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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
16:11 1th November 2010

Yeovil Town 2 Exeter City 1

Exeter City lost on the road for the sixth successive game as they were beaten in the Westcountry derby by Yeovil.

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Stafan Stam opened the scoring after just six minutes when he headed home JP Kalala's freekick. But City hit back when Ryan Harley set up former Yeovil man Adam Stansfield and his low shot found the bottom corner halfway through the first half. Ryan Mason scored from extremely close range before the break and that proved to be enough for Terry Skiverton's side

Paul Tisdale made one change from the team that beat Leeds last weekend, Troy Archibald-Henville coming in for Rob Edwards who is expected to be available for the trip to Milton Keynes next Saturday.

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On the bench Barry Corr returned after suspension while Joe Burnell replaced Craig McAllister.

The star of last week's victory was Ryan Harley and the midfielder looked to create something right from the off but his curling 20 yard effort was comfortably saved by Alex McCarthy.

But just six minutes in the home side scored with their first meaningful attack. Matt Taylor conceded a free-kick and Paul Jones found himself in no-man's land as he went to claim Kalala's lofted ball allowing Stam to open the scoring with the ball trickling over the line.

Paul Tisdale described it post-match as a soft goal and he was right. The back-four were quick to tell Jones that he shouldn't have come to claim it. The home side had a few sniffs at goal as they looked to capitalise on their lead. Matt Taylor's slide tackle prevented one dangerous looking attack while Spurs loanee Ryan Mason looked a real talent in midfield.

City were beginning to come back into the match and earned a deserved equaliser on 22 minutes. Marcus Stewart and Scott Golbourne combined to set Harley free down the left flank and his pullback from the byline was hit first time into the corner by former Glover Adam Stansfield. And the Grecians began to kick on from there, Taylor rising at the far post to meet Harley's corner but his effort was straight at McCarthy.

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McCarthy was involved again on 27 minutes as he had to be at full stretch to deny Stansfield a second after a superb defence-splitting pass from Alex Russell.

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The wing-back system worked a treat last weekend with Steve Tully and Golbourne both claiming assists and the pair were in good form again in the first half. Pushing on whenever possible they were testing the Yeovil rearguard with a serious of low dangerous crosses.

This was arguably Exeter's best spell of the game. Stewart was proving a handful for the side he left in 2008 while the Grecians continued to switch the play well and were on top.

So rather predictably it was Yeovil who went ahead again! Troy lost the ball and from that move striker Williams turned and shot at the edge of the box. Jones dived, expecting to be at full stretch, but the shot took a hefty deflection off a City defender and fell to Mason completely unmarked just inches away from an ungarded net.

Offisde appeals from the travelling fans were ignored and City were behind again. This goal was a killer blow, the away side were on top and the timing couldn't have been worse. Just before half-time it really should have been 2-2. Harley did very well on the left byline again and laid a perfect ball along the floor to Stewart at the backpost and unmarked the 37-year-old didn't even get close to hitting the target.

The second half began in much the same vein, Stansfield's looping header was saved while Taylor headed wide from a Russell free-kick. Tully was continuing to threaten in the final third, sending in a string of testing crosses and so it seemed just the right time to introduce arguably one of the best headers of a ball at the club - Richard Logan coming on for Troy.

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The clearcut chances had begun to dry up and only half-chances fell to Cozic and Stewart before the 80 minute mark when the manager threw caution to the wind and called for Stuart Fleetwood and Barry Corr.

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Stansfield and Stewart were withdrawn to huge applause from the away end and quite rightly. City switched to a 4-3-3 and this swap suddenly made the game extremely open.

While Jones may have been at fault for the opening goal he showed just why he is so highly rated in the final ten minutes with three top-class saves.

The first came on 83 minutes when he denied Kieran Murtagh. Away ends don't offer the best vantage point of goalmouth action at the opposite end but when Murtagh took his shot all around me felt sure that was curtains.

But Jones did superbly well and he had to be sharp a minute later to deny Williams. Yeovil were making the most of the gung-ho City shape and were putting together rapid counter attacks.

Then came City's big chance to salvage a point; Cozic crossed from the right flank and Matt Taylor volleyed the ball first time towards the far corner from 8 yards out. Just wide. You sensed that was THE big chance and Taylor's reaction told the same story.

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With the wingbacks having to convert into fullbacks City lost the width that had looked so potent until that point and the ammunition for Logan, Corr and Fleetwood never really materialised.

There was still time for Jones to pull of another smart stop in the dying seconds but this was yet another defeat on their travels for Tisdale's side.

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Pete Evans

    Data provided by Press Association