Thursday, May 1, 2014
‘City staying up’ was the chant at the end of the last Saturdays home game when City won 2-0 against table toppers Scunthorpe United, who themselves despite losing on the day, secured promotion to League One, writes Gareth Hughes.
In a season where Exeter’s home form left most fans distraught and confused, were in real fear of losing their Football League status, and fortunately the Grecians kept their best home performance of the campaign to the last.
This was an Exeter performance to savour, and against a team who had managed 15 consecutive away games without a loss, and were nineteen places and 31 points above the Grecians.
Under their new manager Russ Wilcox, the Iron had won 15, drawn 14 and lost none of their 29 League fixtures. In contrast Exeter had up to Saturday lost 17 of their last 29 games. Whilst the absolute reality is that whilst it has been a really tough and frustrating season for fans to endure, many still believed, and had seen enough signs that somewhere within the mix of players, and systems played, that this was for whatever reasons a team that despite underperforming, showed more promise than the results posted week in week out.
On the pitch this time though, City were as great on this occasion as they had been as bad the previous Monday against Torquay.
City were lively from the off, retained and enjoyed possession, moved the ball around at will, finding the spaces, and put pressure on Scunthorpe who had really nothing to show for the first half efforts.
The talk off the first half was City’s opener, his first goal scored for City in 89 appearances, scored by full back Craig Woodman. It came just before half-time from a Grecian free kick when the ball was cleverly passed to Woodman who from distance smashed it right into the top corner of the goal leaving their keeper grasping at nothing. Exeter’s second fine goal was forged from a Jimmy Keohane break from midfield with a 20-yard run through the Scunthorpe midfield and defence, and poking the ball into the net under their flailing keeper. A super and well deserved all round victory.
A City name to watch out for is 18-year-old Matt Grimes, who after the game, was awarded City Player of the year, and is tipped as a star in the making. Grimes has made 36 appearances for Exeter this season in his breakthrough campaign in the first team, and his performances have caught the attention of a number of Premier League and Championship clubs. Another winner this week are East Devon Grecians a local supporters Group, formed in Sidmouth in 2006 was named by Exeter City, as ‘Supporters Group of the Season winners’ Check out our website for all the details; www.eastdevongrecians.com.
On Saturday it’s the final game of the season with an away trip to Hartlepool United. With the pressure off it will be interesting to see how City fair. Certainly based on last week’s performance another and final win could easily be on the cards. Come on you Reds!