

The Third Division 'Bank of England' team, Hull City, provided the opposition for the opening fixture of the Nationwide League Third Division season. The Tigers had spent a reported £850,000 on players during the summer, bringing in thirteen new faces, and they were up against an entire Exeter City squad that cost little more than one luxury round the world cruise.

But for a large part of the first half, the Grecians more than held Hull, even though the visitors looked by far the more threatening in front of goal, and even had the audacity to take the lead against the Third Division championship favourites.

Dylan Kerr's floated a free-kick into a crowded Hull penalty area and the ball ran loose for Jamie Campbell to sweetly fire into the top corner of the net to stun the large travelling contingent of supporters at the St James' Road end of the ground, but ignite those standing and sitting elsewhere.

Hull always looked dangerous, and in winger David Beresford they had a real tormentor of defences. It was his diagonal cross from the left that found the head of substitute Theodore Whitmore to score from close range.

City conceded another in the 55th minute when Whitmore whipped in a low cross for Mark Greaves to convert.

This signalled the introduction of substitutes Christian Roberts, Jay Richardson and Graeme Tomlinson during the half, and to be fair, the three of them did make a difference, although Roberts was clearly not fully match fit following his hernia operation.

City forced a series of corners, but were unable to find a way through the Hull defence, although both Tomlinson and Sean McCarthy went close.

However, with five minutes remaining, Laurie Dudfield made the game safe for Hull when pouncing on a rebound to fire into the net.

Exeter City: Van Heusden, Burrows, Watson, Campbell, Buckle, Barlow, Ampadu (Richardson 59th), Kerr, Birch (Tomlinson 73rd), McCarthy, Flack (Roberts 63rd).
Subs not used; Walker, Curran.

Hull City: Glennon, Edwards, Williams (Whitmore 26th), Goodison, Mohan, Berresford (Philpott 73rd), Johnsson, Greaves, Whittle, Dudfield (Price 90th), Alexander.
Subs not used: Musselwhite, Rowe.
Referee: Alan Bates
Attendance: 4,677 (1,477 Hull City fans)
    Data provided by Press Association