City record their ninth away victory of the season
Exeter City recorded their ninth away win of the season as goals from Reuben Reid, David Wheeler and Ollie Watkins saw them to a comfortable 3-0 victory at Grimsby Town.
And, on the back of a commanding display, coupled by an away record that is only bettered in all four professional divisions of English football by Newcastle United, City continued their march up the table.
The win was enough to take them up to tenth in the table, four points off the play-off placed with a game in hand over seventh-placed Colchester United.
City manager Paul Tisdale, who was celebrating his 44rd birthday, made one change from the side that beat Leyton Orient 4-0 last time out as Jake Taylor replaced Jordan Tillson in the centre of midfield.
Grimsby started the game positively and looked to get the ball to their left wing-back Danny Andrew at every opportunity. And he proved a good outlet as he whipped two dangerous crosses into the box early on that Jordan Moore-Taylor and Troy Brown had to head clear.
However, the home side’s best chance fell to their leading scorer Omar Bogle as Adi Yussuf set him up on the edge of the box but he could only place his shot a foot wide of Christy Pym’s left-hand post.
City then came more into the match as the half wore on and Ryan Harley had a couple of chances to put the Grecians in front. The first came from a Jack Stacey cross on 35 minutes, but Harley’s volley bounced up into the ground and was headed off the goalline by Shaun Pearson as it threatened to loop into the back of the net.
The second chance came a minute later as Lloyd James’ chipped ball into the box was headed into his path, but this time Harley scuffed effort was off target.
A well-worked free-kick then saw Craig Woodman have a shot that deflected wide and from the resulting corner City took the lead.
The ball was swung into the six-yard box by James and dropped kindly for Reuben Reid, who having taken a fair bit of stick from the home supporters in the opening 40 minutes, silenced the Grimsby fans by turning and firing into the bottom corner for his 100th career goal.
Grimsby responded after the break as Danny Andrew beat Jack Stacey to a crossfield pass and then hit a volley that flew just past the post.
Bogle continued to be a menace as he took aim from 30 yards but his effort, once again, was just past the post.
Then just as the home side looked to be building up some pressure a misplaced by from Danny Collins saw them concede a second.
Wheeler was the alert City player who was able to steal possession and he ran to the edge of the box before unleashing an unstoppable shot in off the inside of the post.
City continued to look the more dangerous side after this moment as they found acres of space on the counter-attack.
First a great run and pass from Reid set Watkins clear but his shot was superbly saved by Dean Henderson.
Henderson had to be at his best again when substitute Liam McAlinden worked a yard of room on the left side of the box and forced him into a one-handed block.
However, City were not to be denied the third goal their performance deserved and it came from in-form attacking midfield Watkins, who picked up the ball outside the box, tricked his way past a couple of challenges and curled a shot into the bottom corner for his sixth goal in the last five games.
Grimsby Town (3-5-2): Henderson; Pearson (Gunning, 45), Boyce, Collins; Davies, Collins, Comley (Vose, 64), Mills, Andrew; Bogle, Yussuf (Bolarinwa, 64), Bogle. Subs not used: McKeown, McAllister, Vernon, Jones.
Booked: Collins, Andrew, Davies
Exeter City (4-2-3-1): Pym; Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor, Woodman; James, (Tillson, 86) Taylor; Wheeler, Watkins, Harley (Simpson, 88); Reid (McAlinden, 75). Subs not used: Olejnik, Simpson, Oakley, Croll, Sweeney.
Booked: James, Watkins
Attendance: 5,009 (245, away)