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10:52 29th November 2009

MK Dons 4 Exeter City 3

Exeter City suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 FA Cup defeat after throwing away a 3-1 lead at stadiumMK. City found themselves one nil down at half-time before a double from Barry Corr and a fine finish from Adam Stansfield put Exeter 3-1 up. Then it all began to unravel, Sam Baldock added his second, Martin Devaney scored with his first touch before former Argyle man Jermaine Easter headed home the winner five minutes from time. Despite Stansfield's goal on Saturday Paul Tisdale chose to stick rather than twist with Richard Duffy coming in for the suspended Steve Tully our only change. It was Don's striker Baldock who had the first chance for the home side infront of a sparse home crowd but he hit his shot straight at Andy Marriott. Then at the other end Corr had the ball in the net from close range but it was ruled out for offside. Question marks surrounded this decision and Corr seemed to be onside when he diverted Cozic's shot into Willy Gueret's net. Ince's side then upped the pressure, Chadwick and McCracken both heading wide when well placed. And they eventually made it count on 35 minutes when Aaron Wilbraham headed the ball into the path of Baldock and he poked a shot under the onrushing Marriott from close range. Exeter failed to create any clear cut openings in the remainder of the half, Corr coming closest to an opening from Russell's superb throughball but Darren Powell slid in and won the ball with a crucial challenge. But things changed at the interval. It looked like City were going to bow out of the Cup with a whimper but Tisdale's team talk paid instant dividends with two goals in the next ten minutes right infront of the travelling fans. The first attack of the second half came when Corr ran clear and strangely chose to cut inside instead of testing the keeper and his shot was deflected wide for a corner. The resulting set-piece was overhit but Ryan Harley picked up the ball at the farpost, set himself and chipped an inch perfect right-footed cross into the box which was headed home by Corr. The Dons break And four minutes later the game was turned on its head and not for the last time! Cozic held off Dean Lewington before Richard Duffy's ball into the box found its way to Corr. The Irishman's shot was given a helping hand by Gueret onto the bar and it bounced down on the line before Woodards hacked it clear but the referee had given the goal. From our vantage point it was unclear whether the ball had crossed the line but it seemed like lady luck was favouring the Grecians.... Fleetwood was then replaced by Stansfield while Duffy's deadleg meant he was replaced by Troy and the subs combined in style to pull City two clear. Troy's long ball down the right flank put the on-form frontman clear and Stansfield made no mistake and on 67 minutes City looked to be in that Third Round draw.... But Easter's knockdown allowed Baldock to make it 3-2 four minutes later, his low effort from inside the penalty area finding the bottom corner of Marriott's goal. Ince had responded to Stanno's goalby throwing on two subs who changed the course of the game: Easter and Devaney. And the latter headed home the equaliser with his first touch, a looping header after City headed a corner clear. City were on the ropes and a stunned away end couldn't believe how this dangerously open game was slipping away from their side. Corr was replaced by James Dunne as Tisdale looked to win the midfield battle and for a while it worked, but with just four minutes left that man Easter struck again. A superb ball from the right flank was headed home superbly by Easter, who left City's captain flattened on the floor. The Welsh international scored twice at The Park in August and here he was the Grecians tormentor once more. A stung City side then threw everything forward. Taylor became an emergency striker and the Grecians won a couple of corners but couldn't find that fourth goal. Tisdale now faces the task of reinvigorating his gutted team ahead of Tuesday's away trip to Bristol Rovers. Tisdale chose to stick with the majority of the side that drew in midweek Exeter only really performed at their best for a 20 minute spell after the break but it was their failure to extend that productive spell that cost them. But with 12 goals in their last four away trips the Grecians are finding goals on the road easy to come by but the failure to close out today's lead cost them in dramatic style. The search for Cup upsets took place across the country this afternoon but unfortunately the players, management and fans of Exeter City were the only ones left upset at stadiummk this afternoon. Exeter City lined up: Marriott; Duffy (Archibald-Henville 66) Taylor, Seaborne, Golbourne,  Cozic, Russell, Harley, Fleetwood (Stansfield 64), Corr (Dunne 78), Stewart. Subs not used: Edwards, Logan, Sercombe, Jansson. Goals: Corr 49, 54, Stansfield 66. Attendance: 4,867 READ THE CITY FAN'S VIEW IN OUR FAN BLOGS 
    Data provided by Press Association