Match 27
17 January 2009.
Bury (h)

Exeter 0 Bury 0. 

League 2.

Saturday 17 January 2009.

Louise Thornely reports from St James Park. 

Exeter City returned to home soil for the first time in 2009, after the recent postponements due to very cold weather. It was good to be back on home turf after the recent defeats away to Notts County and previously home to BrentfordCity would be keen to return to winning ways to try and regain a place back in the play off positions.

The Grecians lined up with an unchanged back five of Paul Jones, Steve Tully Dan Seaborne, Rob Edwards and Dean Moxey Matt Gill, Ryan Harley, Manny Panther and Neil Saunders continued in the middle with the injured Marcus Stewart making way, so Richard Logan could join Adam Stansfield up front.

Bury started the game the much brighter of the two sides, forcing Jones to smother an early attack from BishopWithin in the first few minutes Bury had forced a six corners in six minutes to put City under a lot of early pressure Jones proved to be more than capable of dealing with the numerous attacks from the lively Shakers. City appeared to be quite unsettled and weak in their approach to make any kind of threat to the visitorswho currently sit in a play off place. Saunders attempts on goal did little to trouble the Shakers goalkeeper and it wasn't before long that Bury were on the attack again and hearts were jumping into City's mouths, but only briefly as the ball bounced off the crossbar, much to the relief of the red and white side of the Park! City's attacks in the first half were few and far betweenThe only goal scorer at the previous encounter between the two sides, Logan, saw his effort coast over the bar, but the referees assistant had already signalled for offsideHarley also saw his chance glide wide of the target Andy Bishop continued to pose a threat and kept Jones on his toes and Bury won several more comers before the break Panther's thunderous effort forced Bury keeper into making a good savemuch to the frustration of the home side. So it finished all square at half time and you could really count your blessings that it was a stalemate. It was in no small part thanks to an assured first half from Jones who has started to consistently excel. No changes were made when the teams came back out for the second half and City looked a lot more focused. A throw in from Stansfield to Gill, who then headed the ball down back to Stansfield who cut inside in the box, but the flag was raised for offside. City continued to pose more of a threat, but it was locking increasingly likely that the ball was not going to find the back of the net. Harley had one of the best chances of the game as he ended up with acres of space and with only the keeper to beat, his effort sailed over the bar. You could almost see the frustration mounting as the crowd were doing their best to will the ball in the back of the net, as City pressed and pressed for the opening goalStansfield also had a one on one opportunity but the goalkeeper managed to get enough on it to prevent the opening With 20 minutes to go Stansfield was replaced by Craig McAllister, who has been on a goal scoring roll of late having netted a hat trick in a recent reserves gameThe crowd met the change positively, but unfortunately Macca was unable to keep up his recent goal scoring momentum and he saw weak shot safely gathered by Tyler. More opportunities came and went for CityHarley, McAllister and even Seabome with a header, but it wasn't meant to bel There was an air of surprise amongst the crowd when the man of the match was announced as Harley, since many felt Jones had done more than enough to secure the award as not only had he kept a clean sheet the saves he made were second to none. A quite healthy crowd of 4,158 saw a hard fought draw between two sides well with within a play of place or better. Some will feel pleased with a point, some will feel frustrated that we didn't take the chances when presented with them, but a clean sheet was maintained and after the opening half many would not have considered that possible.

Jones was magnificent in goal, with Harley looking back to his old self. Goal scoring looks to be the current issue with City only finding the net twice in their last 4 outings.

BBC Match summary and information 

Exeter goalkeeper Paul Jones made a number of brilliant saves as the Grecians held high-flying Bury to a goalless draw. Bury were denied an early lead when Jones tipped Andy Bishop's 12-yard shot around the post. Jones was at his best to deny Bishop again from similar distance midway through the first half. Bury keeper Mark Tyler also produced a fine save when he turned away Emmanuel Panther's 20-yard effort.

Exeter: Jones, Tully, Seaborne, Edwards, Moxey, Saunders, Panther, Gill, Harley, Logan, Stansfield (McAllister 69).

Subs Not Used: Marriott, Murray, Basham, Sercombe.

Bury: Tyler, Scott, Cresswell, Futcher, Buchanan, Bennett, Dawson, Barry-Murphy, Jones, Bishop, Morrell.
Subs Not Used: Belford, Haslam, Baker, Racchi, Rouse.

Booked: Futcher.

Attendance 4,158 with 372 away fans

Referee : Rob Shoebridge (Derbyshire).



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