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Match Reports

City 2 Forest Green Rovers 0

Grecians claim third consecutive win

31 January 2018

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Exeter City beat Forest Green Rovers 2-0 at St James Park with second-half goals from Jayden Stockley and Pierce Sweeney.

After a battling first half which saw the away side test Christy Pym in the City goal a number of times, City took the lead in the second period through Stockley's close range finish from Kyle Edwards' superb cross.

The points were then wrapped up by Sweeney from the penalty spot as he fired high past goalkeeper Brad Collins.

City boss Paul Tisdale selected the same side that beat Notts County last time out with the Grecians looking to record a third successive victory.

It was Mark Cooper’s side who had the first attempt at goal after seven minutes. Initial good work on the outside of the City box saw former Grecian, Reuben Reid, tee up Christian Doidge to strike at Pym, who collected the ball down low.

Just one minute later, though, City gave the away side a real scare when a Lee Holmes free-kick from the right met the head of Jake Taylor, but the midfielder could only glance his header wide of Bradley Collins’ post.

Forest Green then almost took the lead just before the 20-minute mark when Reid did well to hold up play to set up a counter attack. After the ball was worked out to the left-hand side Daniel Wishart was then inches from scoring as his effort across goal edged just wide.

As both teams traded blows the Grecians then went close shortly after when Jayden Stockley did excellently to feed Holmes on the counter-attack. With the City winger running at the Forest Green defence he did well to work himself some space before shooting right footed, but his effort went just inches wide.

Both sides continued to create half chances with Forest Green arguably enjoying the lion share of things with Pym being called into action on more than one occasion by the likes of Dayle Grubb as the sides went into the break level.

City had the first chance after half-time after a good spell of pressure ended in a corner kick. Holmes’ delivery was then met by Stockley who rose well but was unable to keep his header on target.

The Grecians kept up the pressure, though, and took the lead on 50 minutes. After working a short free-kick the ball fell to substitute Kyle Edwards who crossed low for Stockley to volley in from close range and put the Grecians a goal to the good.

Tisdale’s side then had two chances in quick succession to double their advantage when they broke on the counter-attack. It eventually fell to Lloyd James who had an effort cleared off the line before Taylor’s follow up shot edged just wide.

That second goal came just moments after when Edwards was tripped in the box by Dale Bennett leaving referee, Brett Huxtable, to point to the penalty spot. Pierce Sweeney then stepped up to score his sixth goal of the season as he beat Collins with his spot-kick.

City continued to control the second-half as they reduced Cooper’s side to very little in front of goal. The Grecians almost found their third of the evening on 73 minutes when James set Edwards away down the left-hand side. The winger did well to cut inside before shooting wide in front of the Big Bank.

The Grecians continued to manage the game well, as they saw out an important victory as they set their sights on a trip to Luton Town at the weekend.

Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman, James, Archibald-Henville, Tillson, Harley (Edwards, 45), Holmes (Wilson, 82), Stockley, Moxey, Taylor

Subs not used: Jones, Simpson, Seaborne, McAlinden, Boateng

Booked: Holmes

Forest Green Rovers: Collins, Bennett, Collins, Grubb, Doidge (Campbell, 70), Gunning, Wishart, Rawson, Reid, Hollis (Laird, 59), Osbourne (Brown, 86)

Subs not used: Belford, Simpson, Cooper

Booked: Gunning

Attendance: 3,382 (Inc, 141, away)

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