City earn point at Victoria Road
Exeter City’s Jamie Cureton earned the Grecians a point at Victoria Road after the forward's second-half strike cancelled out Medy Elito’s 37th minute goal. But it could all have been so different, with City a goal behind and half-time approaching the Grecians were handed a life-line. A quick counter attack by Elito saw the forward through on goal with only Krysiak to beat. The Polish stopper came off his line full of commitment but was unable to meet the ball first as Elito fell to the ground. Dagenham and Redbridge top goal-scorer Michael Spillane stepped up to take the penalty but his shot was fired over the bar. City rallied in the second-half to earn a well-deserved point.
In goal Krysiak retained his place after reclaiming the position against Chesterfield. Left-back Craig Woodman moved back into the side at the expense of 18-year-old Jordan Moore-Taylor who dropped to the substitute’s bench. In midfield Kevin Amankwaah moved into the starting line-up after being named on the substitute’s bench for the 1-0 defeat to Chesterfield on Saturday. Midfielder Jimmy Keohane replaced Tom Doherty in midfield. Striker John O’Flynn moved to the bench to accommodate the five man midfield. City’s creative force Alan Gow was named on the bench after missing the Chesterfield game with a thigh injury.
City in there sky blue away kit made a confident start. Winger Aaron Davies played a neat through ball to Cureton but the striker couldn’t meet the ball as it skidded along the turf.
In the 3rd minute City had there first chance of the match, a deep cross by Steve Tully fell kindly to Matt Oakley, the former England Under 21 international took aim from 25 yards on the half-volley but defender Scott Doe blocked the effort, resulting in a corner.
Moments later young midfielder Liam Sercombe made good work down the right wing, playing a neat one-two with Oakley before Liam Sercombe's' shot from 18-yards, dragging his shot to the right of the post.
Dagenham and Redbridge first attack came down the right, Spillane playing at clever pass behind Amankwaah which allowed Oluwafemi Ilesanmi to drive the ball across goal.
With 15 minutes on the clock City created there clearest opportunity. Again down the right side, Tully now playing in the more advanced right-sided midfield role sent a low cross into to Cureton but the striker's tame shot let him down as the ball fell into the hands of goalkeeper Chris Lewington.
With the game of a high tempo, Dagenham and Redbridge left-back Ilesanmi made a surging run down the wing, the defender cut inside onto his right but Captain Danny Coles was there to intercept as the ball ran away from him.
15 minutes before half-time goalkeeper Krysiak, came well as he collected a high searching ball from the right. The Grecians began to play with confidence, an attribute that was maybe missing on Saturday.
Captain Coles had to be on his toes as quick interchanging in the Dagenham and Redbridge midfield almost allowed striker Dwight Gayle a sight at goal.
City went a goal behind on the 37th minute after an excellent or maybe fortunate goal by winger Medy Elito, The pacey wide-man looked set to cross from the left wing after a bursting run down the channel but his powerful shot from the by-line found the net to the surprise of his team-mates.
Midfielder Keohane came close to grabbing the Grecians an equaliser, Woodman put in a high cross from the left which dropped to Keohane but the midfielders’ shot was charged down on its way into Lewington’s arms.
With City winning a corner the play switched, City were instantly on the back-foot. A fast counter-attack by goal-scorer Elito soon opened up the pitch, with the forward baring down on goal Elito only had goalkeeper Krysiak to beat. In a second the Polish goalkeeper charged off his line, bringing down Elito in the process. Referee Gavin Ward didn’t hesitate for a second as he pointed to the spot. Up stepped top goal-scorer Spillane to take the penalty but his powerful shot flew over the bar as the whistle blew for half-time to the relief of the City players.
Tisdale sent his men out to the field early and whatever the City boss said in the interval worked. With 50 minutes on the clock City were back in the game. Good work in midfield by Oakley allowed Scott Bennett to play a delightful ball through the centre of the Dagenham defence where Cureton was there to meet it. The striker brought the ball under his control with his first touch before calmly placing the ball beyond Lewington from 12 yards.
With their tails up the City players started to play with more direction, an attribute that manager Tisdale believed was missing from Saturday’s defeat to Chesterfield. This time Sercombe came close firing a shot from the right, Lewington could only deflect the ball for a corner. The resulting corner had City player’s calling for a penalty after the ball bounced up onto defender Luke Wilkinson’s shoulder.
On 58 minutes City almost went ahead. The ball worked its way out to Cureton who beat his man, which in turn allowed him time to play in Sercombe. The midfielder again tested Lewington, this time to his far post but the Dagenham and Redbridge goalkeeper was equal to it.
Soon after left-back Woodman began to attack down the left, his attacking run and cross was met by goal-scorer Cureton who found himself with a yard of space. The former Norwich forward swivelled well to beat the incoming Spillane but his curling shot blazed over the bar.
With 20 minutes to go midfielder Keohane began to dictate the midfield, providing the link between the midfield and Cureton. A clever chipped through ball saw Davies through on goal but much to Keohane’s despair the offside flag was raised.
On the 74th minute City manager Tisdale made an attacking substitute, Tully who had been operating in midfield was replaced by Gow as City went in search of a winner.
With both teams in search of victory the game became stretched allowing Sercombe and Gow to try and find Cureton in space. Ex-Rangers playmaker Gow moved higher up the pitch to support Cureton.
Gow, who seemed to have shaken-off his injury made an impressive run through the centre of the pitch, beating his man only for his shirt to be pulled back. To everyone’s amusement the free-kick wasn’t given. As City were demonstrating with the referee, Dageham and Redbridge went close themselves with a powerful drive by Gayle from outside the box.
The home fans almost thought they’d won it late on when the ball worked its way out to substitute Dominic Green, his shot rippled the side netting as half the ground stood up to cheer the goal.
The final whistle blew with City knowing they could have got the win but with a confident second-half performance under there belt they go again away to Cheltenham on Saturday.
Attendance: 1487 (217 Grecians)