Match 11
4 October 2008.
Gillingham (h)

The Moxey Match Report 

Saturday 4th October 2008 

Exeter City 3 Gillingham 0

So on a bleak and blustery afternoon, City stroll to an easy 3-0 victory over a poor looking Gillingham side in front of a hugely impressive 4,819 crowd.

After a few experiments with formations recently, City  reverted to their favoured 4-3-3 for today's gameIt took only six minutes for it to pay dividends as with their first attack of the game they took the lead. Matthew Gill sent Marcus Stewart scampering down the left towards the byline where he clipped a perfect cross to the far postThere it was met by Richard Logan who expertly nodded the ball downwards from about four yards out to give City a 1-0 lead in the easiest of fashions.

For the next twenty minutes or so goalmouth action was at a premium, except for a sharp Paul Jones save low to his right, as City enjoyed huge spells of possession playing those neat little triangles that everyone loves to watch. Gillingham hardly had a look in, and when they did there was no way past a solid City defence.

On the half hour City looked to extend their lead when Stansfield robbed a dawdling defender on the goal line near to the comer flag before playing the ball back to Stewart a couple of yards behind himAgain he sent over a teriffic hanging cross, however this time

Logan was crowded out at the far post and the ball was cleared harmlessly for a comer. But City pressed onand the longer the half went on the more it looked as though City would extend their lead rather than Gillingham equalise, and so it was in the 40th minute that the inevitable second goal came

Stewart did superbly recovring the ball from his own powerful tackle down the left, and slid the ball into Adam Stansfield stationed centrally six yards out with his back to goalHis tumn and shot was parried straight back to him, and weighing up his options guided the ball back towards the edge of the area where Ryan Harley forced a low drive to the keeper's right The keeper once again parried, but this time Stansfield had the goal at his mercy and rolled the ball into an empty net from five yards out.

It was no less than City deserved and two minutes later underlined their superiority by making the game safe with a third.A Gills defender played the most horrific ball back into the middle from the Old Granstand touchline straight to Stansfield on the edge of the centre circle. Quick as a flash, actually, I think Stansfield is marginally quicker than a flash, he burst forward through the heart of the Gills defence shrugging off tackles-both legal and illegal-effortlessly before reaching the edge of the box and poking the ball left footed low to the keeper's left into the bottom comer of the net with authority to seal the victory.

The second half couldn't live up to the pace and energy of the first, but with the game over City were content to play it out without conceding, getting needless bookings or any injury scares. Unfortunately it was two out of three for Stewart, subbed in the 25th minute and immediately putting an ice pack on his leg after getting something of a battering for most of the game, with Jack Obersteller taking his place. On the half hour Harley's swinging free kick was met full on by Matt Taylor amidst a crowd of players with a diving header that flew narrowly wide, and from the goal kick Gillingham took the ball up the other end where Dean Moxey was rounded outside and the attacker poked a 15 yarder onto the base of the post.

Logan and Harley were given a rest to be replaced by Liam Sercombe and Bertie Cozic respectively as the game drew to a close, but it didn't stop Gill trying an audacious 40 yard chip that not only cleared the bar but almost the Big Bank too as he looked to score for the fifth game running The final action came with a minute or two remaining when Cozic robbed a Gills midfielder in the centre circle before sending Sercombe charging through the middle on a mazy run. Unfortunately his finish could quite match the run and his curling 20 yarder was easily plucked from the top corner by a relieved Gills goalkeeper.

So seven goals in two games ain't a bad return is it, and five of those from our strikers. At the moment Stansfield is on fire with four in the last two. But today his game was about so much more than just putting the ball in the net -chasing defenders and keepers in the 88th minute so as not to give them an easy out ball when the game is long since won shows why he was deservedly man of the match today in what was one of his best performances for a while now.

But it's never all about one man in Paul Tisdale's teams-it's a collective effort. At the back Jones could have sat there drinking ten and reading the paper for all the work he had to do. One save apart it wasn't even regulation stuff, but nonetheless everything he did do he did with confidence and ease.

That, in no little part, came from the excellent work of the four in front of him, Matt Taylor especially. Every time a Gills player looked like breaking through, it was Taylor who snuffed out the chance. On the flanks both Deano and Steve Tully got forward as much as possible..

In midfield the flair and guile of Gill and Harley are backed up by the no nonsense strength and determination of Rob Edwards. Gill played a more supportive role today snuffi ng out the opposition midfield, and thus it was a bit of a shame he couldn't get his goal, but already mentioned it's a team game, and his contribution will be greatly appreciated by his team mates

One who will also be appreciated will be StewartSublime on the ball and effortlessly finding space off it, he had a superb game up front setting up two of the goals. The forwards day was complete with Stansfield's double strike, the second goal especially showing him at his very best, and Logan's first of the season. 

Exeter: Jones, Tully, Seaborne, Taylor, Moxey, Harley (Cozic 68), Edwards, Gill, Logan (Sercombe 81), Stewart (Obersteller 66), Stansfield.

Subs Not Used: Marriott, Watson.

Booked: Stewart.

Goals: Logan 7, Stansfield 39, 43.

Gillingham: Royce, Fuller, King, Richards, Nutter, Bentley (Pugh 85), Crofts, Weston (Lewis 84), Jarrett, Jackson, Barcham.
Subs Not Used: Julian, Wynter, Mills.

Booked: Weston, Lewis.

Attendance 4,819 with 407 away fans

Ref: Iain Williamson (Berkshire).


Paul F



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