Thursday, April 24, 2014
With a mixed bag of results over the Easter break its fitting that we should start with some good news, writes Gareth Hughes.
Firstly, news from the Club, which announced that another three home-grown youngsters have been handed professional contracts following the completion of their apprenticeships.
These were Ollie Watkins, Connor Riley-Lowe and Jason Pope. On top of this good news, City’s Under-18 side were recently named as champions of the Youth Alliance South West division. A 5-1 demolition of Newport County AFC in South Wales was enough to secure the youngsters the title, pipping Bristol Rovers on goal-difference.
On the pitch over the Easter period City firstly served up a great performance away at third placed Chesterfield securing an important point with a 1-1 draw. Secondly, the much anticipated home game against Torquay was a massive disappointment ending in a 2-1 defeat.
A City win would have unfortunately ended the Gulls time in the Football League but secured City’s position.
Ahead of Friday’s game there was sixteen places and 26 points separating Chesterfield from Exeter, yet Chesterfield went behind. The Grecians looked dangerous from the start and went ahead when 18-year-old Matt Grimes scored his first senior goal after 18 minutes from a set piece free-kick 25-yards out. After 75 minutes Chesterfield were down to 10 men after a bad tackle on Matt Grimes, but the Spireites unfortunately levelled the game after a soft and contested penalty was awarded. Despite all their efforts and dominance City couldn’t net a winning goal and had to settle for the point.
The local derby on Monday was always going to be tricky one.
City needed the three points against a side all but relegated. City struck first, netting after 15 minutes, but then succumbed to two Torquay goals in a four second half minutes.
City were nervy throughout in what was a scrappy game with the team out of sorts and it was as bad as City had been good, at Chesterfield on Friday. After the game Paul Tisdale said: “It hurts and I am upset and disappointed, but I have to make sure that we keep our focus and our togetherness for the next two games. This weekend has been symptomatic of our form, our play, our season, and our team. We went to Chesterfield on Friday and we looked like a promotion team and we should have won the game, albeit we couldn’t put the ball in the net. And then today, we have struggled at home.
This Saturday the final home game of the season sees City welcome Scunthorpe to St James Park. The following Saturday is Exeter’s final game of the season away to Hartlepool. Scunthorpe currently head up the League Two table with 80 points and last weekend beat play-off hopefuls Oxford 1-0.
A win will secure City’s place in the Football league for next season. No one can deny that this has been a Grecian topsy-turvy season and one that has been hard to fathom. What is a certainty though is that this Saturday the place to be is supporting the Grecians and willing them to a victory.
See you down at the Park-Come on you Reds!