On Saturday afternoon, Exeter City make the long trip north to face a Grimsby Town side now under the leadership of the characterful Ian Holloway.
Craig Bratt takes a look back at a classic encounter between the two sides, when City travelled to Blundell Park in the midst of an incredible unbeaten run.
Grimsby Town 0-3 Exeter City
Saturday, 14 January 2017
This was a game between two sides who, at the time, were in scintillating form in League Two, with the Grecians heading north on a run of seven matches without defeat and Grimsby having won three of their last four.
In front of a fraction over 5,000 fans in Lincolnshire, City inflicted a heavy defeat on the Mariners thanks to goals from Reuben Reid, David Wheeler and Ollie Watkins to lift themselves to tenth in the league table – just four points off the play-offs.
After a quiet first half, Paul Tisdale’s side poked themselves in front just four minutes before the break when Reid prodded home from six yards out after the hosts failed to clear from a corner.
That meant the Grecian’s went into half time in a good position, and after continuing to dictate play, put themselves further ahead less than a quarter of an hour into the second period.
It was a goal all of Grimsby’s own downfall, thanks to a mistake by Danny Collins. Minutes after being booked for a foul, the defender played a senseless pass across his own box, allowing Wheeler to sneak in to take the ball around goalkeeper Dean Henderson before doubling the lead via a deflection off the post.
All hopes of a Grimsby comeback were dashed in the final ten minutes, as City made it three of the best away from home. It was Watkins who did all the hard work himself, shuffling into the box with quick feet before rifling the ball past the now Premier League goalkeeper Henderson.
The win did wonders for Exeter, who continued their winning run in the following weeks. They went on to win their next four games, with victories over Colchester, Portsmouth, Wycombe and Crewe, scoring 12 goals in the process.
Grimsby: Henderson, Boyce, Pearson (Gunning), Collins, Davies, Mills, Comley (Vose), Disley, Andrew, Yussuf (Bolarinwa), Bogle.
Subs not used: McKeown, McAllister, Vernon, Jones.
Booked: Collins, Davies, Disley.
Exeter City: Pym, Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor, Woodman, Wheeler, James (Tillson), Taylor, Harley (Simpson), Watkins, Reid (McAlinden).
Subs not used: Olejnik, Oakley, Croll, Sweeney.
Booked: James, Watkins.
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