Only Brentford between Exeter City and Wembley!
AFTER a snow and ice enforced break, the team and their fans were champing at the bit for the local derby at Home Park against West Country rivals Plymouth Argyle last Saturday.
If this was not enough excitement, there was also the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Area Semi-Final at the home of Bristol Rovers on Tuesday.
Having recently beaten Plymouth 2-1 in the Johnstone’s Trophy, dreams of a league win at Home Park crashed as Argyle ran out 2-1 winners. It was the turn of Plymouth's green army to claim the bragging rights and, of course, the equally important three points.
In fairness it was deserved, achieved with the skills of the league one top scorer Bradley Wright Phillips, who added two goals to his tally. The victory helped Argyle stretch their unbeaten run in league Devon derbies to 13 and whilst I would not take anything away from the Plymouth performance City on the night were an under-par and illness hit team.
Plymouth put on a very determined and positive performance. City manager Paul Tisdale said: "It was a good game, played well by both teams, refereed well and I am disappointed to lose but, based on chances on goal, the win was deserved by Plymouth. It was an extremely good game of football. The referee handled the game very well and both sets of players played it in a good spirit."
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On Tuesday, another exiting game saw Exeter snatch a place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern section final on penalties. Bristol led 2-1 in the dying minutes at the Memorial Ground, only for the Grecians to grab an 89th minute equaliser taking the game to penalties. If that was not testing enough, the penalty shootout was the icing on the cake.
Harley, Jones and Nardiello all converted their spot kicks as did the first three Rovers takers. City keeper Krysiak flung himself to his right to save Anthony’s effort. Noble scored for City and Eliot Richards converted Rovers’ fifth kick, leaving Duffy with the chance to win it. The Welshman struck an excellent penalty into the furthest reaches of the corner to spark wild celebrations from all in red and white! This was City’s fourth away win in the competition and only Brentford now stand between them and a trip to Wembley!
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Sheffield Wednesday are the Exeter visitors on Saturday.