24th October 2009
27th October 2009
Plymouth Argyle Reserves (a)
Exeter City v Wycombe Wanderers. Saturday 24 October 2009.
The Moxey Report
On a beautifully sunny day, tempered by a howling wind blowing into the Big Bank, City and Wycombe shared the spoils 1-1 in front of an ultimately frustrated - or perhaps relieved - 5,227 supporters.
City lined up: Andy Marriott; Scott Golbourne, Rob Edwards, Matt Taylor, Steve Tully; James Dunne, Alex Russell, Bertie Cozic, Marcus Stewart; Adam Stansfield, Stuart Fleetwood.
As both teams struggled to cope with the weather conditions, goalmouth chances were at something of a premium during the opening exchanges. It was, however, City who had the first real effort. Stansfield chased a long ball towards the corner of the box as the keeper came rushing out, both jumped and inches outside the box the keeper clattered Stans righteously. With the crowd baying for a red card, the ref sensibly issued a mere yellow. Russell stepped up and struck the ball sweetly enough, but put just a little too much curl on it pulling it wide of the base of the near post by the smallest of margins. It was a while before the next action of note as both midfields cancelled each other out and both forward lines were definitely second best to the defences, but it was City once again who lifted their supporters when on 35 minutes Fleetwood mugged a dawdling defender and scampered goalwards weaving past a number of opponents. His progress was ended on the edge of the box with Wycombe immediately launching a break of their own culminating in a ferocious drive to the far top corner that Marriott spectacularly tipped onto the Bank for a corner. Stansfield and Fleetwood then combined to send Stans scurrying down the left touch line, but his whipped in cross was pulled back marginally too far and evaded the rushing Fleetwood and Cozic on the edge of the six yard box. Then the breakthrough came with five minutes of the half remaining. A Wycombe forward burst into the box down the left when Taylor went across to close him down. Unfortunately the attacker was far too quick and Taylor far too slow and in an instant he was sent sprawling giving the ref no option but to point to the spot for probably the easiest penalty he'll award all season. Up stepped giant frontman Matt Harrold to smash the ball high to Marriott's left, and although Marriott got fingertips to it, it was just hit far too well for Marriott to save and so the teams went in at half time, with Wycombe Wanderers leading 1-0.
At the start of the second half, as with the firstit was City who emerged brightest. With less than ten minutes expired Russell fed the ball out to Dunne on the left. He advanced forward and cut in onto his right foot and from a yard outside the corner of the box let fly with a vicious drive that deflected inches wide of the far post. From the resulting corner the ball was pinged about before being pinged back in from 20-yards. In one delicious movement, Stewart swivelled and crashed a stunning waist-height volley toward goal that the keeper somehow turned over the bar from eight yards out. City continued to dominate and after good work around the box the ball fell to Cozic who smashed a powerful drive narrowly wide of the angle of post and bar from miles out. It was then time to introduce Richard Logan at the expense of the hard working Stansfield as City looked to up the ante in search of an equaliser. Two minutes later it almost arrived in the most unique fashion - it's not often you see a 20-yard header go in, but Stewart nearly managed it diving to almost convert a booming Golbourne ball in from deep On 15 minutes Logan, Stewart and Fleetwood fashioned a chance for Fleetwood, but the keeper remained alert and expertly pounced on Fleets' close range poke. A couple of minutes later Barry Corr replaced Fleetwood and a couple of minutes after that found himself heavily involved knocking down Edwards hoisted ball from the left for fellow sub Logan to stab at the keeper under heavy pressure from a defender. Soon after that Neil Saunders replaced Russell and for the remainder of the half- bar a spectacular Golbourne drive from distance that missed by inches - the game deteriorated somewhat as both teams decided to try and outdo each other in the misplaced pass and lack of getting in a meaningful tackle stakes. I think City were winning it slightly when out of the blue they grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and made a proper effort at equalising just as the fourth official signalled four minutes of stoppage time. A floated Golbourne free kick was bullet headed towards the roof of the net from whom I couldn't see, it could have been anyone form half a dozen players and tipped over for a corner. This was swung in from the left and it was Corr who was on hand to butt home from close range to lift the roof off three sides of the groundThe only three sides to have roofs mind you, but hey, we were too busy celebrating to consider such trivialities! It wasn't finished there though, as in the 92 minute Saunders and Dunne exchanged passes before Saunders burst into the box only to find himself sent unceremoniously crashing to the turf in what seemed like a very strong case for a penalty. The ref was having none of it though and waved play onAnd play on City did, with Stewart breaking down the left before fizzing a cross across the face of goal inches too far in front of the barnstorming Corr's outstretched boot. Blimey! What an end to what has to be said was something of a disappointing game. Disappointing in that it was a game that was there to be won, but equally frustrating in that neither side seemed able to up their games sufficient to find a winner. I know I've already mentioned the weather, but it really must be so difficult to play anything like decent football when you have gale force winds racing down the pitch, and with both teams struggling at the wrong end of the table at the moment it was always unlikely that a classic was on the cards.
Referee: Steve Rushton
Attendance 5227 with 300 away fans.
BBC Match summary and information
A Barry Corr goal three minutes into injury time salvaged a draw for Exeter in their basement clash with Wycombe. Wycombe started the slowest but almost took the lead when Matt Phillips' shot was saved by home keeper Andy Marriott. The Chairboys did take the lead just before half time when Kevin Betsy was felled by Matt Taylor in the box and Matt Harold slotted home the penalty. Exeter were rewarded for their second half dominance when Corr headed home from a corner inside the six yard box.
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:
"If there's one overriding positive about our season so far it's about our ability to be strong in the last 10 minutes of the game. "We were brighter, quicker to the ball, played in their half against a very strong wind, and it was a cheap goal to give away; but that's life."
27th October 2009
Plymouth Argyle Reserves (a)
Ben Watson continued his superb form as Exeter City Reserves drew 1-1 with rivals Plymouth Argyle at Home Park, writes Peter Evans.
After a quiet first half Alan Gow's deflected free kick gave the home side the lead after 47 minutes, but Watson headed home from close range just minutes later. Ashley Barnes received a red card with ten minutes to go and despite having plenty of late chances City had to settle for a point. Watson can boast a superb goalscoring record this season for Exeter's second string and he almost opened the scoring after a wonderful through ball from Sercombe only to be denied by Argyle keeper Kyle Letheren and then defender Ryan BrettCraig McAllister and Lewis Tasker, who performed very well at left-back, came on at the break and the Grecians almost fell behind immediately, Scott Fox doing very well to deny George Donelly when the striker was through on goal. But minutes later City were behind then Alan Gow's heavily deflected free-kick found the net. City's Reserves, who are yet to lose a game this season, bounced back five minutes later when the overlapping Tasker sent in a superb cross that Letheren palmed into the path of Neil Saunders.
Saunders sent a ball back into the danger area that eventually found the head of Watson at the far post to draw the Grecians level and Saunders almost claimed another assist when his free kick was headed wide at the far post by Tasker. The match really heated up when, with ten minutes to go, Barnesdangerous challenge on Duffy earned him a red card from referee Kevin Johnson City then began to pour forward in search of a winner, Krisztián Timár denying McAllister after he had lifted the ball over keeper Letheren. Substitute James Norwood's right-wing cross was sliced for a corner and McAllister and Archibald-Henville both had chances for the away side as they looked to grab what would have been a deserved winner
City lined up: Fox, Duffy, Bennett, Archibald-Henville, Shephard, (Tasker 45) Sercombe, Burnell, Saunders, Logan, (McAllister 45) Corr, (Norwood 79) Watson.