Grecians fall to heartbreaking defeat after conceding two late goals
Exeter City conceded two late goals to fall to a heartbreaking defeat away at Carlisle United on Saturday.
The Grecians led inside the opening minute when Craig Woodman’s long ball forward found Reuben Reid on the edge of the box and he cushioned the ball on his chest before sliding a finish under Mark Gillespie.
However, that lead lasted for just eight minutes as Danny Grainger’s deep cross deflected off the boot of Pierce Sweeney and looped up into the six-yard box where Charlie Wyke planted a header past Christy Pym.
Carlisle continued to pump crosses into the City box throughout the first half, but it was the Grecians who had the greater share of possession and created some good chances as Sweeney had a close-range volley blocked and David Wheeler played an inviting ball across the face of the goal that Reid was a yard away from connecting with.
Ollie Watkins, who impressed during the opening 45 minutes, then won a free-kick on the edge of the box that Lee Holmes managed to curl around the wall and bring a good save out of Gillespie.
So, at half-time, it was all to play for and the Grecians deservedly took the lead nine minutes in the second half as Reid got down the right and delivered a low cross that the Carlisle defenders failed to clear leaving Lee Holmes with a simple tap-in.
Holmes took a nasty whack in the right corner of the pitch shortly after though and was knocked unconscious forcing the Grecians into their first change of the match as Lee McAlinden came on.
City, at this stage, were having to withstand a lot of pressure from the home side, but McAlinden came close to adding to the Grecians total twice. The first chance came when Watkins squeezed a cross to him at the near post and he glanced a header towards the far post that Grainger almost turned into his own net.
Then with just 10 minutes remaining the former Wolves striker picked up the ball in an attacking an area and drilled a shot towards the bottom corner that deflected just past the post.
As the game approached the 90th minute Carlisle were throwing men forward with central defender Michael Raynes playing a make-shift centre forward and the home side got their reward as another cross from deep found Shaun Miller unmarked and he glanced a header past Pym.
However, the Grecians were denied what looked like a clear goalscoring opportunity when McAlinden was sent through on goal in injury-time. The ball had come from deep and McAlinden had timed his run to perfection to get one on one with the keeper, but the offside flag went up.
So, it was to add further salt into the wounds when Wyke volleyed into the bottom corner in the seventh minute of injury-time with a goal that looked offside from another deep cross into the City area.
Carlisle United: Gillespie; S Miller (T Miller, 72), Raynes, Brisley, Grainger; Adams, Joyce, Jones, Kennedy (Lambe, 61); Wyke, Ibehre (Devitt, 61). Subs not used: Ellis, Asamoah, Gillesphey, Devitt, Lambe, Miller, Crocombe.
Booked: Raynes, Ibehre, Devitt
Exeter City: Pym; Sweeney, Croll, Moore-Taylor, Woodman; Wheeler (Brown, 77), Oakley, Taylor, Holmes (McAlinden, 64); Watkins, Reid (Simpson, 73). Subs not used: Olejnik, James, Grant, Stacey.
Booked: Oakley, McAlinden, Pym, Reid, Holmes.