Having failed to take any points off Bristol Rovers last Saturday, the Tuesday night away trip to the home of struggling Barnet was going to be an important opportunity to reverse back to back Exeter City defeats, writes Gareth Hughes.

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After an abject performance last Saturday in the home defeat to local rivals Bristol Rovers by the number one keeper Artur Krysiak, it always looked like manager Paul Tisdale would give Rhys Evans the chance between the sticks. There were other changes due to injuries to Alan Gow and Scott Bennett which allowed fans’ favourite Steve Tully to start in an unfamiliar right of midfield position.

Exeter City condemned Barnet to a tenth game without a victory with the win 2-1 at the Underhill Stadium. The City goal-scoring hero Jamie Cureton increased his tally to nine in 11 starts this season. City fan David Hughes, one of the 333 Grecian fans at the game, observed that the first half was fairly even and fluid play was made difficult by a wet and greasy pitch.

The second goal was definitely a team goal, with Exeter looking dangerous going forward in the 66th minute. At the end of the move Arron Davies was allowed time to ghost forward before chipping into the path of Cureton who headed in his second of the game. A two-goal cushion should have made it comfortable for Paul Tisdale’s team but 10 minutes from time the Bees got the goal their efforts deserved with a header which Rhys Evans had no chance. With the pressure then on and with just a minute to go the Bees had a goal disallowed for offside following goal- mouth scramble.

City move forward again. After the Bristol game Paul Tisdale commented: “I see an effective team with substance who can score goals. Over the season we will have days like this, but they will only make us stronger.”

How strong City are will really be tested this weekend when Port Vale are the visitors to St James’ Park. Highflying and high scoring Port Vale will surely be a sterner test for the Grecians. It’s far too early to talk of must-win and big games, but if we did, this is surely one of them in terms if testing City’s resolve to cut out the errors that lead to giveaway goals and make the home advantage count.

Come on you Reds!

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