Match 29
24th January 2009
Gillingham (away)

Future Grecians
Swindon Town U-16’s Home)


League Two

On the Road with City 

On a glorious sunny, winter aftemoon, City travelled back towards London, but this time remaining south of the Thames and heading for the Medway market town of GillinghamOn this occasion City were not going to return with all 3 points. Exeter lined up with a team much changed from Tuesday night at Dagenham, making three changes and adopting a 541 formation. City lined up with Paul Jones in goal, and Dean Moxey, Danny Seabome, Rob Edwards, Troy Archibald-Henville and Steve Tully making up the rest of the defence. The central two of Matt Gill and Manny Panther retained their places, whilst manager Paul Tisdale handed Jack Obersteller a rare opportunity on the left and Ryan Harley made way for Neil Saunders Craig McAllister's two goals at Dagenham were not enough to eam him a place in the starting line up, with Adam Stansfield starting up front on his own, whilst Richard Logan watched the game from the stands Gillingham could boast an impressive home record, having only lost once at the Priestfield this season, so the task ahead of City was always going to be tougher than the matchat St James Park which ended 3-0 to the Grecians. Gillingham were the brighter team in the opening exchanges with former Conference players Nutter and Jackson combining to result in the former Rushden man heading wide of Jones goal. City's best effort of the match came after about 10 minutes when Stansfield laid the ball off to Saunders, who beat the goalkeeper, only to see his shot come back off the bar. That was to be the highlight of the game from an Exeter perspective, City were not having the dominance in midfield that Tisdale would have hoped, considering the help to the midfield Edwards was providing and the attacking license Moxey and Tully were given. Gillingham continued to dominate the half and a couple of efforts from former Grays man Dennis Oll were saved easily by Jones. the second of which was from only a few yards out and he should be disappointed not to have tested the keeper more. Gillingham had another good chance when Barcham sliced wildly over the bar when he should have scored.

At half time the City boss had clearly seen enough of the overall performance and Obersteller made way for Big Mac and a change of formation resembling the one at Dagenham (3-5-2). City did look brighter but still failed to get a grip on the gameOn the hour mark Gillingham did finally get a shot on target and beat Jones, however the linesman correctly ruled it out for offside, but it was a waming, and one not heeded. Archibald-Henville came off on the hour mark with what appeared to be cramp. Matt Taylor made a welcome come back slotting straight in to the defenceTen minutes later Harley replaced Saunders in midfield. With eleven minutes remaining the deadlock was eventually broken with a scrappy goal. Despite being given opportunities to clear, the City defence didn't manage to get it completely awayThe ball came back in to the area from Nutter, and was eventually poked home from close range by the Gills captain, Miller. City did not really have any chances after this, as Gillingham then closed the game down by playing the match deep in the City half. Four minutes of injury time saw a comer to City but it came to nothing and the match finished at 1-0.

BBC Summary and information 

Gillingham 1-0 Exeter

Captain Adam Miller scored the only goal to give Gillingham their third straight win and put them above promotion rivals Exeter in the process. The visitors almost broke the deadlock when Neil Saunders' shot deflected off Simon King and on to the crossbar. Gillingham then hit the woodwork when when Nicky Southall's free-kick rattled the bar and bounced away to safety. Miller had an effort ruled out for offside but was not to be denied as he later tapped in the winner

Gillingham: Royce, Lewis, Bentley, King, Nutter, Southall (Peters 84), Weston, Miller, Barcham, Jackson (Cumbers 90), Oli.

Subs Not Used: Richards, Julian, Steer.

Goals: Miller 79.

Exeter: Jones, Tully, Edwards, Seaborne, Archibald-Henville (Taylor 61), Moxey, Saunders (Harley 69), Gill, Obersteller (McAllister 46), Panther, Stansfield.

Subs Not Used: Marriott, Basham.

Booked: Edwards, Stansfield, Moxey.

Attendance 5,638

Referee Graham Horwood (Bedfordshire).

Gillingham, Dorset to Gillingham, Kent
by Martin Weiler

A group of Grecians supporters achieved the unusual distinction of travelling by train from Gillingham to Gillingham to see City play on SaturdayEngineering works on the Waterloo line around Yeovil persuaded them to start their planned rail journey at Gillingham (with a hard "G") in Dorset. As they pulled out of the station they passed the other' Gillingham Football Club whose grounds sits neatly by the railwayEven the Guard enjoyed checking their Gillingham to Gillingham tickets: "You don't see that very often" he commented. They arrived at Gillingham (soft "G) in Kent after changes at Clapham Junction and Victoria and were delighted to meet up with Steve Perryman and Julian Tagg who had also made the journey by train. 

