Exeter City now have some breathing space above the relegation places in Sky Bet League One following a superb 2-1 win at Barnsley on Saturday.

It was a second victory on the road in the space of four days for the Grecians, who also beat Bristol Rovers 1-0 in midweek, and Gary Caldwell’s men are six points and seven places clear of danger.

The three points at Barnsley was even more impressive, given that the Tykes were on an 11-match unbeaten league run at Oakwell but, as excitedly described by the Sky Sports commentators on Saturday, City were well worth their victory.

Exeter started like a team full of renewed belief, as they emerge from a rotten run leading up to Christmas, and got their first reward on 17 minutes, when the Barnsley defence struggled to clear a looping cross and Jack Aitchison, playing against his former club, took a touch before sweeping the ball into the net.

City continued to dominate their hosts and deservedly doubled their lead on the half-hour, Reece Cole curling a lovely finish beyond the home custodian.

Barnsley improved after the break and struck the bar on the hour before a late header from Mael de Givigney set up a tense finish. City held on for three superb points and a team that has turned the corner.

Caldwell told the club website: "The first half was outstanding football, right from the start of the game. We dominated possession, territory, chances, but we always want to be better and more ruthless in front of goal and make it 3, 4, 5 nil at the break.

"The first half was without doubt the best so far this season. Tactically, we asked a lot of questions of Barnsley, creating overloads and 1v1s across the pitch. The players carried out the plan to the letter. We scored two brilliant goals, could've scored more. Similar to Tuesday night in the second half, we showed different qualities which saw us through the game.”

City welcome Bristol Rovers to St James Park for the return fixture on Saturday.

Exeter City Women booked a place in the semi-finals of the FAWNL League Cup Plate with an outstanding 2-0 victory at Billericay Town, Sarah Stacey and Beth Ireland the scorers.