Hopes and Expectations 1
The Season 2012/13
13th July 2012
Guernsey v Exeter City
Guernsey 3-7 Exeter, Friday 13th July
City got their pre-season campaign off to a flyer with seven different Grecians getting on the score sheet. First Guillem Bauza's first time effort was placed perfectly past goalkeeper Chris Tardiff before Guernsey's goal machine Ross Allen scored a goal of real class to draw the Green Lions level. Allen then sent Evans the wrong way from the spot to make it 2-1. But City hit back after a string of substitutions. First John O'Flynn slotted a smart shot across the onrushing keeper before Tom Nichols rounded Tardiff and fired home. The game took another twist though when Allen drew his team level again. Jamie Cureton then notched a typical Curo goal before turning provider to tee up trialist Elliott Chamberlain who drilled in a right footed shot. A classy free-kick from Alan Gow made it 6-3 before Liam Sercombe completed the scoring from close range.
17th July 2012
Dorchester Town 0-4 Exeter City
Goals from Gosling, Bennett, Nichols & Cureton
Match Photos by Pinnacle
Exeter City recorded a comfortable victory over Dorchester Town this evening thanks to three goals from Centre of Excellence youth products and a late strike from Jamie Cureton. Jake Gosling curled home a splendid opener before Scot Bennett rattled in the second.
21st July 2012
Exeter City v F.C. United
Match Photos by Pinnacle
Another smooth pre-season performance from City
So on an untypically warm summer's afternoon at the Park, City continue their fine pre-season form with a comfortable 3-1 stroll against fellow supporter-owned club FC United of Manchester in front of 1464 supporters, including a particularly well voiced section from the visitors. City lined up: Krysiak; Woodman, Baldwin, Coles, Tully; Gosling, Oakley, Doherty, Chamberlain; Bauza, Nichols.
Despite City being content to let their opponents enjoy the majority of the early possession, it was City who came closest to opening the scoring with the first attack of the game after five minutes. Bauza's drilled square ball found first year pro Jake Gosling wide on the left who scampered forward unafraid to take on his defender. After working space on the outside, Gosling drilled a low ball across the keeper to the far corner where unfortunately it bounced back off the inside of the post behind the keeper before being cleared.
Ten minutes later though City did score, although it was in somewhat fortuitous circumstances. A stumbling defender in front of the players' tunnel was mugged by the quick thinking Elliott Chamberlain who raced towards goal. With Gosling steaming in unshepherded at the far post, triallist Chamberlain fired a low ball that deflected off a defender and through the keeper on the way to the back of the net to make it 1-0 to City.
Two minutes later City doubled their lead in fine fashion from a very quickly taken free kick from Matt Oakley 25 yards out. He flicked the ball forward to Bauza in a ridiculous amount of space on the edge of the box who in turn forwarded the ball to Nichols for a first time shot that was well blocked. Unfortunately for the visitors it fell straight to Bauza who had plenty of time and space to poke the ball home inside the near post from 10 yards out to make it 2-0.
Nichols almost made it three a further two minutes later after some nifty work inside the box chasing a wonderfully weighted Gosling through ball, but with the goal at his mercy had a rush of blood to the head and blasted over. City did get the ball in the net on the half hour after an electric one touch move from Bauza, Gosling and Nichols, but the linesman's flag ruled out Nichols' classy low finish for offside. Somewhat harshly ruled out, too.
Five minutes later Jacob Cane was introduced at Doherty's expense, then ten minutes after that Gosling's effort from range was easily collected by the FCUM keeper. With seconds of the half remaining Cane sent Gosling away down the left where his chip to the far top corner from 15 yards out was acrobatically tipped over for a corner.
At the start of the second half manager Tisdale sent out a whole new team, so for this half City lined up: Evans; Frear, Moore-Taylor, Amankwaah, Dawson; Davies, Bennett, Keohane, Sercombe; O'Flynn, Gow. It didn't take long for the new line-up to find the net with barely sixty seconds on the clock when O'Flynn expertly collected a long ball over the top before teeing up Gow arriving late. Showing the sort of twinkle-toed movement Fred Astaire would be proud of, Gow danced his way into the box before wrong footing the keeper and nonchalantly chipping the ball over him into the net from close range.
FC finally had something to cheer about five minutes later with a well finished goal. The ball was worked down the left and crossed - via an attacker and two City defenders all of whom failed to control the ball properly - to Matt Wolfenden who showed everyone how it was done by bringing the ball down and lashing it past Evans in the City goal to make it 3-1. O'Flynn had a chance of an immediate reply latching onto another long ball over the top, but after comfortably beating a poorly worked offside trap contrived to guide the ball onto the base of the post from a one on one with the keeper fifteen yards out.
