Tisdale tries to plug striker gaps

Premiership side Liverpool FC are coming to Exeter to face the Grecians in the 2nd round of the Carling Cup, the game being scheduled for Wednesday, August 24, writes Gareth Hughes.

If that was not enough excitement, the footballing gods have also paired Exeter and local rivals Plymouth Argyle together in the first round draw of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. Only a couple of weeks into the season and City are already making the news for the right reasons.

The not so good news, is that Paul Tisdale’s striker problems have not eased, with his four senior strikers, Logan, Nardiello, O’Flynn and summer signing, Spanish, Guillem Bauza were all unable to play last weekend when MK Dons came to the Park for City’s first home game of the season. On loan striker Nicholas Bignall, from Reading and teenager Tom Nichols were the only recognised front men and, on the day, Exeter despite all their efforts, succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. Notwithstanding the result, the Grecians played plenty of good football in the opening 45 minutes and Nicholas Bignall missed their best chance on the stroke of half-time. He headed wide from six yards with the goal at his mercy after some terrific play by Liam Sercombe down the right wing.

Jabo Ibehre gave the Dons the lead midway through the first half when he capitalised on some sloppy Exeter defending to lash home a loose ball from 12 yards. Exeter battled on, looking for that elusive goal and enjoyed long spells of possession in the second half, but there was no end product and, in the last minute, Dean Bowditch beat Exeter's offside trap to run through and slip the ball under the goalkeeper. MK Dons’ manager, Karl Robinson, commented after the game: “They're good, you have to give Exeter credit today. Maybe if they'd had a recognised goal scorer they would have got something out of that game.” City manager Paul Tisdale was equally philosophical with: "No excuses for the result and no real issues with the game either. The players worked very hard and we just have to pick ourselves up. The way we were set up today, to break them down, with the lack of firepower we had, it was always going to be difficult."

?On Tuesday night it was another home game with visitors Brentford FC. The Bees have had early mixed results, having lost to League 2 side Hereford, exiting the Carling Cup, and losing to Sheffield Utd last weekend. Like Exeter, they have beaten Yeovil Town 2-0. Well, in terms of results, it was more bad news as City lost the game 2-1. The Bees opened the scoring when Jonathan Douglas thumped a free-kick goalwards and it took a wicked deflection off James Dunne to leave Exeter goalkeeper, Artur Krysiak, stranded. They doubled the lead after 37 minutes when Niall McGinn crossed from the right and Clayton Donaldson was left with a simple header from six yards for his first Bees’ goal. Exeter pulled one back in the second half and dominated territory for long stages.

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This Saturday, it’s an away trip to Preston, who have won, drawn and lost out of their three games to date.

?Next Wednesday, it will be the Liverpool game .All will remember the Manchester Utd story! Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale, however, is keen to make sure his players do not get distracted "I'm very aware that I've got to make sure the team is prepared for the next two league games. We'll do ourselves proud and I hope we give our supporters something to cheer on the night."It's a fantastic draw and it's a fantastic opportunity to see one of the country's best teams play down here at St James Park and I think we'll do ourselves justice," Tisdale added. Got your tickets yet? Never been a better time to be a Grecian –an East Devon Grecian!

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Anyone interested in following City on their travels we have a coach leaving Sidmouth for a selection of away games. For more details please contact Di Lee on 01395 577567. 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 http://www.eastdevongrecians.com/ or phone 01395 515552.

The next home games are Tuesday 24th August when the mighty red and whites of Exeter play host to the mighty reds of Liverpool- ko 7.45 pm! On Saturday 27th August, the East Devon Grecians are City’s Match Day sponsors for the visit of Chesterfield ko 3 pm and on Tuesday 30th, Plymouth Argyle are the visitors.

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