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16:32 22nd October 2001

Cheltenham Town v Exeter City

City Boss Backed
Match Report By Mark Halliwell (Western Morning News)Exeter Caretaker Boss John Cornforth won support from Cheltenham counterpart Steve Cotterill despite a comprehensive defeat for the Grecians at Whaddon Road. Tony Naylor and Julian Alsop condemned Exeter to their fifth defeat in five league meetings with the Robins.  It brought Exeter's four-game unbeaten to an end, but Cotterill believes Cornforth should be given the chance to take over from Noel Blake permanently."I hope John Cornforth gets the job, I really do," said Cotterill.  "Managing in the lower divisions these days needs a younger man and I think he has got a lot of enthusiasm.  He wants to do well, he knows the restrictions like I know mine here and he would do the job openly and honestly." Two-goal Alsop was a real handful for the Grecians' defence, and only a fine performance from Arjan Van Heusden prevented a wider margin of victory.He denied Alsop twice with acrobatic saves and sprawled across goal to keep out a Lee Williams effort, while his general handling was clean throughout.  Cornforth said "Cheltenham are a very good side, one of the best we have played, and we were second best from the word go. "Julian Alsop is a real handful and we had to try to cut out the supply to him.  We worked at cutting out crosses all week - then stood back and let the left-back (Jamie Victory) cross the ball."We haven't taken a point off Cheltenham since they got into the League, but just didn't get anywhere and were dominated from 1 to 11." Alsop, who hit the LDV Vans Trophy winner against Plymouth in midweek, had posted his intentions in the first minute when Van Heusden had to make a fine save.The Dutchman was powerless on the half-hour when, from a Victory cross, Alsop headed home from eight yards.  Within ten minutes, Cheltenham and Alsop had a second, the former Swansea man hurling himself for a diving header after a cross from strike partner Naylor to register his sixth goal of a productive season. Exeter had threatened little, with Christian Roberts and Geoff Breslan looking their brightest hopes, but they were within a whisker of a goal midway through the second half when Roberts hit the base of a post.That was a rare moment of attacking spark, and Naylor made it three with nine minutes left after he robbed Jamie Campbell and bore down on goal.  He and Alsop had shots blocked, but Naylor
    Data provided by Press Association