Midway through the half Keohane's smart ball out to the right found Sercombe who again beat a poorly worked offside trap to race through for another one on one with the keeper, but this time the keeper rushed out to smother Sercombe's shot at his feet. Jordan Tillson replaced Dawson with fifteen minutes to go as City saw out the remainder of the game to run out easy winners.
So well done to all for a decent performance against a hard working side. It's been a good pre-season so far with 7-3 and 4-0 away wins, and that was continued with City's 12th, 13th and 14th goals of the season! But it's not all about the goals, although mention must go to Gosling for his first half performance and Gow for his second half efforts, the defence looked pretty assured with Baldwin and new club captain Coles at the helm, and the tenacious Doherty in midfield. Without getting too carried away, at this rate we might be in danger of having a half decent season if we're not careful!
25th July 2012
Exeter City 1-2 Southampton
Bauza with Exeter's goal infront of 1252
31st July 2012
Exeter City v Torquay United
Davies, Cureton & Keohane score in draw at The Park
A late goal from substitute Jimmy Keohane earned City a draw with Torquay United this evening at St James Park. The 1551 present were treated to six goals, two of which were top draw, as both sides showed what attacking ability they have ahead of the August 18.
First half line-up: Krysiak, Tully, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman, Sercombe, Oakley, Bennett, Davies, Bauza, Cureton.
The first of the special strikes came from the right boot of Arron Davies after 15 minutes. The summer signing from Northampton hit a splendid lob over the helpless Martin Rice and into the top corner from 20 yards after being set up by Scot Bennett. Jamie Cureton officially became a City player for the third time this morning, along with Matt Oakley, and the two had already combined for the first chance of the match on 11 minutes. Cureton may have smashed that chance from the former Leicester man’s lovely through ball into the away end but he made no mistake on 22 minutes to double the home side’s lead. A deep corner from Liam Sercombe caused a penalty area scramble and the ball found its way to Cureton via Bennett and the 36-year-old knocked the ball to the right before lashing it high into the back of the net from inside the box. And Sercombe had the next chance of the night, picking up a ball from Bauza, who was bright throughout the first half, and trying his luck with a long range effort that flew over the bar. Torquay then got back into the game with their first real chance of the match thanks to a gorgeous goal from Lloyd Macklin. Nathan Craig’s long pass was right into the path of the winger, who flicked the ball up on the run and scooped it over the head of Artur Krysiak - to applause from all four sides of the ground. Rice, returning to his former club, then kept out a fierce drive from Cureton before the Gulls drew level on 45 minutes when Aaron Downes met a corner with a near post header that he flicked past Krysiak.
There was still time for Krysiak to catch Danny Stevens’ free-kick just before the half-time whistle went. The second half didn’t live up to the high standards set up the opening 45 as both manager’s made plenty of changes. By the final whistle Tisdale had changed all of his starting line-up with the exception of Krysiak. The first trio to be introduced came on at half-time with Tommy Doherty, Kevin Amankwaah and trialist Elliott Chamberlain replacing Pat Baldwin, Danny Coles and Oakley. That mean Bennett and Steve Tully played as centre backs, with Sercombe moving to a central midfield position with Chamberlain to his right. Chamberlain’s Wales Under 21 team-mate Billy Bodin, a summer recruit from Swindon, then gave Torquay the lead when he shifted the ball past Tully and hit a low shot that found the back of the net despite Krysiak’s fingertips diverting it via the inside of the post. John O’Flynn was then introduced for Cureton before his fellow sub Amankwaah headed into the side netting after a lovely cross from Sercombe on the right hand flank. A trio of City youth products, Elliott Frear, Jordan Moore-Taylor and Tom Nichols, were then introduced for Davies, Woodman and Bauza. Both sides had chances to score the sixth goal of the game, with Doherty teeing himself up before shooting into the Big Bank and Gulls sub Niall Thompson bending a right-footed curler off the foot of Krysiak’s left-hand post. Jordan Tillson, Aaron Dawson and Keohane were then sent on with time running out and the latter would play a part in the final three moves of the match. First he won a free-kick on the edge of the box and stepped up himself to force Rice into a smart low stop. And then grabbed the equaliser with a minute to go. After a great piece of play bombing forward Moore-Taylor fed Frear on the left-hand flank and he got to the touchline before pulling the ball back for Keohane to side-foot home at the near-post to make it 3-3. And he turned provider for the final chance of an entertaining clash, passing to Frear but the winger’s shot whistled across goal and wide.
City finished the match: Krysiak, Dawson, Amankwaah, Tillson, Moore-Taylor, Chamberlain, Doherty, Keohane, Frear, Nichols & O’Flynn.
