Roberts rallies to guide Exeter away from the bottom

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The Independent Online

Two goals from Christian Roberts helped to haul Exeter off the bottom of the Third Division with a 3-2 win over York at Bootham Crescent yesterday. Exeter earnt all three points for their caretaker manager, John Cornforth, thanks to Roberts' strikes in the 34th and 70th minutes after Sean McCarthy's opener.

Lee Bullock replied just before the hour, and Alex Mathie got a second for the hosts in the last minute of the match, but it was too late for the Minstermen.

Carlisle completed a great day for under-dogs when they chalked up an overdue 1-0 victory for their manager, Roddy Collins, over Bristol Rovers at Brunton Park. Stephen Halliday scored the 11th-minute goal for Carlisle, which now leaves Hartlepool bottom of the League.

Plymouth missed their chance to close the gap on the leaders, Luton, managing only a 1-1 draw against Oxford at the Kassam Stadium. The Pilgrims were in danger of drawing a blank until Nicky Banger salvaged an 80th-minute equaliser after Paul Moody had put the home side in front from the penalty spot.

The Rotherham United manager, Ronnie Moore, paid tribute to the veteran striker Mark Robins after his two goals saw the Millers to a 2-0 win at Grimsby Town on Friday night. Robins struck in the 25th and 65th minutes to give Moore's side their first victory in 11 attempts.

"It's just unbelievable, the quality of the guy," Moore said. "The win has got us off the bottom of the First Division table and it may kick-start our season. The clean sheet was a bonus. The players are celebrating in there like they've won the FA Cup."

Moore had refused to shave during the losing run but now he might keep the growth. "It could be a lucky beard," he said.

The Grimsby manager, Lennie Lawrence, blamed his side's 4-3-3 formation for a poor performance which means the Mariners have now only taken two points from their last six games.

"We played our best 11 players and as three of them are strikers we had to go 4-3-3," Lawrence said. "We got in some good positions but the front men gave us nothing. We gifted them the second goal with a catastrophic error. The confidence has gone and it will now be back to a 4-4-2."

In Friday night's Second Division matches, struggling Bournemouth produced a second-half revival that stunned the League leaders, Oldham. Matthew Tipton gave the Latics a first-minute lead but Bournemouth hit back to take the points with a three-goal burst midway through the second half from James Hayter, Derek Holmes and Wade Elliott. Although Bournemouth's Jason Tindall put through his own goal a minute later and was sent off four minutes later, Oldham went down 3-2.

Brentford beat Brighton 2-1 at the Withdean Stadium to rise above the Seagulls into second place on goal difference. Martin Rowlands gave Brentford a 27th-minute lead and, although Lee Steele got Albion's leveller after 52 minutes, Ivar Ingimarsson clinched the points for Steve Coppell's men 16 minutes from time.

Two goals in seven first-half minutes helped put Bristol City on the way to victory over Chesterfield and fourth place in the table. Tony Thorpe's eighth goal of the season gave City the advantage just past the half-hour mark and Steve Jones doubled the advantage after 38 minutes. Jones wrapped up the 3-0 success four minutes into the second half.

Colchester United checked their recent slide down the table with a 2-0 defeat of Reading at Layer Road. Kevin Rapley gave the Essex side an eighth-minute lead and Scott McGleish's 26th-minute effort – his eighth goal of the season - doubled the advantage and made sure of Colchester's fifth win in six home games.

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