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13:17 24th September 2001

Darlington v Exeter City

Exeter's misery at the bottom of the Third Division continued with a 4-0 loss at Feethams. They got off to the worst possible start by conceding a goal after just four minutes.

And apart from a couple of opportunities for Sean McCarthy and Alex Watson they never looked like recovering. Too many players failed to make an impression, whilst some of City's defending was poor.

But it could have been different if City had taken an early chance when Geoff Breslan found Mark Burrows in space inside the box, but his low shot was blocked.

The home side took the lead with their first attack. Chris Curran and Alex Watson were completely wrong footed when Danny Mellanby turned quickly inside the box and set up Richard Hodgson to score.

Exeter forced a couple of corners, but never seriously threatened Darlington keeper Andy Collett., Quakers took control of the game and Exeter were unable to cope in midfield, apart from the hard working Christian Roberts.

Poor defending let Barry Conlan and Mellanby squander good chances. Exeter allowed Darlington full-back Paul Heckingbottom to run and fire just over the top.

Darlington went 2-0 in front after 62 minutes. Hodgson curled in a corner for Convery, the smallest player on the field, to head towards goal 10 yards out. Mellanby was unmarked to slot home.

Three minutes later it was game over for Exeter. The defence allowed Mellanby to latch onto a long clearance, beat them for speed and lob the advancing Arjan Van Heusden.

A terrible day was made worse when Van Heusden tried to clear the ball, but only succeeded in kicking it against Dylan Kerr. The ball dropped nicely for Mark Ford to turn it into the bottom corner.

City were denied a consolation goal in the closing five minutes when a powerful header by substitute Cherif Diallo was stopped on the line by Collett.
    Data provided by Press Association