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20:27 25th November 2009

Stockport County 1 Exeter City 3

Two late, late goals saw City leave Edgeley Park with a hard fought 3-1 victory. The win saw their unbeaten run extended to five and moved them to fifteenth in the League One table. Stansfield and Logan, both on as second half substitutes, delivered the killer blows after Harley in the first half and Michael Rose in the second had lightened up a wind and rain lashed afternoon with two stunning free kicks. Tisdale made no changes to the starting line up as he sought a similar performance given at Colchester 7 days ago. The omens looked good as early as the second minute when Fleetwood found himself free 8 yards out but could only weakly head straight at Fon Williams in the home goal. The first half was largely played in the Stockport half as City played controlled possession football. Corr shot wide on 8 minutes before Taylor's header, from City's first corner, was bundled behind at the far post. Marriott's first real action came beyond the quarter hour mark as he dealt with a skidding effort. His handling in the conditions was to prove sound all afternoon. The middle period of the half was scrappy as both sides failed to seize any initiative but it was City who were eventually to carve out chances. Harley shot wide, Corr's header suffered a similar fate before a neat turn on the edge of the area by Fleetwood allowed him to curl an effort just past the upright. Stockport's best moment of the half saw them break down the left on 35 minutes but Thompson couldn't direct his header on target and the danger ended. As City continued to have territorial advantage Fleetwood was fouled 25 yards out. Harley and Russell lined up behind the ball, just left of centre, and the former delivered a delicious, dipping effort over the wall and into the net. Just as good as his effort last saturday, it gave City the advantage their play deserved but the feeling in the crowd was that a 2 goal lead would ease any nervousness and set City for the second 45. But before half-time it was nearly one all. Thompson beat the offside trap and as the ball bounced towards the penalty area he struck a stinging volley towards goal. Marriott, advancing, flung himself low to his right and with a strong hand superbly tipped the ball away for a corner. As Stockport ended the half on the attack Marriott was again secure as he held a 30 yard effort. It was as you were, personnel wise for the second half, but the game was to take on a different complexion. Much as City had been the dominant force before half-time, so Stockport were to be more threatening for large parts of the second. The first 3 minutes had looked promising for City though. Corr had threatened after nicking the ball back straight from the kick off and Fleetwood's delicate chip sailed just over after he'd got in behind the defence from Marriott's huge clearance. Almost immediately Stockport nearly equalised. City failed to clear deep in their penalty area and as the ball broke a shot played across Marriott was only kept out by the post. As City sat back, and Stockport gained more possession and began to win the midfield battle Marriott, Taylor and Seaborne had to be strong to repel the attacks. City's next real effort on goal came on the hour mark as Stewart's header from 10 yards was well saved. A flurry of substitutions quickly followed. Stockport brought on top scorer Baker, Stansfield replaced Corr who'd played well and linked nicely at times with Fleetwood and Stewart, For the final 15 minutes. As Stockport continued to press Archibald-Henville replaced Fleetwood as Tisdale reverted to a solid 4-1-4-1 to attempt to see the game out. The tactic worked to a point but City were scared as a mini penalty area scramble resulted in Marriott dropping on the ball in the 6 yard box. Then, with 9 minutes left Stockport took their chance. A rash challenge by Cozic 30 yards out in the left channel saw him receive a booking. Up stepped Rose to lash a fierce effort left footed that curled away from Marriott and into the far top corner. Tisdale had one last trick up his sleeve though. With 5 minutes to go he sent on Logan for Stewart and switched to 4-4-2, City's third formation of the game highlighting their versatility. The message was clear. He felt we could win and wanted to take the remainder of the game to the home side. But it so nearly wasn't to happen as Stockport centre half, Raynes, found himself alone and clear 6 yards out but fluffed his header to the relief of the City following. And then the grandstand finish. Harley broke from his own half with Logan ahead and Stansfield breaking to his right. Logan's run took two defenders away and left Stansfield space through the middle. Harley's pass meant he didn't have to break stride as he held off a defender and lashed a left foot shot low into the corner past Fon Williams.  Stockport player's couldn't quite believe the blow they'd received and as added time ticked on Stansfield again found himself in the penalty area with the keeper to beat. This time though, from a tighter angle, he unselfishly squared into the 6 yard box where an unmarked Logan shot high into the net to complete the win. Maybe the ending was a little harsh on the home side but the celebrations by City at the final whistle showed what it meant to them. The difference had been they had taken their key chances, where the home side hadn't. Praise must also go to Tisdale for the late tactical switch that allowed that to happen. So confidence should be high as City welcome Millwall to St James Park on Tuesday, our only home game of the month, before heading off to MK for the second round of the FA Cup. The game on Tuesday sees the return of Gary Alexander, the reason the fledgling Trust was established so adds interest in addition to seeing if City can stretch an unbeaten home record dating back to late August. Recent results should ensure a decent turn out so see you there. City: Marriott, Tully, Taylor, Seaborne, Golbourne, Harley, Cozic, Russell, Stewart (Logan 85), Corr (Stansfield 68), Fleetwood (Archibald-Henville 75) Unused subs: Jansson, Duffy, Sercombe, Dunne CLICK HERE TO SEE THE EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS FROM YESTERDAY The majority of our match reports are the views of our volunteer writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Exeter City Football Club.
    Data provided by Press Association