Thursday, March 14, 2013
Following the disappointment of the 2-0 defeat at the home of a resurgent Bristol Rovers in last week’s midweek game, last Saturday Paul Tisdale and his team were once again on their travels, this time to Fleetwood Town, writes Gareth Hughes.
With Fleetwood in recent times having only scored one goal in 500 minutes of football, and with the City’s superb away record, this was a tough one to predict, and, to some extent, the 0-0 draw was inevitable!
The good news from the game was that Fleetwood’s goal drought continued, and, despite the Cod army’s best efforts, the Grecians held them at bay.
With a bit more luck in the final minutes Exeter could have snatched another valuable away win when City captain Danny Coles blazed over the bar, and both Jamie Cureton and John O’Flynn both saw efforts cleared off the line.
Overall, the home side enjoyed plenty of possession whilst City’s defence was solid and limited their opportunities.
For the Grecians, Paul Tisdale commented: “We had to work incredibly hard for the point. I thought we were determined, very focussed, very motivated and they did what I asked them to do. It’s hard to fault them really.
All in all it’s a good result and it keeps that gap between us and Fleetwood. It keeps us where we want to be. We picked up in the last five minutes and I don’t know how we didn’t manage to score in the end.”
On Tuesday evening it was the turn of Gillingham Town, the leaders of League Two by a clear five points, to make a return visit to Devon after they won at struggling Plymouth 2-1 last weekend.
In the reverse fixture earlier in the season City won at Gillingham 3-2. This game was always going to be a real test for the Grecians and it was one they passed with much aplomb and the game was a real treat for the 3,600 fans.
The 0-0 result did not tell the real story in which City dominated possession and as local supporter Graham Davies commented after the game: “It was the best I have seen all season, we played some great football and everyone played their part to the full.”
After the first ten minutes in which Gillingham threatened and forced four corners it was Tisdale’s men who bossed the rest of the game yet unfortunately for Jamie Cureton, who had chances to score, it was not to be his evening.
Overall great entertainment, a valuable point and City showing the promise of more to come.
The Grecians remain seventh in the league table, just four points off the automatic promotion place, and, with a five-point gap between them and eighth-placed Fleetwood.
This Saturday St James Park welcome Bradford City who also make the second journey to Devon in five days. Currently in 11th place in the league, Bradford were the visitors on Tuesday to Plymouth Argyle a game which also finished with a 0-0- draw.
Expectations will be high on Saturday and as the games remaining come and go, this is one that City need to bag all three points. If they can repeat Tuesday’s performance the odds are stacked toward a win - Come on you Reds!