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Match Reports

City 2 Barnet 1

Jake Taylor's late goal seals the win for City

30 December 2017

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Jake Taylor's late goal sealed all three points for Exeter City as they beat Barnet 2-1 at St James Park in Sky Bet League Two to round off 2017.

Kane Wilson scored his first goal for the club as he put the Grecians ahead in the first-half, but a free-kick from Ryan Watson levelled things for Barnet, who looked dangerous throughout.

But Taylor stepped up excellently to seal the win for City and score the Grecians' 100th goal in all competitions in 2017.

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Paul Tisdale made one change from Boxing Day’s abandoned match with Forest Green Rovers as Matt Jay made his first league start of the season in place of Ryan Harley.

City’s first chance of the match came just three minutes in when Taylor did well to intercept and drive at the Barnet defence. Despite having Jayden Stockley and Jay in good positions, the midfielder decided to go for goal but dragged his shot just wide.

But the visitors also threatened in the first 10 minutes and almost went ahead through Jack Taylor. Good work from Jamal Campbell-Ryce saw him cross well towards the far post, and with Taylor coming in late his volley was wide of Christy Pym’s goal.

City then created two excellent opportunities in quick succession but were denied by some determined Barnet defending. After Stockley’s good turn and shot was blocked, Jay then had an effort on the goal line denied by Craig Ross and his defenders as the away side kept the score level.

In an end-to-end half, Pym was then called into action as he denied John Akinde from rounding off a well worked move. After the forward did well to get behind the City defence following some good one touch football, the Grecians’ keeper was quick off his line to deny the striker.

Just before the 30 minute-mark, Taylor had another opportunity for the visitors when he burst down the right from a long ball, but from a tight angle, his effort flashed wide of Pym’s goal.

But moments later City were ahead after good pressing up front. After Hiram Boateng’s cross was kept alive by Stockley, who teed up Wilson, the youngster curled a brilliant effort with his left foot into the far corner of the goal to give the Grecians the lead and score his first for the club.

But Mark McGhee’s Barnet side continued to threaten and went very close to levelling the match on 40 minutes when Shaquile Coulthirst found space at the back post and fired into a body of players, but thankfully for City, Jordan Moore-Taylor was on hand to clear off the line.

City were given another sight of Ross’ goal a few minutes before half-time when Stockley’s flick into the path of Jay found him with just the Barnet keeper to beat, but the City forward could only fire straight at Ross as the Grecians took a one-goal advantage into the break.

Tisdale’s side started the second half brightly and dominated possession. They created a good chance when Boateng had a shot blocked from close range moments before Jay was denied after he latched onto Stockley’s header, but the youngster could only volley straight at Ross.

But the visitors continued to commit players forward as they looked for a way back into the match. They worked two good chances around the hour mark with Coulthirst having his shot blocked wide for a corner before Andre Blackman saw his header edge just over, despite being offside.

That pressure paid off when the away side were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box on 69 minutes. Ryan Watson then stepped up to hit an excellent free-kick over the City wall leaving Pym with little chance of saving.

The Grecians continued to look for a winner and went close on 80 minutes through Taylor. After being allowed space in front of the Barnet back four he shot from the edge of the box but had his effort blocked well for a City corner.

Moments later City created a scramble in the Barnet area and the ball eventually fell to Taylor whose drilled effort was inches wide of Ross’ goal as another chance went begging for the Grecians.

But it was the away side who would go closest next when Campbell-Ryce had a speculative effort from the right-hand side loop over Pym and bounce off the City crossbar and away.

As time ticked on and the Grecians pushed for a winner and the fourth official awarded four minutes of injury time. And City fired themselves ahead just one minute after the 90 when a long ball into the box eventually fell to Taylor made no mistake, this time, as his shot flew low past Ross and in.

That was enough for the Grecians as they held out the remainding moments to claim the victory and end the year on a high note.

Exeter City: Pym, Tillson, Holmes (McAlinden, 76), Stockley, Moore-Taylor, Seaborne, Jay (Harley, 64), Moxey, Wilson, Taylor, Boateng (Archibald-Henville, 90+4)

Subs not used: Hamon, Woodman, James, Archibald-Henville, Edwards

Booked: Moxey

Barnet: Ross, Clough, Santos, Watson, Akinde (Nicholls, 84), Campell-Ryce, Coulthirst, Taylor, Fonguck (Akinola, 60), Vilhete, Blackman

Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Brindley, Nelson, Tutonda, Nicholls, Sweeney

Booked:

Attendance: 3,869 (Inc, 124, away)


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