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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
13:39 25th October 2009

Exeter City 1 Wycombe Wanderers 1

So on a beautifully sunny day tempered by a howling wind blowing into the Big Bank, City and Wycombe share the spoils 1-1 in front of an ultimately frustrated - or perhaps relieved - 5227 supporters. City lined up: Marriott; Golbourne, Edwards, Taylor, Tully; Dunne, Russell, Cozic, Stewart; Stansfield, Fleetwood.
As both teams struggled to cope with the weather conditions, goalmouth chances were at something of a premium during the opening exchanges. It was, however, City who had the first real effort. Stansfield chased a long ball towards the corner of the box as the keeper came rushing out, both jumped and inches outside the box the keeper clattered Stans righteously.
With the crowd baying for a red card, the ref sensibly issued a mere yellow. Russell stepped up and struck the ball sweetly enough, but put just a little too much curl on it pulling it wide of the base of the near post by the smallest of margins.
It was a while before the next action of note as both midfields cancelled each other out and both forward lines were definitely second best to the defences, but it was City once again who lifted their supporters when on 35 minutes Fleetwood mugged a dawdling defender and scampered goalwards weaving past a number of opponents.
His progress was ended on the edge of the box with Wycombe immediately launching a break of their own culminating in a ferocious drive to the far top corner that Marriott spectacularly tipped onto the Bank for a corner.
Stansfield and Fleetwood then combined to send Stans scurrying down the left touch line, but his whipped in cross was pulled back marginally too far and evaded the rushing Fleetwood and Cozic on the edge of the six yard box.
Then the breakthrough came with five minutes of the half remaining. A Wycombe forward burst into the box down the left when Taylor went across to close him down. Unfortunately the attacker was far too quick and Taylor far too slow and in an instant he was sent sprawling giving the ref no option but to point to the spot for probably the easiest penalty he'll award all season.
Up stepped giant frontman Matt Harrold to smash the ball high to Marriott's left, and although Marriott got fingertips to it, it was just hit far too well for Marriott to save and so the teams went in at half time with Wycombe leading 1-0.
At the start of the second half, as with the first, it was City who emerged brightest. With less than ten minutes expired Russell fed the ball out to Dunne on the left. He advanced forward and cut in onto his right foot and from a yard outside the corner of the box let fly with a vicious drive that deflected inches wide of the far post.
From the resulting corner the ball was pinged about before being pinged back in from 20 yards. In one delicious movement, Stewart swivelled and crashed a stunning waist-height volley toward goal that the keeper somehow turned over the bar from eight yards out.
City continued to dominate and after good work around the box the ball fell to Cozic who smashed a powerful drive narrowly wide of the angle of post and bar from miles out. It was then time to introduce Logan at the expense of the hard working Stansfield as City looked to up the ante in search of an equaliser.
Two minutes later it almost arrived in the most unique fashion - it's not often you see a 20 yard header go in, but Stewart nearly managed it diving to almost convert a booming Golbourne ball in from deep.
Poppy Appeal Launched.
The Devon Poppy Appeal Was Launched At Half-Time
On 15 minutes Logie, Stewart and Fleetwood fashioned a chance for Fleetwood, but the keeper remained alert and expertly pounced on Fleets' close range poke. A couple of minutes later Corr replaced Fleetwood and a couple of minutes after that found himself heavily involved knocking down Edwards' hoisted ball from the left for fellow sub Logie to stab at the keeper under heavy pressure from a defender.
Soon after that Saunders replaced Russell and for the remainder of the half - bar a spectacular Golbourne drive from distance that missed by inches - the game deteriorated somewhat as both teams decided to try and outdo each other in the misplaced pass and lack of getting in a meaningful tackle stakes. I think City were winning it slightly when out of the blue they grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and made a proper effort at equalising just as the fourth official signalled four minutes of stoppage time.
A floated Golbourne free kick was bullet headed towards the roof of the net - from whom I couldn't see, it could have been anyone form half a dozen players - and tipped over for a corner. This was swung in from the left and it was Corr who was on hand to butt home from close range to lift the roof off three sides of the ground. The only three sides to have roofs mind you, but hey, we were too busy celebrating to consider such trivialities!
It wasn't finished there though, as in the 92 minute Saunders and Dunne exchanged passes before Saunders burst into the box only to find himself sent unceremoniously crashing to the turf in what seemed like a very strong case for a penalty. The ref was having none of it though and waved play on. And play on City did, with Stewart breaking down the left before fizzing a cross across the face of goal inches too far in front of the barnstorming Corr's outstretched boot.
Blimey! What an end to what has to be said was something of a disappointing game. Disappointing in that it was a game that was there to be won, but equally frustrating in that neither side seemed able to up their games sufficient to find a winner. I know I've already mentioned the weather, but it really must be so difficult to play anything like decent football when you have gale force winds racing down the pitch, and with both teams struggling at the wrong end of the table at the moment it was always unlikely that a classic was on the cards.
But both teams tried to overcome the elements and their own form and battled valiantly throughout. Credit must go to Marriott who had a fine game in goal, one save in the first half in particular standing out. Both full backs did well too, and it wasn't an undeserving award to name Golbourne as man of the match. In midfield Dunne looked impressive and Russell and Cozic gave typical bite. With Harley absent with a knee injury, it was left to Stewart to play the passes, but with the Wycombe defence well drilled it was a difficult task to try and provide the ammunition to keep Fleetwood and Stansfield interested.
Of the subs things picked up considerably with the introduction of Logan. It must be something of a dilemma for Tis, looking particularly snappy today sporting a gentleman farmer look, which is something of a departure from his more usual attire, as what to do with Logie - start or impact sub? Hmm, I'm glad it's his decision and not mine. Also well done to Corr too, who looked a handful and was there to poach a seemingly unlikely equaliser.
Which must feel like a win in the dressing room, and a much needed morale booster after two heavy defeats on recent travels. Hopefully the boys can carry this forward to next week, when last season's title rivals Brentford visit the Park. And that's it for three and a half weeks - FA Cup permitting - when Millwall are the next visitors, so make sure you pack the Park once again as it's a while before you get to see the lads in action again. With luck we'll have a tidy haul of points by then, starting next Saturday, so see you then, bring a friend and bring your voices too. I can't wait.
    Data provided by Press Association