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09:46 1st October 2001

Exeter City v Macclesfield Town

 Exeter City v Macclesfield
Match Report by Noel Sliney (Western Morning News)The players gave the impression during the goalless draw against Macclesfield that they have now got this footballing lark sussed. It was an assured display of neat, accurate passing and controlled aggression which encouraged caretaker manager John Cornforth.He said "I asked for a response after the Darlington game and I think people who have seen us in the last few games have seen a flowing football match. "I spoke to their manager after the game and he said we deserved to win it."I've got no gripes with the lads.  We just need to be a little bit cuter around the opposition box and take more care with the ball" That was evident throughout as Exeter's dominance for long periods, particularly in the second half, was undermined by a lack of nuance in the final third.City took the game to their opponents, with Geoff Breslan and Barry McConnell providing a constant menace down the right, but only threatened to score once, through Chris Curran's 13th minute header which Paul O'Neill hacked off the line. Macclesfield countered with three attempts in the closing stages of the first half.  The impressive Richard Tracey pulling a shot inches wide, and Kyle Lightbourne and Lee Glover were both denied by the superb reactions of Arjan Van Heusden.The second half was full of Exeter threat.  Roscoe's swerving 20-yard shot forced an excellent parry from Martin, and Roberts - playing in his preferred position upfront due to the absence of Steve Flack with a suspected fractured ankle - flashed three long-range volleys narrowly off-target. Macclesfield could have denied City a first clean sheet and clinched an undeserved win when Van Heusden allowed a Tracey cross to slip through his fingers and onto the crossbar, before Rickie Lambert failed to convert another Tracey ball and then scuffed a shot wide.Curran nearly won it for Exeter in the last minute with a thumping 20 yard shot which whistled past the upright.
    Data provided by Press Association