Skip to main content


16:57 2nd March 2002

Exeter City v Darlington

The Grecians' start the game making three changes to the team that lost at Plymouth in midweek. Neil Whitworth comes in to replace the suspended Alex Watson and Sean McCarthy comes back into the starting line up with Steve Flack being suspended. Geoff Breslan then replaces Grame Tomlinson on the right flank.

The game started off at a good pace with Wainwright immediately breaking through the City defence with the recalled Van Heusden making his first stop of the day from point blank range. Sean McCarthy had City's first attempt in the fourth minute when he beat the off side trap but unfortunately not Keith Finch in the Darlo goal.

Darlington make a very early substitution with Paul Campbell coming off to be replaced by Mark Convery. City start to find the passes and win our first corner in the fourteenth minute, Roscoe swung the ball in but it was slightly too high to meet the head of Kwame.

McCarthy made a break on the left and somehow managed to angle a ball back to Roscoe, in came the cross which fell to Breslan who beat two defenders and struck a left footed effort into the hands of Finch.

So far there is no early goal which Corny wants so badly and neither team really looks like a threatening force. Neil Wainwright again had another effort on goal when he rose above the defence to glance his header wide of the post.

Breslan again picked up a ball from Roscoe in the middle of the field took a bit of time and composed himself for his strike that went high. All of a sudden the ball was back down the other end and thirty four minutes into the game Arjan spilled a shot and left Neil Maddison with an empty net to stroke the ball into, one nil to Darlo.

City should have pulled a goal back when a corner came back out to Roscoe who again played the ball back in, McCarthy mis kicked his shot and Ampadu reacted the quickest with a snapshot that Finch somehow managed to turn around the wrong side of the post.

Five minutes before half time and Roscoe popped up to score yet another goal, from a flick on Roscoe found himself in a similar position to his first in Oxford, composed and rather than blasting the ball he managed to float the ball past the right hand of Keith Finch to score the equaliser.

Half Time Score Exeter City 1-1 Darlington

City start the second half where we left off on the first - attacking and win a corner with the first attack of the second half. Three minutes in and Roberts should have given City the lead when he was played through only to strike the ball into the arms of the keeper.

Fifty minutes and City take the lead thanks to a superb effort from Christan Roberts. Roberts got the ball just past the halfway line and off he set. Eighteen yards out on the right edge of the box he sweetly struck the ball into the opposite corner of the net.

Just a couple of minutes later and it should have been three after yet more good work by the number 28, laying the ball back to McCarthy it then moved onto Cronin before Finch pulled off another superb block. City now stepped up a gear after the interval are puring forward and creating numerous chances.

Fifty six minutes and that man Roscoe popped up again to score his second of the day and the City's third, Roberts held the ball up well flicked a beautiful ball through to McConnell who crossed and Roscoe picked up the ball took it past the defender and slotted home to put City on course for our first home victory since December 15 2001..

Sixty two minutes and Darlington broke down the right flank, the ball was pulled back to the left and Wainwright smashed the ball home from fifteen yards to pull one back for the visitors.

Sixty eight minutes in and Corny decides to make a change by bringing Paul Read on for Sean McCarthy. Seventy three minutes and a defensive error let Roberts in to score his second, still with a lot of work he picked the ball up on the edge of the centre circle and raced off towards goal. Looking like he had gone too wide he stroked the ball through the legs of the diving Finch to restore City's two goal lead.

City's next change came when Breslan was replaced by Paul Buckle in the seventy ninth minute. Ian Clark wiggled his way through the City defence to force a superb save out of Van Heusden to keep the scoreline healthy. There was to be no hat trick for Roberts as he was brought off to be replaced by Tomlinson with five minutes remaining.

The last five minutes is full of chances to City, most notably for Paul Buckle who somehow managed to miss two sitters. Four two but it could so easily have been six or seven come the end of the game.

City deservedly bounce back from the midweek defeat at Home Park to record pur first victory at St James' Park since December 15. Tuesday we make the trip to Rushden and Diamonds to hopefully continue the good away form.

    Data provided by Press Association