Grecians up against Yeovil

As City captain David Noble crashed his 25 yard shot goalwards deep into injury time, and we all realised it had somehow escaped the desperate efforts of the beleaguered defenders and finished in the Walsall goal, it really did feel that City had won their first round tie of the 2011 /12 FA cup tie, writes Gareth Hughes.

The reality, of course, was that the Grecians had saved themselves from an embarrassing exit from the competition with an unconvincing 1-1 draw.

During the opening 20 minutes City looked like they would easily take the tie against an seemingly poor Walsall team.Then, against the run of play, the Saddlers earned themselves a free kick just outside the Grecian penalty area when Troy Archibald-Henville brought down Jamie Patterson. It was in a great position and Mark Wilson’s sweet strike made it 1-0 for the away team.

Missing from the starting City 11 were Matt Oakley and Jake Taylor, who in their own ways, had played their part to the full in the run of four unbeaten games in the league, hauling the Grecians out of the bottom four. Despite having cover in depth, the whole team on Saturday could not gel and despite their hard work, too many passes went astray and promising moves fell apart. David Noble, the hero at the end of the game, was unintentionally saving his best to the very last, and, as playmaker, was off form and unable to improve City fortunes. Frustratingly there were chances for City to win the game, and the Walsall keeper David Grof played a blinder. So, a 1-1 draw and a chance to put the wrongs right in the replay which is scheduled for Wednesday, November 23.

City manager Paul Tisdale commented after the game "It looked like one of those games where we weren't going to score. The players were so determined to win, they almost overdid things and tried too hard, but what a finish from David Noble."

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?Ahead of the FA Cup replay there is the important matter of facing up to local rivals Yeovil this Saturday at Huish Park. After poor early starts, the teams are separated by just four points, and five positions, with Yeovil in bottom place. This will be seen by Paul Tisdale and his team, as a must win game, and an opportunity to put some more space between Exeter and the dreaded relegation trapdoor. City are unbeaten in five games and Yeovil have lost four , won one, and drawn one, out of their last six home games.

?On Boxing Day, Monday, December 26, there will be a coach leaving for the away trip to Wycombe. Book your seats now by contacting Di Lee via e mail or phone (01395) 577567.

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?We are always very keen to hear from those interested in learning more about us, and hopefully joining the East Devon Grecians. Check out our website or phone 01395 515552.

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