A second-half brace by Jamie Cureton, and a strike from Arron Davies, gave Exeter City a club record tenth away win of the season with a 3-0 win at Morecambe.
A stodgy first-half was countered by a lively second period for City. Cureton’s first came just after the hour mark, as he was released through the middle to get the Grecians on their way.
Davies netted a second just short of the final whistle, rounding off a tremendous team move, before Cureton lashed home an early contender for 2013’s Goal of the Season from the tightest of angles.
There were three changes to Paul Tisdale’s starting XI, following the previous weekend’s draw at home to Aldershot. Matt Oakley
and Alan Gow
both missed out completely with injury, while Guillem Bauza
took a seat on the bench.
And it was the hosts that threw the first punch as Chris Holroyd escaped down the inside-left channel, but Artur Krysiak
looked untroubled between the sticks as the ball flashed wide of his near post.
On a boggy-looking surface, the ball was playing surprisingly well on the deck as both sides looked to carve openings – without being afraid of using a more direct approach when necessary.
Having made a bright start to the fixture, Keohane had to be withdrawn temporarily. After challenging for a high ball, the Irishman hit the deck clutching his head – and as he was assisted from the field, it became clear that he’d taken a heavy hit as blood streamed down his face.
City looked to contain the Shrimps while they were down to ten, as they waited for Keohane to re-emerge from the tunnel. After five minutes a man light, the midfielder joined the fray again with a numberless shirt and began buzzing around the box again.
However it could have been Morecambe that struck first after the numbers were levelled up – Holroyd put a ball into the six-yard box from the left wing, but Kevin Ellison’s header drifted yards wide of the far post.
Down the other end, Cureton almost opened the score on the stroke of half-time. A perfectly-weighted ball – raked forward by Craig Woodman
– found the striker who controlled excellently. However Barry Roche had darted off his line instantly to collect at the feet of Cureton as he looked to pull the trigger.
Half-time: Morecambe 0 Exeter City 0
found himself on the charge at the start of the second period – and after some neat interplay, found himself free in nosebleed territory. He couldn’t quite convert the opportunity however as his curling shot crept low past the upright.
The Shrimps then wasted an absolutely glorious opportunity to draw first blood as Lewis Alessandra raced clear of the offside trap, leaving him one-on-one with Krysiak. However the Polish stopper stood his ground, showed him outside, and the striker blazed horribly wide after having tried to round the ‘keeper.
Instead, it was the Grecians that found the net first through Jamie Cureton
– netting his 17th of the season. Doherty – whose use of the football had been exceptional – threaded a brilliant ball for the striker to run onto. And Cureton needed no invitation to drill the ball low beyond the despairing Roche, to set City on their way.
Ryan Williams tried to peg Exeter back with a low free-kick from 30 yards – it had plenty of top-spin and flew through a crowd of bodies, and needed an excellent acrobatic save from Krysiak to keep City’s lead intact.
As the clock ticked away, Morecambe boss Jim Bentley used all three substitutes in order to try to find a way through City’s rearguard. Paul Tisdale, meanwhile, didn’t make any changes to the line-up in order to maintain a first-rate shape.
And with plenty of possession and incisiveness, City carved open an excellent second goal to settle any nerves. Mark Molesley’s fantastic hold-up play found Keohane in the right channel and his low cross was thrashed home by the arriving Davies, with minutes remaining.
City put the sheen on a brilliant performance in the dying second as Molesley and Cureton hooked up in the box – and the striker absolutely lashed a ball into the postage stamp to make it 3-0 to City.
Full-time: Morecambe 0 Exeter City 3
Morecambe: Roche; Parrish, Haining, Fenton, Wright; McDonald (Burrow 69), Drummond, Williams; Alessandra (Redshaw 61), Holroyd (Mwasile 81), Ellison.
Subs (not used): Arestidou, Parkinson, Doyle.
Exeter City: Krysiak; Amankwaah, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman; Molesley, Doherty, Bennett, Davies; Keohane; Cureton.
Subs (not used): Evans, Tully, Bauza, Dawson, Gosling, Reid, Moore-Taylor.
Goals: Cureton (62, 90), Davies (86).