4th August 2012
Exeter City v Millwall
Davies and Gow score but City narrowly beaten. A late double from former Oldham attacker Chris Taylor secured a 3-2 win for Millwall in a sunny St James Park this afternoon. City fell behind early on when Liam Feeney fired home before Arron Davies and Alan Gow gave the Grecians a 2-1 lead at half-time.But Taylor grabbed two goals with time running out to clinch victory for Kenny Jackett’s men.
City lined-up with Rhys Evans in goal, a back four of Amankwaah, Baldwin, Coles, Moore-Taylor with Sercombe, Oakley, Bennett, Davies in midfield and the strike pair of John O’Flynn and Alan Gow.
The Championship side, who started a number of their first team regulars, took the lead after just five minutes, Feeney coolly curling the ball into the Evans’ bottom left-hand corner from the left-hand side of the box. But City hit back, looking to add to the 15 goals they’d already plundered in pre-season so far, and tested former Cardiff keeper David Forde on 16 minutes when Danny Coles’ lovely raking ball was taken perfectly into his stride by Liam Sercombe but his ambitious half-volley was kept out by the keeper. Alan Gow was at the heart of the City attack after sitting out Tuesday’s 3-3 draw with Torquay and he played a vital role in the equalising goal. First the Scot won a free-kick in the top right hand corner under pressure from Scott Malone. Then he stepped up and took the set-piece himself and caught out Forde by sending it towards his near post and when the Irishman punched his effort O’Flynn was there to head the ball to the back-post and Davies pounced for his second goal this week. A minute later a lovely one-two with Matt Oakley carved open the Millwall defence but when he’d found his way to the edge of the box, Gow shot high into the away end. At the other end former Reading winger James Henry opened up his body and shot wide when well placed before captain Liam Trotter tried his luck but neither could test Evans. Gow then lit up The Park with a lovely individual goal, picking up a flick from Moore-Taylor he danced through the heart of the Millwall defence before rolling the ball past Forde from close range. And City’s number 10 had the final chance of the match with another run, this time on the left-flank but after wriggling through he shot wide. The first chance of the second half saw Henry threaten on the right wing but Baldwin was quick to see the danger and put the ball behind for a corner. As so often happens in pre-season friendlies the second half failed to live up to the first half and it took 11 minutes for the first chance of the second half, Sercombe sending in a lovely cross from the right flank which Oakley headed over. And Sercombe had the next chance of the match but he drove wide as City continued to create chances against opponents two leagues above them. O’Flynn was then replaced by Cureton who had a great chance to put the game to bed shortly after the hour mark. He timed his run perfectly to meet a lovely raking ball from Baldwin and one on one with the keeper he hit a low right footed shot across goal but his shot flew wide of the far post. A string of subs followed with Guillem Bauza replacing Gow, Scot Bennett being replaced by Doherty and Oakley coming off for Elliott Frear. But it was Jackett’s side who took the initiative in the final 15 minutes. First Malone’s driven cross from the left-hand touchline proved too hot to handle for Evans and Taylor pounced from close range to make it 2-2. Then another Malone cross caused panic in the box but substitute Darius Henderson headed wide. With just ten minutes to go the final goal of the match came, Feeney slipped Malone through down the left-hand side and he knocked the ball past Baldwin before firing a low back-post cross to Taylor who fired home the winner. Jacob Wannell then replaced fellow first year pro Moore-Taylor, who certainly hadn’t looked out of place in the side, and Sercombe was substituted for Jimmy Keohane.
Keohane grabbed a late leveller on Tuesday night and he came close to repeating the feat in the dying minutes. Doherty sent a lovely ball into the path of Frear on the left wing and he worked his way into the box before having a shot saved by Forde. The ball came out to the head of Keohane and his effort was sliced clear by Darren Ward. At the other end Henderson headed wide again before the final chance of the match fell to Bauza, who looked up and curled a speculative effort which flew just wide.
Match Photos by Pinnacle
Evans, Amankwaah, Baldwin, Coles, Moore-Taylor, Sercombe, Oakley, Bennett, Davies, O'Flynn, Gow.
Forde, Smith, Trotter, Ward, Malone, Abdou, Osbourne, N'Guessan, Henry, Feeney, Marquis.
7th August 2012
Chippenham Town 3-4 Exeter City
Nichols and Jimmy grab doubles
A drizzly summer evening at Chippenham Town’s Hardenhuish Park home set the scene for the latest outing in Exeter City’s pre-season preparations. Chippenham is pretty much in Great Western Grecian territory, and there was a fair sprinkling of City fans present to cast an eye over 15 of City’s younger representatives. What they witnessed was a pretty competitive match against a team who finished just in the top half of last season’s Southern League Premier Division – three steps below League Two.
