Match Report

 

Fri 02 Apr 10

It wasn't a good Friday for the U's, as Exeter inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Aidy Boothroyd's troops at St James Park.

It meant the U's have now gone seven games without a victory and will be hoping that Huddersfield don't get the win on Saturday that will relegate the U's to seventh in the table.

The home side took the lead on thirty two minutes through a clever finish from Fleetwood, a shot that was taken early and crept into the far corner past the despairing dive of Ben Williams.

And the points were made safe in the final minute, a Harley penalty giving the relegation threatened Grecians the win as the U's chased an equaliser.

The game almost didn't take place due to the heavy rain on Friday morning but the wet and heavy pitch passed an inspection ninety minutes before kick-off.

U's boss, Aidy Boothroyd made one change from the side that drew with Wycombe last weekend, with John-Joe O'Toole coming in for Steven Gillespie.

The change saw O'Toole, come in at centre midfield, David Prutton moving to right midfield and Kevin Lisbie taking Gillespie's place alongside Clive Platt up front.

The game started with the sun shining and no evidence that the game was ever in danger and it was the U's who had the better of the opening exchanges.

Kem Izzet had a shot well saved and unfortunately, it was a home defender who was first to the rebound when Jones couldn't hold the midfielder's effort.

On sixteen minutes, the U's were denied twice in the same move, as David Prutton's header was acrobatically saved and then as Ian Henderson looked certain to score from the rebound, Duffy somehow got to the ball first to clear.

Two minutes later, Phil Ifil shot narrowly wide after John White had won the ball back after a U's corner was cleared.

Midway through the first half, the U's went even closer, as David Prutton smacked the woodwork. White was fouled on the angle of the penalty area and Prutton's right foot shot cannoned off the crossbar to safety.

The U's had had the better of the opening quarter but the home side came back into the game and Magnus Okuonghae had to slide in and hook his clearance over his own bar from a dangerous cross.

The U's skipper couldn't do anything to prevent the home side going ahead on thirty two minutes though, as substitute Stuart Fleetwood scored.

A through ball found the Charlton loanee and despite Okuonghae making the ground to get goal side, a clever finish beat him and Ben Williams and rolled into the far corner.

The pressure was coming at the U's end towards the end of the half and Exeter themselves hit the crossbar from a free kick with four minutes remaining.

Harley looked set to whip the set piece into the danger area but went for goal instead and was unlucky to see his effort flick the top of the bar.

Once again, it was the U's who started better as the second half got underway and Henderson shot wide after an Ifil cross found him.

On fifty seven minutes, a Wordsworth free kick looked like it skimmed the crossbar on its way into the crowd behind the goal.

Five minutes later, Prutton drilled a low cross past everyone after a well worked corner but the U's couldn't get anyone on the end of it.

They should have been level on seventy one minutes tough, as Kevin Lisbie failed to hit the target with his header from an Izzet cross.

Wordsworth then had his header saved and with the clock ticking into the final minute, the home side made the points safe from the spot.

The U's were pushing forward in numbers but left themselves short at the back and Fleetwood found Logan in space to advance on the U's goal unchallenged.

Williams stood up to Logan and saved well but Fleetwood was on hand to pick up the rebound and keep the pressure on.

His goal bound shot was handled by Gillespie and Harley stepped up to score Exeter's second goal of the afternoon and condemn the U's to defeat.

It means that the U's go into Easter Monday's game against Millwall on the back of a run of seven matches without a win.

U's: Williams, White, Queudrue, Okuonghae, Ifil, Henderson, Izzet, O'Toole, Prutton, Lisbie, Platt.

Subs: Cousins, Batth, Bender, Fox, Vincent, Wordsworth, Gillespie.

    Data provided by Press Association

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