Exeter City all set for the Devon derby and the visit of Plymouth Argyle
East Devon Grecians - all the latest on the fortunes of Exeter City.
Last Saturday the Exeter City players served up another mighty away win at the home of Rochdale Town, winning the game 3-2 a result that nicely moved the Grecians into the playoff zone, writes Gareth Hughes.
With seven away wins out of the 11 played to date, this sequence is matched only by that of Gillingham the League Two leaders.
Hopefully this tasty pre Christmas result is just the sampler ahead of a festive feast of football for Grecian supporters. This Saturday there is the home game against Plymouth, with the following week another derby game at Torquay before the Boxing Day home game with Oxford United.
Amongst the meagre attendance of 1796 up at Rochdale was local fan Ian Emerson who was delighted with the team’s performance rewarding his efforts for the long journey.
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City, who were relegated alongside Rochdale last season, arrived at Spotland on the same number of points of the Dale with just one goal the difference between the sides. Despite the absence of two key players in the shape of Scott Bennett and Tommy Doherty, Exeter raced to a 3-0 lead by half-time.
First on the score sheet was City defender Pat Baldwin who got on the end of a free-kick which was flicked on into his path inside the area to give him his fourth career goal in 298 appearances which later caused City boss Paul Tisdale to say: “Pat Baldwin is lethal from a yard out!”
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Two minutes later Rochdale were stunned when Jamie Cureton broke from the half way line, picked out John O’Flynn inside the area, who slotted it into the back of the net. Exeter’s third came seven minutes before half time, when the Grecians were able to play a long ball in on goal, which was missed by the Rochdale keeper, leaving it again for John O’Flynn to tap his second of the game it into an empty net.
Leaving the pitch 3-0 down at half time Rochdale fans will have been bitterly disappointed and that they had nothing to show for their efforts. Ian picked out City players Artur Krysiak for his confident and dominating performance in the first half alongside the returning Craig Woodman for his improved contribution and also Matt Oakley who, up to the is point of the season, had not shown his true form and influence that fans appreciate him for.
Jimmy Keohane also more than made up for the absentees Bennett and Doherty. So 3-0 up and with 45 minutes to go. Unsurprisingly Rochdale made changes and their hopes of a comeback started in the 65th minute with a goal from loanee Terry Gornell with a deflection off Matt Oakley beating Krysiak.
Their second goal game in the 90th minute from the same player who was then sent off after four minutes of stoppage time for kicking out at City player Kevin Amankwaah.
With Rochdale’s four yellow cards, the sending off, their 31 shots with 18 on target this was a great game and Paul Tisdale summed the action up saying: “I’m glad we got the third goal because it was always going to be a different second half. We knew that they would respond. It was a frantic finish. It’s impossible at three up, no matter what people say, to go and play with as much freedom in the second half.”
This Saturday it’s a 12 pm kick off at St James Park with local rivals Plymouth Argyle being the visitors. Home form has been a worry and with this game in mind their will never be a better time to improve on the record to date. Come on you Reds!