City had just the lion’s share of seven goals, four of them from the penalty spot, and the home side got close to salvaging parity, after finding themselves 4-1 down within the hour. City started the match with the following line-up: Christy Pym; Aaron Dawson, Jordan Tillson, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Elliott Frear; Jacob Cane, Ollie Knowles; Elliott Chamberlain, Jimmy Keohane, Jake Gosling; Tom Nichols. Included in the Chippenham line-up was the familiar face of new signing Lee Phillips. There was little action of note early on, but a slick City counter attack in the 11th minute led to the deadlock being broken. Nichols fed Chamberlain on the right, and his trickery drew a desperate – and illegal – challenge which resulted in a penalty, from which Nichols gave keeper Josh Dempsey no chance. Far from overawed, Chippenham replied with a spell of pressure, during which impressive home target man Alan Griffin had a half-hit overhead shot easily saved by Pym, and Tillson rescued the situation with a clearing header for a corner after Pym had been drawn out of position. While the home side were having at least their share of possession, City were using theirs to better advantage, and a tremendous passing movement down the right in the 18th minute saw Dawson break free to the bye line. His pull back was perfect for Nichols, whose firm side footed finish provided a fitting climax to the move. Chippenham continued to play their part, and Griffin blazed well over when he might have done better. Another flowing City move found Gosling unmarked, but his shot lacked the power to seriously trouble Dempsey. From the resulting corner, the ball found its way to Chamberlain, whose stinging 20 yard effort was parried to safety. On 36 minutes Chippenham pulled one back from the spot, Griffin converting after Dawson had hauled Phillips down. City then had a good spell just before the break. First Keohane put Gosling in, but after Dempsey’s parry Nichols reacted quickly but inaccurately -- his first time shot being ballooned well over the bar. Nichols’ speed of thought was evident again in the 40th minute. Dempsey dwelt too long on a back pass, and Nichols nicked the ball away. Just managing to keep the ball in play, his pull back made it easy for Keohane to side foot home for a 3-1 lead. His confidence visibly boosted, Keohane’s jinking run extended the home defence who were happy to concede a corner. Then a free-kick 25 yards out on the right was beautifully struck by Gosling, but Dempsey saved acrobatically at the near post. Thus ended a very satisfactory first half for the City youngsters. Just like in the first half, there was little to excite immediately after the interval, but this time the home side were more on the front foot. But just as in the first period, the first significant action resulted in a City goal. A fine move down the left on 56 minutes put Nichols in, and he created the space to deliver a perfect chipped cross onto Keohane’s head – 4-1 to City. On the hour, the home side made four substitutions. Not long after this Keohane was close to a hat-trick but Dempsey made another fine save. City’s first substitution came on 63 minutes, central defender Kamarl Duncan replacing midfielder Knowles. Moore-Taylor moved to left-back, releasing Frear to play further forward, while Gosling switched to the right, with Chamberlain more central. With a further raft of substitutions -- three for each side – play became a little more fragmented. For City, Cane, Moore-Taylor and Nichols went off in the 74th minute, being replaced by Matthew Grimes at left-back, Luke Roper in midfield, and Jamie Micklewright alongside him. Chippenham remained persistent and were rewarded with two more spot-kicks – on 80 minutes when Duncan handled a right wing cross, and nine minutes later when Tillson was adjudged to have handled another cross, a hotly disputed decision in this case. Former Bristol Rovers player Dave Gilroy accepted both gifts to give the scoreline a much more respectable look for Chippenham. And it was difficult to begrudge them that. As for City, it was good to see the youngsters trying to play the Exeter City way, with some particularly pleasing passing movements. Jordan Moore-Taylor looked composed (and versatile) at the back, Aaron Dawson brought the ball forward with quality down the right, and while tackling night not be Elliott Frear’s forte, his pace was instrumental in thwarting several home attacks when he was at left back. Jacob Cane and Ollie Knowles worked to good effect in midfield, while the left footed Jake Gosling bizarrely seems to work better from the right than the left. Elliott Chamberlain also had his moments. Jimmy Keohane showed an aptitude for popping up in dangerous positions, while Tom Nichols again showed his true striker’s instinct. As well as scoring, he showed – just as he did when making his handful of first team appearances last season – that creating chances for others is also high on his agenda. For this correspondent, his was the outstanding City performance.
9th August 2012
Yeovil Town 2-2 Exeter City
Bennett and O'Flynn score in final pre-season match
Exeter City rounded off their pre-season preparations with a 2-2 draw at Yeovil this afternoon. Scot Bennett gave a strong City line-up the lead after just six minutes before Ed Upson's fine finish drew the League One side level on the half hour. O'Flynn had a very good shout for a penalty turned down before he put City back infront from the penalty spot. City made a string of subs and the much-changed line up conceded a last minute goal when Reuben Reid fired home.