Exeter City 1 Accrington Stanley 3

Last updated : 30 January 2006 By Footymad Previewer
Exeter City's title hopes suffered a severe setback as they nose-dived to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Conference leaders Accrington Stanley.

The Devon side have now gone ten games without serving up a victory in front of the television cameras and hopes of reversing that trend were extinguished by a rampant Stanley side.

The Grecians were always chasing the game after Gary Roberts scored a magnificent free-kick in the seventh minute to put the visitors in front.

After a nervous start the home side gradually forced their way back into the contest but squandered a succession of chances.

Lee Phillips, Craig Farrell and Jon Challinor were all guilty of wasting golden opportunities to plunder an equaliser before the break.

And the home side were left to rue the wasted chances as Stanley effectively wrapped up the win with two second-half strikes.

Firstly Benin international Romauld Boco latched on to Roberts' deft header to ram home from close range.

And then Roberts claimed his second of the match, capitalising on some slack City defending to beat Paul Jones with a blistering drive.

Hopes of a dramatic comeback briefly flickered into life when Jake Edwards burst into the box and slipped the ball past the advancing Rob Elliot.

But after a number of other chances all came and went for the home side it was the Lancashire outfit who celebrated a huge win in the title race.