Match 10
16th September 2017
Crewe Alexandra (h)

Exeter City ran out 3-0 winners over Crewe Alexandra at St James Park to keep them top of the table in Sky Bet League Two.
by Ben Strange 

First half goals from Jordan Tillson and Jake Taylor gave the Grecians a comfortable advantage going into the break, before Taylor's second of the mach rounded off a strong performance from the Grecians.

City manager, Paul Tisdale, named an unchanged side for the fourth consecutive match as they looked to secure a sixth consecutive league victory.

It was the away team who had the first opportunity of the match just two minutes in, as the ball fell to George Cooper in the City area, but despite being in space he was unable to keep his effort on target.

City’s first chance of the match led to the first goal on six minutes. Lee Holmes’ corner into a crowded penalty box eventually bounced in front of Tillson who tapped in from close range to give the Grecians an early advantage as the midfielder scored his first of the season.

Tisdale’s side then went close to finding their second soon after when, after good play from Holmes on the right which saw him cross well, Jake Taylor’s header at the back post across goal was cleared by the Crewe defence before a City player could get on the end of it.

Liam McAlinden then had a glorious chance to double City’s lead on 20 minutes after a good counter-attack set up by Tillson. The midfielder’s flick saw Holmes drive in towards goal centrally before he played the ball to McAlinden, but his finish was saved low by Ben Garratt.

The away side then had to clear off the line after Holmes, once again, caused panic in the Crewe defence. Another run saw him tee up Reuben Reid, but his shot was again saved by Garratt, who spilled the ball and had to thank his defenders for clearing the ball out of harm’s way.

The visitors then had a good opening which tested the City backline after Brad Walker did well to latch onto a long ball and go past Jordan Moore-Taylor, but the Grecians did well to block the cross on the by-line.

But it was City who were next to find the net, this time through Jake Taylor who rounded off a good move by the Grecians.

After a well worked throw-in by Pierce Sweeney and Lloyd James, the full-back did well to find McAlinden who crossed to the back post for Taylor to fire home and give the Grecians a deserved double in the first half.

Late chances in the first period came and went for McAlinden and Reid, but the Grecians were unable to find their third before the referee’s half-time whistle.

The Grecians were keen to begin the second half in a similar vein to how they finished the first with Moore-Taylor going close with a header and Sweeney seeing his low effort nestle just wide of Garratt’s post.

Just before the hour mark, Holmes was unfortunate not to see his effort creep under the visitor’s crossbar. The winger, who tricked his way inside and onto his preferred left foot, curled towards the far post but was unable to keep his shot on target.

The away side continued to look for a way back into the match, with Cooper often at the heart of the visitor’s attacking play, but City did well to reduce their opponents to half chances as they often looked to shoot from distance.

City then made their first substitute of the afternoon on 73 minutes as Stockley, fresh from sealing all three points against Barnet in midweek, entered the field.

And It took him just three minutes to make his mark as he attempted to head a good cross from the left-hand side from Taylor and as he did so he put off the goalkeeper and the ball flew into the net without him or the Crewe Alexandra shot stopper getting a touch. 

Despite being 3-0 up, City were keen to extend their goal advantage with Stockley almost getting a goal himself but for a foul on Garratt.

But the score remained at three goals for a City side who impressed in front of a home crowd to claim another valuable three points in Sky Bet League Two.

Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman (Moxey, 79), James, Tillson, Holmes, Moore-Taylor, McAlinden (Boateng, 77), Taylor, Reid (Stockley, 73), Brown

Subs not used: Hamon, Archibald-Henville, Jay, Moxey, Edwards,

Crewe Alexandra: Garratt, Bakayogo, Walker (Stubbs, 64), Raynes, Porter, Dagnall (Bowery, 73), Cooper, Nolan, Ainley (Dale, 73), Wintle, Lowery

Subs not used: Richards, Pickering, Kirk, Reilly

Booked: Nolan, Walker

Attendance: 4,218 (Inc, 159, away)



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