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Match Reports

Grimsby Town 0 City 1

City take narrow victory back to Devon

24 February 2018

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A Jayden Stockley penalty was the difference as Exeter City beat Grimsby Town 1-0 in Sky Bet League Two.

In a tight affair at Blundell Park, the Grecians battled for a narrow victory after being awarded a first half penalty when Jake Taylor was fouled in the Town box which the City number 11 converted well.

The home side had the chance to level from the spot but JJ Hooper was unable to find the target as City capped off a brillant week with two wins away from home.

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Paul Tisdale made three changes to the side that started the late victory over Crewe Alexandra in midweek with Troy Brown returning to the line up alongside Taylor and Dean Moxey.

In a slow start to the first half, the Blundell Park crowd were made to wait until just before the 20-minute mark for the first real chance of the game. And it fell for the home side when the ball broke to JJ Hooper, but the Grimsby forward was unable to keep his effort down, as he fired over from just inside the City box.

The Grecians struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the opening half hour, but for a couple of free-kicks which were headed away well by the Town defence.

It was the Mariners who started to dominate things when Hiram Boateng was forced to make an important block before Harry Clifton had an effort from close range blocked on the line by Jordan Moore-Taylor.

The game then sprung into life in the 37th minute when Taylor was brought down by Nathan Clarke in the Town area leaving referee, Andy Haines, to point to the penalty spot.

Stockley then stepped up to convert the penalty just under James McKeown’s right hand as the keeper dived to his right.

It was Town’s turn to try from the spot just one minute later when Haines awarded his second penalty of the afternoon, this time when Troy Brown brought down Harry Cardwell.

Fortunately for the Grecians, Hooper was unable to match the precision of Stockley just moments before, when the striker fired wide of Pym’s right-hand post meaning City took a narrow lead into the break.

City went close to making it 2-0 just five minutes into the second-half when Lee Holmes cut in from the right to deliver a dangerous cross which Troy Brown got a glancing header to, but his attempt was just wide of the Town goal.

Tisdale’s side continued to limit their hosts to half chances with Hooper having another opportunity, this time on the edge of the box, which he dragged wide of Christy Pym’s goal.

In a competitive second period City pushed for a second of the afternoon and had two good chances blocked by the Town defence when Taylor rifled an effort towards goal, before he then got to the by-line to cross before being denied.

The Grecians were reduced to ten men on 80 minutes when Wilson was given a second yellow card for a foul on Diallang Jaiyesimi on the right wing, meaning City would be up against it going into the final stages.

Credit to City as they defended well for the rest of the match, shutting out a determined Town side as they take an important three points back to Devon.

Grimsby Town: McKeown, Dixon (Vernam, 83), Clarke, Mills, Collins, Berrett, Rose, Clifton (Dembele, 76), Jaiyesimi, Cardwell, Hooper (Matt, 64)

Subs not used: Killip, Osborne, Kelly, Suliman

Booked: Dixon

Exeter City: Pym, Tillson, Harley, Holmes (Storey, 90), Stockley, Moore-Taylor, Moxey, Wilson, Taylor, Brown, Boateng (James, 83)

Subs not used: Jones, Woodman, Simpson, Jay, Edwards

Sent off: Wilson

Attendance: 4,151 (Inc, 148, away)

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