Last-gasp Christian Ribeiro seals Grecians winLine-Ups
Exeter City: Olejnik, Noble , McAllister, Ribeiro, Harley, Oakley (capt) (Grant 74'), Nicholls (Holmes 66'), Nichols (Morrison 61'), Wheeler, Tillson, Brown.
Subs: Pym, Woodman, Oyeleke, McCready.
Goals: Ribeiro 90+3'
Hartlepool United: Bartlett, Carroll, Harrison, Bates, Bingham (Fenwick 78'), Woods, Oates, Featherstone (capt), Jones, Boyce, Halliday.
Subs: Worley, Walker, Oyenuga, Hawkins, Smith, Denton.
CHRISTIAN RIBEIRO's last-gasp winner sealed Exeter City all three points against Hartlepool United at St James Park.
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale named an unchanged line-up from last week's win over Leyton Orient for the visit of Hartlepool, with Joel Grant and Lee Holmes returning to the squad to take places on the bench. Hartlepool boss Ronnie Moore made three changes from his own side's defeat at Wycombe Wanderers, with new loan signign Brad Halliday handed a place in the starting eleven just two days after arriving for a month from Middlesbrough.
The Pools defence did well to stop any danger coming of two early David Wheeler crosses before an extended spell of pressure from the visiting side. Ryan Harley carved the first real opportunity of the game when he turned his defender inside out on the left side of the box before flashing across the face of goal, while Hartlepool's Rakish Bingham followed suit by doing the same a minute later after some strong work by Rhys Oates in the build-up.
Hearts were in mouths as Jamie McAllister gave the ball to Rakish Bingham on the edge of the City penalty area with five minutes of the period remaining, but the Hartlepool man wasn't able to make the most of the gift. Ryan Harley shot wide as the half ticked into added time, but the sides went in goalless at the break.
HALF-TIME: EXETER CITY 0-0 HARTLEPOOL UNITED
Alex Nicholls' shot over after great build-up from Troy Brown, Tom Nichols and Christian Ribeiro was the Grecians' best chance of the first fifteen minutes of the second half, before Clinton Morrison was sent on in place of Tom Nichols on the hour.
The match would explode into life with twenty minutes left, when referee Andy Woolmer awarded a penalty for Matt Oakley's bundling over of Hartlepool captain Nicky Featherstone. It was Rakish Bingham who stepped up to take it, but Bobby Olejnik got down low to his left to make a fine save. Lee Holmes shot at Adam Bartlett at the other end shortly after.
Bartlett pulled off a great save to pull the ball off the line from Jamie McAllister's header with ten minutes to go, with the introductions of Lee Holmes and Joel Grant, for his home debut, putting the Grecians on the front foot.
And Grant was involved as City won it right at the death. After great hold-up play by the Jamaican international, he found an acute pass to Clinton Morrison, who laid off for Ribeiro to strike the dramatic winner.
FULL-TIME: EXETER CITY 1-0 HARTLEPOOL UNITED
Attendance: 3,135 (72 away)
Man of the Match: Bobby Olejnik