Skip to main content


13:35 5th September 2010

Exeter City 1 Charlton Athletic 0

Ryan Harley's injury time penalty gave the Grecians their first victory of the season against Charlton Athletic. City looked on course for their third successive draw at The Park until substitute Jamie Cureton  was brought down in the box by Spanish defender Miguel Llera as the 35-year-old latched onto Richard Logan's long ball. And Harley kept his cool to send his spot-kick down the middle and the Grecians into 14th place in the npower League One table. Paul Tisdale decided to go with his seemingly first choice strike pairing for the visit of last season's Play Off Semi Finalists with John O'Flynn and Daniel Nardiello's return to the line-up the only changes from the victory at Yeovil in midweek. And it was the latter who had the first real opening of a considered first 20 minutes, Alan McCormack denying City's number 10 as he flew towards goal. A little bit of luck and City could have opened the scoring on 15 minutes, the impressive Liam Sercombe's right footed shot could only be parried by Elliott but the onrushing O'Flynn slipped at the vital moment as he looked for his second goal for the club. Harley looked sharp and sent a few thumping efforts goal-bound while Sercombe's radar was just off as he let fly. Overall it was this midfield trio that proved vital in this victory. While Troy was superb in the heart of defence it was the energy of Sercombe and sponsor's man of the match James Dunne in the engine room with Harley pulling the strings in front of them that really made City tick. Troy was a rock at the back in his first start at The Park since he signed a permanent deal way back in Febraury and he did a great job on new Charlton striker Paul Benson, one particular example of pace and power to block the former Dagenham man on 25 minutes earned rapturous applause. In a game of few chances it was always going to be a case of taking the ones that were carved out and Kyel Reid will feel he could have done better with his chance on the hour half. Lee Martin teed the winger up and his shot was well saved by Jones. Jonesy could only push his effort right back at him but Reid drilled an effort well wide after the ball fell at his feet. Harley had scored four times already this season and almost made it five before the half time interval when his snapshot tested the reflexes of Elliot. The shotstopper showing fantastic reactions to turn Harley's half-volley around the post before minutes later O'Flynn shot wide. Remember Anthony McNamee's goal for Swindon at The Park in the JPT last season? Well Reid almost scored an exact replica from the same side at the same end with the last real chance of the half. His cross-shot was heading over Jones and into the far corner but City's number 27's fingertips saw it end up in the Big Bank and not the top corner. Tisdale could reflect on an impressive first half but things began to swing slightly in the away side's favour as the second 45 kicked off, Benson heading wide and Martin not testing Jones after weaving through the red and white backline. After 57 minutes we saw the introduction of Tuesday night's hotshots, Logan and Cureton, for Nardiello and O'Flynn. Nardiello will have been pleased to have played for almost an hour after almost three games on the sidelines. It was another striker though who found the back of the net minutes later, the referee's whistle denying Pawel Abbott after he forced the ball home from close range after an almighty scramble infront of the away fans, perhaps too forcefully for referee David Phillips' liking. At the other end Logie's first touch saw a header loop over the crossbar from captain Steve Tullys' pinpoint delivery and minutes later Tully chested a ball into the path of Sercombe who sent a thunderbolt just wide. Troy was beginning to cramp up after so long without first team football but before being replaced by Rob Edwards he still found time to poke an effort past the post when he nipped goalside of Elliot. The Charlton keeper then saved at the feet of Cureton, the former Reading man looking just as sharp as he had on Tuesday. But it seemed the game would be heading for a stalemate with little gung-ho action as 80 minutes became 90. The only real talking point before the fourth official indicated six minutes of added time was a nasty clash of heads in the opposition box between Tully and Akpo Sode. The latter being seen to in an ambulance after the full-time whistle before being passed fit to head home to Southeast London with his team-mates. Tully had to have stitches post-match but after a spell off the pitch he played the dying minutes with bandages on his bloody head which says a lot about the man. Ten man City then earned a 92nd minute penalty, much to the displeasure of Phil Parkinson. Edwards swung a right-footed effort down the channel to Cureton who was through after Llera misjudged the ball. And the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot when a combination of Llera and Elliott seemed to haul him down. Up stepped Harley, laid back as always, to fire home his fifth of the season and spark wild celebrations amongst the 5000 or so City fans. Gary Doherty's back-post header, which went straight at Jones, was the only scare during the final four added minutes and then City could celebrate a real scalp over one of the hot favourites for promotion.
    Data provided by Press Association