3 August 2019
Exeter City v Macclesfield
Exeter City picked the first win of their 2019/20 campaign with a 1-0 win over Macclesfield Town on the opening day of the season.
by Ben Strange
It took until the 88thminute for the all-important goal to come, and it came from a Ryan Bowman finish which came from Nicky Law’s effort towards goal.
Manager Matt Taylor named the same side that started last week’s final pre-season match with Torquay United as three players made their competitive debuts in Lewis Ward, Tom Parkes and Nicky Ajose.
For much of the opening quarter of an hour there was little by the way of chance with both sides finding their way into the match. The Grecians’ threatened the Town goal on 14 minutes when Pierce Sweeney crossed well from the right after a throw-in, but Ryan Bowman’s header edged just over.
Nicky Ajose then had his first effort on 20 minutes when Jake Taylor burst into the box before the ball fell to the striker who curled an effort towards goal, but for Owen Evans to collect.
The away side then went close to going in front just a few minutes later when a free-kick caused havoc in the City box before the ball fell to Ben Stephens at the far post, forcing an excellent save from Lewis Ward.
Joe Ironside was then found in behind the City defence after good work from Town on the right, but after Tom Parkes got back well to narrow the angle, Ward collected the low shot comfortably.
Macclesfield continued to have the better of the chances as they went close just before the break when they broke down the right before Theodore Archibald saw his left footed effort blocked behind by Dean Moxey, as the sides went into half-time level.
The away side would have the first chance of the second period when Ward was forced into another really good save when the ball found its way to Stephens, whose low effort was saved low by the new City keeper.
The Grecians then had Dean Moxey to thank when he made a crucial interception after a low cross to the far post found Ironside, and despite what seemed like a simple finish, the City left back’s interception saw the ball bounce up kindly for Ward to catch.
City then had a glorious chance to go ahead when a free-kick came back to Pierce Sweeney before he delivered an excellent cross to the far post to find the unmarked Parkes, but he was unable to keep his header on target as the ball nestled wide going into the final 20 minutes.
It was Parkes who was involved again as the Grecians won a succession of corners, and despite connecting well with Nicky Law’s delivery, the ball was unfortunately blocked by Lee Martin as Town managed to clear.
"As time ticked by the Grecians continued to looked to go ahead, and it eventually came when Nicky Law had a bit of good fortune to ride a challenge before firing an effort into a crowded box before the ball met Bowman, who swept home, as the Grecians made a winning start to their league campaign.
Exeter City: Ward, Sweeney, A. Martin, Law, Williams (Warren, 90+3),, Bowman, Ajose (L. Martin, 53), Parkes, Moxey, Taylor, Collins
Subs not used: Maxted, Woodman, Jay, Fisher, Seymour
Macclesfield Town: Evans, Clarke, McCourt, Kelleher, Vassell (Horsfall, 90+1), Harris, Ironside (Blyth, 60,) Stephens (Fitzpatrick, 79), Archibald, Welch-Hayes, Osadebe
Subs not used: Ntambwe, Fitzpatrick, Rose
Booked: McCourt, Osadebe
Attendance: 4,502(Inc, 157, away)