Hopes and Expectations
Hopes and Expectations
Wed 21 Jul 2010
Bath City 0-4 Exeter City
Report by Ant Moxey
Substitute Ben Watson's wonder strike was the pick of the goals as Exeter City ran out 4-0 winners at Twerton Park tonight.
The 24-year-old span his marker before sending a stunning 25-yard striker into the top corner to put City three up after goals from Richard Logan and James Dunne. And Watson added a fourth in the dying minutes to complete another good work out for the City side. The main talking points in the starting line-up were David Noble's continued recovery from his serious knee injury, City's number eight played the best part of an hour in midfield, and Jamie Cureton starting upfront.
But it was Cureton's strike partner Logan who gave City an eighth minute lead. The fan's favourite flicked a long ball into the path of Tully on the right flank before racing into the box to meet the cross with a well-placed header into the far corner. Striker Kaid Mohamed was one of the home side's best performers and Paul Jones saved well at the number 10's feet two minutes later.
At the other end Cureton curled an ambitious effort wide before Noble's back heel set Ryan Harley up but he shot straight at Ryan Robinson. Play was then stopped briefly while Matt Taylor received treatment for a nasty looking hand injury but the captain played on and didn't seem to show any signs of real pain after that.
When play resumed City continued to pressure and put together a stunning move involving a lovely interchange between Harley and Scott Golbourne which ended in the latter's low drive being pushed around the post.
From the resultant corner Taylor's shot well saved and the home side countered but Mohamed shot straight at Jones.
There were no changes to the Grecians' line-up at half-time but Bath introduced former Aston Villa and Bristol City winger Scott Murray amongst others.
And it was Murray's new side who almost equalised when Jake Reid flicked a header from an angle across Paul Jones' goal and off the crossbar. It was then City's turn to threaten, Cureton showed a lovely touch of class to set up Harley who stepped inside his defender but his drilled effort was well saved by Robinson.
Then the subs began. On the 55 minute mark Taylor, Noble and Tully were replaced by James Dunne, Jake Thomson and Scot Bennett and six minutes later Logan, Paul Jones and Cureton made way for Artur Krysiak, Ben Watson and James Norwood.
The new-look striker pair combined immediately as Norwood put Watson through on goal but he was controversially ruled offside. Norwood was involved in City's next chance, shooting over from Thomson's pull-back.
Both Thomson and Norwood showed examples of their electric pace during their half an hour or so game time and will be looking to get more chances to shine in tomorrow night's friendly at Weston.
Chris Shephard, Bertie Cozic and Joe Heath were then introduced for Harley, Liam Sercombe and Golbourne and two minutes later it was 2-0.
Thomson's deep cross from the right flank was flicked on by Norwood and the outstretched leg of Dunne at the back post poked the ball into the opposite corner.
Shephard then forced Terry Burton into a save with a 20 yard drive before Dunne's effort deflected up and just over the bar. Shephard's corner then found Bennett inside the box but he headed wide.
In the 81st minute City would score again though and in style as Watson became the fifth City striker to net in pre-season with a tremendous effort that left the keeper flat-footed. Watson then doubled his tally with three minutes left. A Heath ball into the box pinged around before falling at his feet and he fired home from close range.
City lined up: (3-5-2) Paul Jones, (Krysiak 61) Duffy, Taylor, (Bennett 55) Billy Jones, Tully. (Thomson 55) Noble, (Dunne 55) Harley, (Shephard 66) Sercombe, (Cozic 66) Golbourne, (Heath 66) Cureton, (Watson 61) Logan. (Norwood 61)