Exeter City 1 Stevenage 1

Exeter City stay sixth after draw with Stevenage

Exeter City remain sixth in League Two after they fought back from a goal down to draw with Stevenage at home.

The Boro went into the match on the back of a four-game winning streak and could have moved to within a point of City with victory. However, the Grecians have kept the gap between them and Darren Sarll side, in eighth, to four points.

City boss Paul Tisdale was forced to make two changes to the starting XI that drew with Notts County last time out. Goalkeeper Christy Pym was injured and replaced by Bobby Olejnik, while Jake Taylor was suspended and Jordan Tillson took his holding midfield role.

The Grecians had a couple of early chances to take the lead with the first coming in the opening minute as Troy Brown had a header cleared off the line by Fraser Franks.

Five minutes Ollie Watkins produced a good stepover to get past a couple of Stevenage defenders but his shot, from 20 yards, was turned around the post by Jamie Jones

Reuben Reid was then inches away from connecting with a wayward shot from Ryan Harley at the back post, but as the half wore on Stevenage began to get more and more territory in attacking areas and then took the lead on the half hour mark. 

Jobi McAnuff was the scorer as he picked up the ball five yards inside the City half took the ball around Jordan Moore-Taylor and fired a shot low into the bottom corner of Bobby Olejnik’s net.

The second half was only seven minutes old before City got back on level terms as Jack Stacey laid the ball off to Lloyd James and his cross was turned home from six yards out by Reid.

A minute later Reid fizzed a low cross into the near post, but Wheeler was just unable to connect with the ball and turn a shot home.

However, for the next 15 minutes Stevenage started to get on top of the proceedings once more and Olejnik needed to be alert to stop an angled drive from substitute Ben Kennedy and then produced a great fingertip save to deny Henry Cowans.
Reid then raced clear at the other end but his pass across the area was crucially cut out by Franks with Watkins lurking at the back post.

Tisdale made a change with 15 minutes to go bringing on Liam McAlinden for Reid. And it was the substitute who almost put City in front as he latched on to a long ball from James and hit a shot that deflected off a Stevenage defender and behind for a corner.

Joel Grant was the next City substitute to go close as corner was cleared to him on the edge of the area, but his first time volley was blocked on its way towards goal.

Then, in the 89th minute, Jack Stacey – who had been impressive all game – was presented with a similar opportunity but his effort was high and wide.

Watkins then had the final strike at goal in stoppage time and a section of the crowd thought his shot had found the back of the net when it had hit the side netting.

Exeter City (4-2-3-1): Olejnik; Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor, 
Woodman; Tillson (Grant, 84), James; Wheeler, Watkins, Harley; Reid (McAlinden, 75). Subs not used: Grant, Oakley, Hamon, Ampadu, Croll, Sweeney

Stevenage (4-3-3): Jones; Henry, Franks, Wilkinson, Ogilvie; Pett, Tonge, Schumacher (Cowans, 64); McQuoid (Kennedy, 61), Godden (Hinds, 87), McAnuff. Subs not used: Day, Gorman, Ntlhe, Loft.

Booked: Franks, McAnuff

Attendance: 4,124 (145, away)