7th April 2018
Cambridge United v Exeter City
Exeter City came from behind to beat Cambridge United 3-2 at the Abbey Stadium in Sky Bet League Two.
By Ben Strange
After falling behind to a Jabo Ibehre goal in the first half, the Grecians rallied to level through Jayden Stockley's header.
The home side then went in front again after a wonderful finish from George Maris, but after Matt Jay scored his first league goal for the club, Jake Taylor was on hand to round off the comeback late on to ensure the Grecians keep up their hopes for automatic promotion.
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Paul Tisdale named an unchanged side from the Grecians’ 2-1 win over Cheltenham Town on Easter Monday as City looked to continue their push for promotion from Sky Bet League Two.
In a half arguably dominated by the home side, they were the first to threaten when George Maris drove at the City backline before dragging a shot just wide of goal.
It was clear that United had a game-plan, often looking to test City in the air with some dangerous crosses, and with the Grecians conceding a number of first half corners, United looked to use their height and strength to their advantage.
The home side created two good chances in quick succession just before the 20-minute mark when the ball found its way to David Amoo at the far post, before he had his effort blocked well by Jordan Storey for a corner.
Greg Taylor then saw his header, which seemed destined for the far corner, turned away superbly by Christy Pym in the City goal.
The Grecians, who struggled to create many clear-cut chances in the opening 45 minutes, had their best attempt on 26 minutes when Stockley crossed well for Robbie Simpson, but his header was kept out well by David Forde as the scores remained level.
But the United pressure continued into the closing stages of the half, and the home side took the lead through Ibehre on 42 minutes. Despite Dean Moxey making an initial tackle on Jevani Brown, the ball broke to Bradley Halliday, who crossed low for the Cambridge number 14 who finished coolly past Pym, leaving City trailing at the break.
City started the second-half looking much more dangerous going forward through the likes of Hiram Boateng, as well as Jay, who was introduced at half-time.
The Grecians struck level just before the hour mark when Boateng was played in down the left-hand side before keeping his cool and picking out Stockley with a wonderful cross, and the City top scorer made no mistake as he headed home past Forde.
In a good spell City created two more good chances, the first after good hold-up play from Stockley, who teed up Taylor, but his effort was well blocked. The City number 25 then got down the right-hand side before pulling the ball back for Boateng, but his effort was saved well by the United keeper.
Despite the City pressure it was the home side who would find the net next when Maris found space on the edge of the box before curling an exquisite effort into the top corner past Pym.
With the Grecians now pushing forward looking to level again, they left themselves vulnerable on the counter-attack, and they almost fell further behind when Jevani Brown cut in before cannoning an effort off the crossbar.
But City continued to come forward and levelled again when Jay was alive in the box after Taylor’s initial shot, and he poked the ball home to score.
Just two minutes later the Grecians found themselves ahead after more good play going forward. After Jay’s initial header on target was blocked from close range, Taylor was on hand to slide the ball in at the far post to complete the comeback.
After numerous stoppages in the second half, the referee awarded no less than 10 additional minutes, and credit to City as they defended excellently to ensure they held onto a vital three points.
Cambridge United: Forde, Halliday, Carroll, Deegan, Taylor (Legge, 88), Dunk, Taft, Ibehre (Corr, 54), Maris, Amoo (Davies, 82), Brown
Subs not used: Mitov, Waters, O’Neil, Lewis
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman (Wilson, 78), James, Tillson, Simpson (Jay, 45), Stockley, Moxey, Taylor, Storey, Boateng (Croll, 90+2)
Subs not used: Jones, Archibald-Henville, Brunt, Loft
Attendance: 4,054 (390, away)