This weekend League Two’s two in form sides go head to head at St James’ Park as the Grecians take on Colchester United, ho are unbeaten in 14 league matches.
Craig Bratt takes a look back to the 2016/17 season when, almost two years to the day, City beat their Essex counterparts to put them within touching distance of the play-off places.
Exeter City 3-0 Colchester United
January 21, 2017
St James Park
The Grecians came into this game on the back of a run of six wins from eight matches, having previously beaten Grimsby 3-0 away from home the week before, while the U’s, who were just inside the top seven were on an equal run of six wins in eight.
In front of 4,114 fans inside St James’ Park, City continued their rapid rise up the table with another three-goal haul as they put three past an opponent for the third week in succession. Goals from Reuben Reid, David Wheeler and Liam McAlinden were on hand to find the back of the net to lift Paul Tisdale’s side to within a point of Colchester.
City got off to the perfect start inside 20 minutes as Reid smashed his side ahead. He latched on to a through ball after a stunning piece of control by Ollie Watkins, who found Reid on the run, before he made no mistake and angled the ball past the goalkeeper.
The game was finely balanced before City made it 2-0, but they could have done so much earlier had they taken their chances. Troy Brown had two marvelous chances to double the lead as he headed Lloyd James’ corner wide before he fired the ball into the side netting.
Colchester also had chances, with the Grecians’ new signing Brennan Dickenson forcing Christy Pym to tip his ferocious free kick over the bar.
Watkins would register a hat trick of assists by the end of the afternoon, first setting up Wheeler to double the advantage, teeing the goalscorer up after they countered and caught United on the break.
The third and final goal of the afternoon came from McAlinden, who connected to the ball after Watkins poked the ball through, and he rolled the ball under Sam Walker in the U’s goal.
Check out the SJP 360 view!
Exeter City: Pym, Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor, Woodman, Wheeler, James, Taylor, Harley (Tillson), Reid (McAlinden), Watkins (Simpson).
Subs not used: Olejnik, Oakley, Croll, Sweeney.
Colchester United: Walker, Eastan, Kent, Elokobi, Brindley (Fosu-Henry), Slater, Lapslie (Johnstone), Dickenson, Wright (Vincent-Young), Guthrie, Porter.
Subs not used: Wynter, Barnes, Doyley, O’Sullivan
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