Thursday, February 27, 2014
After last Saturdays home defeat to promotion chasers Rochdale, City’s Tuesdays home game was another chance for Exeter to redeem themselves and bag their first win on home soil since an almost unbelievable, October 5, writes Gareth Thomas.
The visitors were Wycombe, who last Saturday contrived to beat league leaders Chesterfield 1-0, and earn themselves a morale boost, and three confidence boosting points. Unfortunately, and sadly the word ‘unfortunately’ does not tell the story, but Exeter’s tale of woe continues. With just one point out of a possible nine, from three successive home games in just eight days City appear to have crumbled.
On Tuesday Exeter’s started reasonably brightly and Paul Tisdale made changes to the team, giving the almost forgotten centre forward Sam Parkin a start. City had chances and Parkyn amongst them rose above the defenders to head over the bar. The talking point of the half though was a wonder effort from Wycombe’s Max Kretzschmar. It was either a shot, a lob or a chip from around 30-yards, but it beat City’s young keeper who was just a couple of yards off his line. From then on it was a real tale of woe, and more woe.
Whatever the players, the team, the manager did to try and carve a out a result, it did not come off. There is no doubt, as they did last Saturday they gave their all, but their efforts this time were all wrapped up in chronic anxiety, which led to lack of composure and focus, and at its basic team level, this was a collective failure.
After the previous Rochdale game the manager quite rightly said: “We were beaten by a very good team today. I haven’t seen a better team in our league than Rochdale.” City again fielded their young players again including goal keeper Christy Pym whose performance earned him the man of the Match award.
City missed a couple of golden opportunities which went begging in the first half. Grecians paid the price when Rochdale scored a minute before half time. Exeter made a good attempt at a fight back and at times laying siege to the Dale’s penalty area. Such though was the overall quality of Rochdale they weathered the storm, finding opportunities with good counter attacks but City despite valiant efforts did not have enough to overcome the promotion hopefuls who left the Park with a win and a clean sheet.
This Saturday the Grecians travel to Bootham Crescent, the home of York Town who last Saturday drew with playoff hopefuls Southend after failing to score for their fourth consecutive home game.
City are just seven points off the relegation places and six of the teams below them are within two points of Exeter’s 39 points.
After the Wycombe game a very much subdued Paul Tisdale said: “We have to carry on-we have got to find a way.”
Next Tuesday (March 4), Exeter City’s Under-21 team compete for a semi final place in the Premier League Cup which will be against the Under-21 team of Premiership Club Manchester City. Kickoff is 7pm when City will be playing Championship side Burnley. To date the Grecian young guns have seen off Crystal Palace, Southampton and Blackburn Rovers. Come on you Reds!