2013: 10 of the best goals

Ten fine strikes for City in 2013 – pick your favourite!

As we draw the curtains on 2013 and beckon in the New Year, we take a look back at 10 City goals that have lived long in the memory from across the calendar year.

Which is your favourite?  Or did we leave any out that would have made your top 10?  You can vote for your favourite now on The Wall, the social platform on the club website.  Don’t forget to leave a note saying which you voted for, and why!  Click here to go to The Wall.

1st January 2013
John O’Flynn v Wycombe Wanderers (A) – 1-0 (ended 1-0)

With the Grecians reduced to ten men in the first half when Jamie Cureton kicked out at Anthony Stewart, Exeter had it all to do to earn a result from Wycombe at Adams Park on the first day of 2013.  Things looked like they were going from bad to worse for City, but Artur Krysiak’s penalty save from Joel Grant kept City in the game after the Wanderers man had been felled in the box by Steve Tully.  And then a bit of wizardry in the final 10 minutes by Alan Gow saw him dink a ball through to John O’Flynn to score the game’s only goal, and delivering an unlikely three points.
Match report

2nd March 2013
Jake Gosling v Northampton Town (H) – 3-0 (ended 3-0)

With the Cobblers coming to St James Park on the promotion hunt, a big performance was needed by City to earn a win that would see the Grecians leapfrog their guests in the league table.  And that’s exactly what was delivered.  Northampton were bullied into conceding an own-goal as Craig Woodman’s corner was bundled in by Lee Nicholls, before Jamie Cureton headed in a Matt Oakley free-kick.  But the goal of the afternoon was scored by Jake Gosling – his first senior goal for Exeter City – as he went on a mazy solo run and hammered through the Cobblers stopper to seal the win and send the Big Bank into raptures.
Match report

16th March 2013
Lawson D’Ath v Bradford City (H) – 2-0 (ended 4-1)

There is no better way of endearing yourselves to a new set of fans like a debut goal, as Lawson D’Ath found out.  Signed on loan at St James Park the day before from Reading (and having netted against the Grecians earlier in the season as a Cheltenham loanee), the midfielder was thrust straight into the starting XI.  D’Ath scored on the stroke of half-time to put City 2-0 up, as he somehow beat goalkeeper Matt Duke in the air with a flying header at the far post when the former Hull City stopper looked favourite for the ball.  Ultimately the Capital One Cup finalists were beaten 4-1 by the Grecians, with D’Ath named Man of the Match.
Match report

13th April 2013
Jamie Reid v AFC Wimbledon (A) – 2-1 (ended 2-2)

Jamie Reid admitted in his post-match interview that he was as surprised as anyone to find out an hour and a half before kick-off that he was starting at Kingsmeadow, and making his full City debut.  But the pressure didn’t faze the teenage striker, who netted twice – the first a scuffed effort that John Sullivan might have done better with, but the second was an instinctive drilled effort that the AFC Wimbledon stopper had no chance of keeping out.  Unfortunately Exeter’s lead was reeled in on both occasions by Luke Moore, and Reid was denied a fine hat-trick as he found the net for a third time, only to be denied by an erroneous offside flag.
Match report

3rd August 2013
Sam Parkin v Bristol Rovers (H) – 2-1 (ended 2-1)
After a summer spent waving off senior pros to their new clubs, the perfect tonic for Exeter’s new season was to get off the mark on the opening weekend with a win against local rivals Bristol Rovers – and for the deal to be sealed by a debut goal from Sam Parkin.  The striker, who had joined from St Mirren during the off-season, had terrorised the Pirates’ defence all afternoon – though the game approached the final stages on a knife-edge, as captain Danny Coles’ opener against his old club had been pegged back by Eliot Richards.  But when Arron Davies swung over a pinpoint cross from the left for Parkin, there was only ever going to be one outcome as the striker stooped low to head in.
Match report

31st August 2013
Alan Gow v York City (H) – 2-1 (ended 2-1)
If there has ever been an instance of a substitute making an instant impact, then this was it.  Alan Gow, replacing the injured John O’Flynn midway through the first period, pegged back a Ryan Jarvis opener for the Minstermen at St James Park.  His coolly-taken goal came within 20 seconds of crossing the white line, and with his first-touch no less.  But that effort was overshadowed by the raw quality of his and Exeter’s second, which proved to be the match-winner.  With 20 minutes remaining, the Scotsman picked up the ball, wriggled clear of Ashley Chambers, and hammered a thunderous strike past Michael Ingham at his near post from outside the area.
Match report

14th September 2013
John O’Flynn v Northampton Town (A) – 2-1 (ended 2-1)
There are few more satisfying ways of winning a match on the road than by soaking up pressure and delivering a sucker-punch at the death – and that’s how the Grecians got three points at Sixfields.  Jacob Blyth’s tame opener in the seventh minute had been cancelled out when Scot Bennett scrambled in late in the first period, though the Cobblers were dynamic and dangerous throughout and did miss good opportunities to go ahead.  But a late City counter saw a delightful cross-field ball by Arron Davies to pick out David Wheeler, and the winger delivered a precision cross for John O’Flynn to head in a stoppage-time winner.
Match report

5th October 2013
Scot Bennett v Plymouth Argyle (H) – 3-1 (ended 3-1)
Three goals of sheer quality were enough for Exeter to take the points and bragging rights in the Devon Derby – and all the efforts were worthy of mention.  Arron Davies’ opener was a thunderbolt of a strike at the end of a cut-and-thrust attack, though a fine Luke Young free-kick levelled matters for the Pilgrims.  Alan Gow re-established the lead with a delicious chip with seven minutes remaining, but special commendation is reserved for the final goal by Scot Bennett.  Having scored twice at Fleetwood the previous weekend, Bennett capped a fine performance in his makeshift striker’s role with a cool-as-you-like goal in the 93rd minute – he collected in the area and had the presence of mind to wrong-foot Luke McCormick and slot in a left-footed effort.
Match report

19th October 2013
Arron Davies v Scunthorpe United (A) – 2-0 (ended 4-0)
Few goals in League 2 in 2013 will have had the audacity of Arron Davies’ goal against Scunthorpe United.  City had withstood pressure in the first period before Liam Sercombe opened the scoring, but all of the half-time instructions went out the window when Davies netted a goal five minutes after the restart which left the 3,250-strong crowd with their jaws on the floor.  A simple throw-in by Craig Woodman saw the ball sit up invitingly for a first-time shot by the midfielder – and it beat Sam Slocombe from the best part of 50 yards via the inside of the far post.  Iron boss Brian Laws dismissed it, saying: “I don’t know what he was thinking but it certainly wasn’t meant.  If he tried it a million times he wouldn’t do the same again.” Davies simply made champagne from those sour grapes.
Match report

29th December 2013
Tom Nichols v Torquay United (A) – 1-0 (ended 3-1)

An eventful 2013 was signed off in fantastic style as the Grecians recorded a derby win against Torquay United at Plainmoor.  Artur Krysiak ended the year as he began it, with a penalty save to maintain parity – and it was up to Tom Nichols to break the deadlock at the other end.  It was a moment of sheer quality from the 20-year-old that brought his fourth in a resurgent season – receiving the ball from Sam Parkin, the young forward spotted his strike-partner’s decoy run, burst into the space that opened up, and lashed home an effort that swung wildly in the air with the pure velocity of the strike which flummoxed Michael Poke at his near post.  David Wheeler and Alan Gow added in the second half, either side of a Karl Hawley goal for the Gulls.
Match report