Kirstie Bowden reports on the journey and the match to Gillingham (Kent) 

Before I'd had chance to recover from our trip to Dagenham, from which I arrived home at 3am the next morning, it was time to go to Gillingham, The journey was relatively uneventful up until the point at which we had to turn onto the M25. Somehow we managed to miss the turning and what followed was quite possibly the most unique route taken to Gillingham by any City fanFirst we passed Thorpe Park where everyone marvelled at the rollercoasters. Next up on our magical mystery tour was Molesey. Here we passed some elaborate house boats and the rather large Hampton Court Palace. A few minutes later we passed a sign saying 13 miles to central London and congestion zone charging. It was at this point that I anticipated an East Devon Grecians minibus tour of central London and suggested someone ring up and pay the congestion charge just in case. Disappointingly shortly after this sign came a sign for the M25. After some careful consideration and stringent checking by the driver and navigator (1) we joined the M25 in the right direction amidst much cheering. The remainder of the journey passed without major incident. It did however take us past the turn off to a (much loved in my case) former haunt of the ConferenceEbbsfleet

At Gillingham a lack of ground parking saw us park in a car-park some distance from the Priestfield Stadium. The walk took us along some seriously dodgy pavements, across a railway line and down some alleys. The stadium proved underwhelming on arrival. A raw design ideal had been employed at the away end with its construction appearing to cease at the construction of the scaffolding and implementation of seats Walking up the steps, whilst noting gaps through which programmes and phones could very easily get lost, we were confronted with the 'ground'. Evidently we had drawn the short strawWe didn't even have a roof. The gaps and the lack of concrete were concerning me. Mum assured me that Aston Villa fans had bounced up and down for their entire cup tie and it had been fine. I was unconvinced and suggested that the necessary nuts and bolts might have been weakened in the process. I was told to shut up! The travelling City supporters had disappointingly been placed in the top tier of the Brian Moore stand. Those standing towards the back of the stand took their lives into their own hands and started bouncing up and down making the floodlight sway back and forwards. A steward informed me that we weren't able to sit in the lower portion closest to the pitch because it was the belief of Gillingham that from here we would instigate a pitch invasion. Resultantly we were some distance from the pitch and it was incredibly difficult to get any form of atmospheric mass chanting going. The game was very disappointing. As it progressed I suggested to my Mum that nil-nil would be a good result. Our defence was stifling the continual threat posed by Gillingham whereas at the other end we were struggling to create any clear cut chances. When a second half Gillingham goal' was disallowed for off-side cheers emanated from the away end, and in a rare break from tradition it was the opposing supporters who were serenading the referee with the classic "you don't know what you're doing. The Archie Appreciation Society was left disappointed as he left the field in the 61st minute after another brilliant performanceThe moment was however bittersweet as his removal paved the way for the long awaited return of Matt Taylor. Sadly my hopes for a nil-nil draw were dashed in the 79th minute when Gillingham took the lead through an Adam Miller strike that was to be the winning goal of the game. The final whistle was of course tinged with disappointment but on the day we had evidently lost to a better side.

Saturday 24th January 2009
Exeter City Under 16s 4 Swindon Town 4

Previous games between these two sides have always produced goals and plenty of incident. Saturday was no exception in an entertaining encounter that left honours even with a high scoring draw. The Swindon keeper distinguished himself with several reflex saves but he was left powerless as Louis Horton burst through and scored from the edge of the box on 10 minutes. A deserved goal for Horton who was proving a handfull down the right but Swindon responded well and the City defence had to be alert. On 20 minutes another flowing move caused panic in the Swindon defence and when the ball broke just inside the box, Jake Evans took control and rounded the keeper to score. Ten minutes before half-time a deep free kick from the right found an unmarked Swindon player on the far post to despatch the chance with ease. Stung by this lapse City restored their two goal lead within minutes. Ethan Phillips demonstrated great awareness and played a lovely through ball for the ever willing Tom Nichols who calmly took the ball past the keeper and finished in style. After only two minutes of the second period, a break down the right saw a Swindon player easily skip past the challenge of Max Scragg and then he was felled in the box by Jordan Moore Taylor, Gibbins was sent the wrong way from the spot kick and Swindon were back in it. It was soon all square when a well struck shot from the edge of the box squirmed from Gibbins grasp and trickled over the line. City were stunned but responded well. But it was Swindon who rocked City Poor marking at a comer saw a free header despatched into the net and an air of disbelief that City could be behind. Five minutes from time another well constructed move saw a dangerous ball into the Swindon area. Nichols somehow managed to retrieve the ball from beyond the far post while on the ground and lashed it into the net. Swindon were convinced the ball had gone out of play but despite the protests the goal was given.



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