Classic Match | Crewe Alexandra 2017

Saturday February 4th 2017 was a record-breaking afternoon at St James Park, as the Grecians thumped Crewe Alexandra to make it seven wins a row for the first time in a single league campaign, whilst David Wheeler became the first City player to score in seven consecutive matches.

City got off to the perfect start, taking the lead after seven minutes through Jordan Moore-Taylor, who latched onto Liam McAlinden’s nod-down to net his first goal of the season from close range

Ollie Watkins then had a great chance to make it 2-0 as the Crewe defence gifted him possession and he took the ball around John Guthrie, only for Ben Garratt to make a solid save to deny the soon-to-be EFL Young Player of the Year.

City were then dealt an injury blow on the half-hour mark, as Watkins was forced off with an ankle complaint, and his early exit seemed to give Crewe some impetus, leading to George Cooper slamming the crossbar with a long-range strike.

With the game in the balance at the interval, the second half started brightly for both sides, with Craig Woodman forcing an uncomfortable save from a direct free-kick, while at the other end Christy Pym had the crowd on their feet as he made a spectacular double save from Chelsea loanee, Alex Kiwomya.

Pym’s heroics at one end where then rewarded at the other, as Ryan Harley chipped a cross to the edge of the six-yard box where Wheeler planted a header into the net to break the record set by Henry Poulter in the 1932/33 campaign.

Not content with just that, Wheeler then bagged his second of the match as he picked up a pass from Robbie Simpson on the edge of the box, and subsequently produced a tidy drilled finish to fire the ball into the bottom corner of the goal.

If City weren’t already in control of the match, they certainly were when Charlie Kirk was shown a straight red card for an uncontrolled lunging tackle on Jake Taylor. The team then made sure to make the extra man count, as Lloyd James curled a shot home from the edge of the box for his first goal in City colours.

While the 4-0 victory was as impressive as it was deserved, the record breaking feats of the afternoon made it a truly unique game in the club’s history: 12 games unbeaten for the first time since 1964; 7 league wins in a row in a single season, beating the club record first set in 1905; and the toppling of a goal-scoring record that had stood for 84 years... records, it seems, are a bit like busses/play-off finals!

Final Score: ECFC 4 Crewe 0

Exeter City: Pym; Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor (Croll, 77), Woodman; James (Grant, 82), Taylor; Wheeler, Watkins (Simpson, 30), Harley; McAlinden. Subs not used: Olejnik, Tillson, Sweeney, Oakley.

Crewe Alexandra: Garratt; Turton, Guthrie, Ray (Bakayogo, 11), Nugent; Jones, Cooper, Hollands (Kirk, 75), Cooke; Bowery, Kiwomya (Dagnall, 67). Subs not used: Richards, Wintle, Ng, Ainley.

Attendance: 4,534

Man of the Match: David Wheeler

Written by: Will Barrett


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