Sheffield Wednesday (h)
Exeter City 5 Sheffield Wednesday 1. Saturday 18 December 2010.
Ref: Fred Graham
Att: 5524 with 827 away fans.
BBC match report –
Jamie Cureton scored twice as Exeter prevented Sheffield Wednesday going top of League One in emphatic style.
The 35-year-old put the Grecians ahead with a neat turn and shot from the edge of the area.
Tommy Miller hit back from six-yards, but Liam Sercombe fired in a spectacular long-range volley.
Scott Golbourne found the bottom corner from inside the area, before Cureton rolled in from close range and John O'Flynn fired in a low effort.
The game was the only one to go ahead in League One after fans joined ground staff at St James Park to clear snow from the pitch and stands.
But it was a disappointing start to the Milan Mandaric-era for Wednesday who arrived in Devon knowing victory would send them to the top of the table.
That rarely looked on the cards as the Owls defence capitulated against an Exeter side oozing attacking intent.
After Cureton's effort was cancelled out by Miller, Exeter put a shaky-looking Owls backline under increasing pressure as Sercombe flashed a shot from the corner of the area just wide.
Billy Jones then went close with a header which appeared to be heading for the top corner until Nicky Weaver pawed it behind.
Exeter finally found the breakthrough courtesy of Sercombe's brilliant effort before hesitation in the Owls defence allowed Golbourne to grab the third.
Cureton's calm finish put things beyond doubt before O'Flynn's shot completed Wednesday's misery and a win which saw the Grecians within a point of the play-off spots.
Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon:
"It was a great day. I've been questioned a number of times as to why I've stayed at Exeter and today was a perfect example of why.
"We kept our tempo high and it was a really professional, good performance and I'm more than happy with they way the team have played."
Sheffield Wednesday boss Alan Irvine told BBC Radio Sheffield:
"I'm very angry, extremely disappointed and surprised. We seemed to just cave in after the second goal. The defending in the second half was appalling.
"Before today we had the second best defensive record in the league.
"I'll obviously have a look at what went on as I always do and learn lessons from it."