Cureton inspires home success
St James' Park
8/3/11 20:00 (delayed)
Jamie Cureton scored one and set up another as Exeter City produced a commanding display to topple promotion-chasing Bournemouth 2-0.
Cureton exchanged passes with Richard Logan before stroking in a beautifully crafted first goal on sixteen minutes.
He then returned the favour in the second-half, squaring the ball for Logan who couldn`t miss from point blank range.
Paul Tisdale made two changes from the weekend, James Dunne and Logan coming in to replace David Noble and Daniel Nardiello.
Bournemouth came into the game on a ten game unbeaten run and started with plenty of attacking intent. Some early lose passes from City were ceased upon by Bournemouth`s pacey midfield as the visitors looked to stamp their authority on proceedings.
The first real chance of the game fell City`s way though on 12 minutes when Steve Tully exchanged a neat one-two with Cureton before fizzing in a beautiful cross for Logan who - with the goal at his mercy - headed straight at the keeper.
Soon after though City did take the lead with the move of the match, Sercombe burst down the left flank before slipping the ball inside to Cureton who rolled it into Logan`s feet who showed a deft touch to find his strike partner again, Cureton opened his body and bent a beautiful, classical finish beyond the dive Shwan Jalal in goal put City 1-0 up.
This sparked a prolonged period of City pressure, buoyed by the early lead City harried every Bournemouth player all over the pitch but the visitors defence stood firm limiting City to only half chances.
Bournemouth almost pulled back level against the run of play on the stroke of half-time. Mark Pugh won an aerial duel with Tully and before he could be stopped by the covering Matt Taylor, Pugh lashed the ball goalwards from the corner of the box, his shot fizzing over Ben Hamer`s head and clipping the bar on its way over.
Bournemouth improved after the break but apart from collecting a few misdirected crosses Hamer was having a rare quiet night between the sticks.
Just before the hour mark City unlocked Bournemouth`s defence to effectively seal the game. Duffy slid and inviting ball down the channel for Cureton to fetch, once in possession Cureton twisted inside the recovering full back before stabbing in a low centre that Logan gratefully accepted at the far post to put City 2-0 in front.
City looked likely to push on and increase their lead in the final quarter of the game. Harley tried an audacious 35-yard half volley that Jalal did well to tip round the post before man of the match Cureton sprung a tiring offside trap only to see his thumping effort hit the underside of the bar and bounce out.
Bournemouth won several set pieces late on but in truth never looked like breaking down a resilient, hard-working City.
The final whistle would still have come as a relief to the home support who were able to celebrate only the second home win of what`s been a topsy-turvy 2011 to date.
A rare home win and even rarer than that a Tuesday night victory too. All round this was a vast improvement on recent displays at the Park. The league table looks healthier as a result with City now 13th on 46 points.
City: Hamer, Tully, Duffy, Taylor, Archibald-Henville, Golbourne, Sercombe, Dunne, Harley, Logan, Cureton.