Exeter City look to stretch their impressive form on Tuesday with a trip to Derek Adams’ Morecambe. The Grecians have a good record against our friends from the North, and we travel back to 2017 when Troy Brown found himself on a rare scoresheet; Jayden Stockley proved his striking prowess; and Dean Moxey scored his first goal since his return.
Jed Penberthy looks back on an emphatic afternoon at St James Park.
Exeter City 4-1 Morecambe FC,
St James Park,
September 30th, 2017.
After springing out the traps for the 2017/18 season, Exeter thought they had hit a rough patch and went into this encounter following 2-0 and 3-0 defeats to Coventry and Notts County.
The visitors in contrast had only picked up two wins all season to this point and sat precariously outside the relegation zone.
Paul Tisdale made two changes from the home defeat to County, as Luke Croll and Dean Moxey came into the starting XI, in expense of Troy Archibald-Henville and Lee Holmes.
Morecambe took an early blow as starting goalkeeper Barry Roach collided with Reuben Reid after four minutes, with the shot-stopper coming off worse. He had to be replaced by Australian U23 international Danijel Nizic.
Reid almost squirmed in his eighth of the season when he cut onto his left foot, but from the resulting corner City did score. Tillson’s flick evaded everybody but Troy Brown for the defender to score his third for the Club.
Exeter hungry to press found themselves with the ball on the edge of the Morecambe box. Jake Taylor overlapped and pulled the ball back to Sweeney. The Irishman’s effort though dragged wide.
On 24 minutes, Jayden Stockley added the first of his two terrific goals. A neat one-two between the centre forward and Taylor forced Stockley into a tight angle. The Strikers shot powered over Nizic into the far top-corner and put The Grecians two to the good- celebrating in-front of the Old Grandstand.
Morecambe seemed to have a lifeline on 38 minutes. Exeter failed to deal with a free kick on the halfway line. A little bit of head tennis around the City box allowed Gary Thompson to fire a volley at goal. Christy Pym failed to handle and Vadaine Oliver was the first to react.
Exeter restored their two-goal advantage on the cusp of half-time. Jayden Stockley superbly brought the ball down with his chest, and with a Messi-esque flick over the Morecambe centre-back smashed past the goalkeeper for a contender for goal of the season. An ingenious bit of individual talent, for the man who would go on to net 25 times over the course of the campaign.
The early signs of a prolific partnership between Reid and Stockley almost bore fruit. Sweeney hooked the ball into the Morecambe box early in the second half, Reid delightfully backheeled it back into the path of Stockley who fired high into the Big Bank.
On 48 minutes, the points were safe and City fans could rejoice in the second coming. Jayden Stockley broke free over the halfway line with The Shrimps defence overstretched. The striker teed up Dean Moxey, who slid the ball under the helpless keeper to bag his first goal since the return to his boyhood club.
His last goal for Exeter City before then? Against Morecambe in the 2008/09 season.
Shortly after the hour Reid tried to emulate Stockley’s first half brace, after he flicked the ball up and volleyed- but ultimately was denied by Nizic.
Reid also thought he should have had a penalty as he burst through the Morecambe box, to be pulled back- just for Exeter fan-favourite referee Brett Huxtable, to say no.
Stockley again was inches from completing his hattrick as a diving headed narrowly missed the far post. Soon after he had another chance but found the Australian keeper’s hands with a tame header.
A fantastic afternoon for Tisdale’s men. A truly rampant performance with a few headline goals to boot. Morecambe never looked in the game and would continue their bad form with one win in the next 5. Exeter would finish the season in the play-offs for the second year running in Paul Tisdale’s final season in charge, of his 12-year tenure.
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Brown, Croll, Woodman, Taylor, James, Tillson (Boateng 43), Moxey (Edwards 72), Reid (Jay 87), Stockley,
Unused: Archibald-Henville, Hamon, McAlinden, Wilson,
Morecambe FC: Roche (Nizic 4), Lund, Old, Müller, Brough, Fleming (Kenyon 68), Rose, Thompson (Lang 77), Campbell, Ellison, Oliver
Unused: McGowan, Lavelle, Turner, Osborne
Referee: Brett Huxtable