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16:56 15th October 2011


Town recorded their second 4-0 away victory in a row at Exeter City this afternoon, with a hat-trick from in-form Jordan Rhodes extending the Club's unbeaten League run to 38 games.

After Alan Lee gave his side an early first half lead Town never looked back at St. James' Park, with a Rhodes master-class in clinical finishing proving too much for the hosts. He has now netted 10 goals in his last four games at club and international level!

This superb result propelled Town to second in npower League 1 ahead of Sheffield Wednesday's derby with Sheffield United on Sunday.

Town, in their traditional blue and white stripes, were facing an Exeter side employing a 4-3-3 formation and had to be alert in the early stages as the home side worked hard to get hold of the ball.

An early knock-down from big Alan Lee caused the home defence a few anxious moments in the fifth minute, but otherwise the game started relatively quietly with both sides feeling each other out.

GOAL - However, the Terriers took the lead in the eighth minute with Alan Lee capping a fantastic team move. Starting in their own penalty area with skipper Peter Clarke, the Terriers moved the ball quickly down the right flank - with a pass from midfield releasing the ever-dangerous Hunt into space. Jack looked up before supplying an early low cross into the area for striker Lee, who placed the ball past the stranded 'keeper from close range with the side of his foot.

The home side - and supporters - seemed stunned by Town's early strike and St. James Park fell silent as the visitors continued to control the play with some impressive passing.

Exeter looked at their most dangerous through set-pieces - early throw-ins looked to be a particular ploy. However, the Terriers - ably led by Peter Clarke - were obviously aware of that tactic and were coping admirably.

Town were winning a lot of second balls all over the pitch, with Tommy Miller using his height to good effect in the engine room. Up front Alan Lee was having similar success against centre back Troy Archibald-Henville, but his flicks were falling just the wrong side of his teammates.

Lee went very close to doubling his side's advantage in the 21st minute - sending a deflected shot inches wide from the edge of the box after collecting an infield pass from Roberts and spinning cleverly towards goal. From the resulting corner Antony Kay should have done better - heading straight at the 'keeper at the back post.

Peter Clarke received a bit of treatment soon afterwards from physio Dave Buckby before continuing.

GOAL - Town doubled their advantage in the 26th minute, with Jordan Rhodes grabbing the 50th League goal of his fledgling career. A mistake in midfield from Exeter was seized upon by Alan Lee, who dropped off his marker before sending a ball over the top of the Exeter defence; Rhodes easily got past Danny Coles to get to the pass and slid the ball past the advancing 'keeper with consummate ease.

40 year-old Ian Bennett, making his 50th appearance in Town colours, showed great reflexes to keep out striker Guillem Bauza's powerful close range snapshot on the half-hour mark after the ball had ricocheted around the Town penalty area - sticking out a hand to deflect the ball to safety when a goal seemed certain.

At the other end defender Coles did similarly well to block Jordan Rhodes' goal-bound effort four minutes later after Scott Arfield had found his teammate in space on the edge of the opposition's box.

Suddenly the game moved to the other end once again, with Nardiello's back post header from Tully's cross flying over the crossbar.

BOOKING - Exeter's Danny Nardiello was shown the first yellow card of the game by referee Mr. Stroud in the 43rd minute for a late challenge on Hunt by the right touchline. From the resulting free-kick someone should have got on the end of Gary Roberts' great delivery, but somehow it evaded everyone in the penalty area.

Town weren't done for the half, and a late cross from Roberts found the head of Alan Lee - who found the top of the crossbar with a looping effort that had the goalkeeper beaten.

'Keeper Krysiak gathered in a side-footed shot from Tommy Miller, who tried to place home from 20 yards out in added time before Scott Arfield bent over a good opportunity after a clever lay-off from Rhodes. In truth, Town probably didn't want the half to end when it did such was their domination.

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SUB - Exeter changed their 'keeper during the interval, with Lenny Pidgeley replacing Krysiak.

Exeter started the second-half well and Nardiello had the ball in the Town net after 90 seconds of the second-half, but the goal was immediately ruled out for offside.

Nardiello seemed to have the wind in his sales after the interval and soon cut inside Hunt impressively, but he dragged his low shot well wide from 25 yards out.

Spanish striker Bauza had probably been Exeter's best player during the first half and he tested Bennett with a back post header in the 51st minute after Taylor crossed, but the veteran easily gathered it in.

Exeter were building a lot of territorial pressure in the early stages of the second half, but the Terriers almost netted on the break when Arfield found Lee's curving run down the right - with Jordan Rhodes turning his eventual near post cross wide of goal.

SUB - That was Lee's last contribution, as he was replaced in the 58th minute by top scorer Lee Novak.

BOOKING - Guillem Bauza was cautioned in the 61st minute for the use of his arm in an aerial challenge with Peter Clarke.

SUB - Exeter's second change followed, with right back Steve Tully replaced by Liam Sercombe.

Home midfielder James Dunne then shot past the outside of the right hand post after some great skill from striker Bauza presented him with the opportunity to pull the trigger inside the right edge of the Town area.

GOAL - With Exeter enjoying their best spell of the game, Jordan Rhodes netted his second of the game and Town's third in the 65th minute. Calum Woods took an attacking throw-in down the left flank and found substitute Novak, who did well to turn infield and square the ball across the box for Rhodes; Jordan quickly steadied himself before looking up and firing a powerful volley past Pidgeley, giving the 'keeper absolutely no chance.

SUB - Town made their second change a minute later, with Danny Ward replacing Roberts.

Jordan's second seemed to quell Exeter following their bright spell, and the Terriers began to look at ease once again. Arfield blasted wide on his weaker left foot following a Ward corner from the left before Bennett did well at the other end to push away a cross-come-shot from the lively Nardiello.

Taylor blasted over from range as the final quarter of an hour approached.

SUB - Exeter boss Paul Tisdale made his final change in the 75th minute, with Bauza replaced by John O'Flynn.

Town played a clever percentage game in closing minutes, taking no chances in their own half whilst still playing good football when moving forward.

GOAL - Jordan Rhodes then completed a well-deserved hat-trick in the 89th minute with an easy header. Danny Ward beat the right back down the Town left and played a superb cross towards the far post; 'keeper Pidgeley flapped and missed the ball completely, allowing the Scottish under-21 international to place his header into an empty goal for his third.

Bennett was on hand in extra time to get down to his left side well and gather in a header from Archibald-Henville to preserve the clean sheet.


Town's team (4-4-2):

Ian Bennett; Calum Woods, Peter Clarke (c), Antony Kay, Jack Hunt; Gary Roberts (Danny Ward, 66), Damien Johnson, Tommy Miller, Scott Arfield; Alan Lee (Lee Novak, 58), Jordan Rhodes

Unused subs: Nick Colgan, Gary Naysmith, Anton Robinson

Exeter bookings: Daniel Nardiello (43), Guillem Bauza (61)

Attendance: 4,244

Town: 409

    Data provided by Press Association


    Town was the first club to win three successive league titles in 1926. Only Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have matched this feat.