Exeter City welcome Neil Cox’s Scunthorpe United to St James Park on Saturday, in a 1pm kick off. This gives the perfect opportunity to reminisce on one of the Grecians classic encounters against the Lincolnshire side.
Aaron Davies scored the goal of the season in a rout back in 2013. A Liam Sercombe brace and Sam Parkin’s late finish put the icing on the cake, on a memorable away day.
Paul Tisdale made two changes from the defeat against Hartlepool. Wheeler and Butterfield were dropped in favour of Jimmy Keohane and John O’Flynn. Scot Bennett reverted back to his natural centre half role after Tisdale’s experimental play-Bennett-up-front stage, which had paid dividends against Argyle and Fleetwood in recent weeks.
Exeter played in their changed yellow and blue strip, as this season marked the 100th anniversary of the friendly against the newly founded Brazil national team.
Both teams entered the game in rich form. Exeter were fighting for the automatic spots and Scunthorpe were on a six-game unbeaten run themselves.
In the opening exchanges, Burton stole in behind the Exeter defence only to be denied by Artur Krysiak in the City goal.
Minutes later, a lofted ball into the Exeter box was mis-handled by the Polish goalkeeper, and the ball was smashed home by Dave Syers, only to be ruled out for a foul on the City shot-stopper.
Exeter went ahead on 34 minutes. A delightful chip ball forward by Alan Gow was cleverly flicked on by O’Flynn. The ball found its way to the onrushing Liam Sercombe who netted his first goal of the season from the edge of the box.
City continued to press. Alan Gow fired wide after a speculative effort from 25 yards.
Five minutes into the second half and Exeter City doubled their advantage. Following a throw-in midway in the Scunthorpe half, the ball bounced kindly for Aaron Davies. On the half turn, the Welshman fired a right footed volley high into the Lincolnshire sky. The ball the dipped beyond the helpless Sam Slocombe, off the inside of the post and in- for the 2013/14 Goal of the Season.
Exeter made the points safe only a minute later. Alan Gow picked the ball up wide on the right-hand side and marched into the box. A simple pass found its way to Sercombe who swept Exeter into a three-nil lead.
Full of confidence, Davies tried from distance again- this time flying into the Exeter fans behind the goal. Scunthorpe then began to show signs of why they were unbeaten in six going into this game. A mid-half onslaught on the Exeter goal ensued.
Syers tested the ever-alert Artur Krysiak at his near post. The midfielder then tried from range to no prevail either, as Kysiak palmed away his effort. Scunthorpe’s best chance came shortly after. Canavan’s teasing cross was met by Winnall. His header squirmed wide of the City post to safety. Chances came and went for the home side, but there was still time for one more Exeter goal.
In added time, John O’Flynn found a teenage Matt Grimes. The youngster’s long-range effort was poorly dealt with by the Scunthorpe keeper. Sam Parkin’s strikers extinct won the race for the loose ball, and he casually chipped the ball over the grounded Slocombe to tap in for City’s fourth.
As the cliches go it was the perfect away performance against the in-form team for Paul Tisdale’s men, to cap a wonderful response to the result last week. A memorable day for all those who made the long journey north.
Scunthorpe United: Slocombe, Byrne, Dawson, McAllister (Adelakun 73), Mirfin, Canavan, Sparrow (Hawkridge 53), Syers, Spencer, Burton, Esajas (Winnall 53)
Unused: Ribeiro, Severn, Waterfall, Wootton
Exeter City: Krysiak, Baldwin, Woodman, Doherty (Gill 69), Bennett, Coles, Keohane (Grimes 69), Sercombe, O'Flynn, Gow (Parkin 73), Davies
Unused: Moore-Taylor, Tillson, Pym, Wheeler
Referee: Craig Breakspear