Three match thriller for City fans

Joseph Bulmer

Last week, City fans quite rightly took plenty of time and pleasure in celebrating their team’s tremendous 2-0 away win at Notts County which ended a poor three- game run, writes Gareth Hughes.

The win gave back some hope as the team faced a further two games on the road before they returned to St James Park. Time would tell if this was the first green shoot of recovery for the Grecians as the next game was again away at another of the big clubs, Charlton Athletic, who are one of the fancied clubs in the promotion zone.

Charlton 1 Exeter City 3! What a result. That's two back-to-back away wins and a double over the London club with over 23,000 of their fans enticed to the valley with a cut price ticket offer of �5. There is no doubt that, even though this result would have caused a shock in the capital, it was richly deserved as Liam Sercombe, John O'Flynn and Ryan Harley, from the penalty spot, netted three second-half goals.

Bradley Wright-Phillips, previously from stricken Plymouth, then netted a fourth goal in five games for his new club but it was too little, too late for the Addicks.

Exeter manager Paul Tisdale was proud of his players' performance "As an away performance, I suppose that is the way to do it," said Tisdale. "If you score too early, it changes the tone of the game and you sort of draw yourself into defending for too long. But, because we kept it very tight, the game got more and more open. It suited us and, by the end of the game, I think we were playing extremely well. There were two or three half chances which Charlton created in our penalty box in the first half which we had to block, so we had to do that part of the game as well. The surface was fantastic, despite the wet weather, and it was a dream to play on. I think we did the surface justice because we passed the ball really well when we had the chance to. I'm very proud of the team's performance and we got a deserved result. I'm really pleased."

The win placed City in 13th place with 41 points and facing another very tough away match on Tuesday, at Brunton Park the home of Carlisle United. The Cumbrians are locked with City in mid table and only goal difference separating the two.

Although City went into the game having already beaten Carlisle at St James Park, 2-1 with two goals from Richard Logan, the prize of both a another double, and the opportunity to win their third game on the road made for an irresistible encounter which lived up to expectations. The final score of 2-2 reflected a close game and brought City's total of away points to seven out of a possible nine in their last three matches.

Two goals from Ryan Harley in the 13th and 27th minutes earned the point after City succumbed to an early ninth minute strike from Carlisle's Curren and then a killer equaliser in the first half allocated injury time.

The four-goal thriller of the first half bought an end to the goals and chances for both sides in the second half went begging. Another great result on the road and, fingers crossed, that the winning ways will be played out on our own turf this weekend.

This Saturday it's back home, and a welcome to the Park for Hartlepool United. Just below City in the league, recent results have included a very creditable draw against Southampton and victories over Charlton and Colchester. Clearly, there are no easy games for the Grecians and let's hope there is a treat for the home fans!

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