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14:05 20th April 2002
The Grecians' start the game making several changes with Sean Goff making a return to first team action along with Sean McCarthy.Graeme Tomlinson drops to the bench.The Grecians' start the game on an overcast day on a good surface attacking the Cliff Bastin Stand.A good following of Hartlepool fans have made the trip to St James' Park for what could be a very important game for them.City create the first chance as Flack cushioned the ball to McCarthy who struck the ball first time to see Williams save his effort.The game has been played at a very fast pace with the ball going from end to end with lots of chances being created.Gordon Watson sent the Hartlepool fans into raptures of excitement as the ball bounced loose in the box after a Smith free kick from the edge of the box, the loose ball fell to the foot of Watson who made no mistakes in burying the ball in the back of the net.Flack almost responded straight away as Williams fumbled a cross, Roscoe initial shot was blocked and the ball fell to Flack whose shot looped into the air and was cleared by the defence.With just thirteen minutes gone Roscoe and Flack have so far entered the referees book.A third of the way through the first half and Kwame was booked as well, John Cornforth was getting visibly frustrated with the official who isn't shy of pulling the card out of his pocket.Andy Roscoe had a good opportunity to pullthe scores level although he put his free kick over the bar.Sean McCarthy went on to win City our first corner of the game, from the resulting corner Neil Whitworth came flying in and headed the ball straight into the hands of Anthony Williams.Hartlepool seem to have gone a bit flat and are sitting back and inviting City to attack them.Glenn Cronin was the next to test Williams with a shot from the far left of the box that he tried to float into the opposite corner of the net.Heading towards the break the game stays with Hartlepool with the advantage but for once we have seen a thoroughly entertaining first half at St James' Park.Half Time Exeter City 0-1 Hartlepool UnitedThe second half starts with the Grecians' attacking the St James' Road end.There have been no changes at the start of the second.Hartlepool could have given themselves a bigger advantage as an effort was hit from thirty yards out that had Stuart Fraser scrambling back towards his goal to see the ball go just over the bar.The Grecians have themselves the chance to pull the scores back as Sean McCarthy was brought down in the box.McCarthy stepped up and took a slow run up and somehow placed the ball the wrong side of the post much to the delight of the Hartlepool fans.The penalty miss seems to have inspired Hartlepool and fifty six minutes in Eifion Williams hooked a loose ball from a corner into the back of the net to double their advantage.Tomlinson then came on to replace Sean McCarthy.Fifty nine minutes in and Kwame Ampadu came off to be replaced by Jay Richardson.A good effort as City win a free kick right on the edge of the box, Roscoe stepped up and found a hole in the wall but saw his shot saved by Williams.With twenty minutes remaining little Les Afful came on to replace Steve Flack.Just a touch over fifteen minutes to go and Darryl Clark picked up the ball on the right, running towards goal he pulled the ball onto his left foot and curled his shot just wide of Stuart Frasers' right post.After eighty minutes City again had a good chance to pull a goal back as Tomlinson fed a ball through to Breslan who had the defence beaten but played his shot straight into the hands of the Hartlepool keeper.Les Afful found himself stuck in the corner surrounded by two Hartlepool defender but he somehow fed a ball through to Geoff Breslan who put his left foot shot the wrong side of the post.The game draws to a conclusion and that is the end of the 2001/2002 season.Don't forget that we have one more game left against Torquay in the final of the St Lukes' Devon Bowl on Monday night.
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