Exeter City came away from League Two leaders Accrington Stanley with a credible point.
The Grecians showed great defensive resolve and good play going forward to hold a Stanley side – who have won 15 out of their last 17 matches – to a 1-1 draw in front of a packed crowd at the Wham Stadium who had turned out to cheer their side onto promotion to League One.
City manager Paul Tisdale made two changes from the side that beat Cambridge United last time out, with Matt Jay and Kane Wilson coming in for the injured Craig Woodman and Robbie Simpson.
Stanley, looking for a victory that would guarantee their promotion to League One, started the match well forcing a succession of early corners and threatening the City goal when Scott Brown 25-yard shot was blocked by Hiram Boateng.
Stockley also had to be in the right place to boot a Sean McConville shot off the line after 15 minutes before City nudged themselves in front.
It was the impressive Matt Jay who turned sharply in the box and hit a stinging shot towards the near post that Aaron Chapman could only parry and Stockley was in the right place to fire the rebound into the roof of the net after 21 minutes.
City could have doubled their lead four minutes later when Jay hit a dipping volley that Chapman had to tip over his crossbar.
However, Stanley, after a nervy 10-minute spell, began to grow into the match once more and were deservedly level when Kayden Jackson hit a swerving shot from the edge of the area that flew past Christy Pym.
The hosts started the second half brightly as well with Kane Wilson putting in a great last-ditch tackle to deny Kayden Jackson and Jordan Clark firing narrowly over.
However, as they half went on City began to get a foothold and Stockley went close to his second of the match bringing a great one-handed save from Chapman. Then City, arguably, had the best effort of the second half when Hiram Boateng fired an effort towards the bottom corner that Chapman saved superbly.
Stanley started to pile on the pressure in the closing stages, but City were still lively on the counter with substitute Kyle Edwards looking dangerous. It was the West Brom loanee who did well to win a free-kick in the closing stages of the match, but Stockley’s effort ended up over the bar and the visitors had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Accrington Stanley: Chapman, Dunne, Hughes, Donacien (Richards-Everton, 68), Clark, Brown, Jackson, McConville, Johnson, Conneely, Kee. Subs not used: Maxted, Nolan, Zanzala, Williams, Sousa, Rodgers.
City: Pym, Sweeney, James, Tillson, Stockley, Jay (Edwards, 74), Moxey (Croll, 71), Wilson, Taylor, Storey, Boateng. Subs not used: Jones, Archibald-Henville, Brunt, Seabourne, Loft.
Attendance: 3,135 (291, away)
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