With Exeter City hosting our familiar friends from Carlisle this weekend here’s a chance to flashback to 2018 and remember Matt Taylor’s very first game in charge of the senior side.
Debut goals from Nicky Law, Jonathan Forte and Tristan Abrahams gave the manager the perfect start, as Jed Penberthy reminisces.
Exeter City 3 Carlisle United 1 | Sky Bet League Two | St James Park | August 4, 2018
There was a buzz walking up Sidwell Street as Exeter City would be beginning a New Era for the City after 12 years of Paul Tisdale. A chance to start anew after narrowly missing out on promotion and a fresh face on the touchline, as former captain-turned-manager Matt Taylor took his first steps into Football League management.
Matt Taylor opted for a couple of debutants in his inaugural side. Nicky Law and Jonathan Forte made their first appearences in Red and White.
Forte almost opened the scoring early on. A touch was needed from the veteran striker to convert Hiram Boateng’s low cross though none came.
But it wasn’t long to wait for the Matt Taylor generation to kick into action. Nicky Law danced his way toward the United box and played Forte along the by-line. The striker’s twisting cross was smashed home by Law, who’d quickly become a firm favourite at SJP.
Carlisle didn’t travel to make up the RSVP’s on the Taylor party and was agonisngly close to finding themselves level soon after. Danny Grainger’s left-foot free kick clattered the underside of the City crossbar with Cristy Pym beaten all ends-up.
That sparked City into some more prolific football and found themselves two-up on 26 minutes. Law again in the heart of the action as he laid the ball through for Lee Holmes. Unselfishly, Holmes pulled the ball back for Forte who guided the ball past Joe Fryer.
It wasn’t plain sailing for Exeter and the Cumbrians got a foothold in the game and drew a goal back. Grainger’s danger swung a ball into the box and Richie Bennett opened his sides account for the season with a looping header.
The City joy down the left continued into the second half. Holmes again finding space to drive at goal but pulled the ball wide.
Jayden Stockley had a great chance to put City 3-1 up when Law found the striker with acres of space at the back post. Uncharacteristically Stockley fired high and wide.
Stockley was denied again when Fryer made a low stop and despite the City forwards best efforts could only find the Big Bank with his follow-up.
But with the last kick of the game, Exeter found the third in free-flowing style. Nicky Law again showed his experience veering clear of a tired Carlisle challenge. A short ball inside found Stockley, who helped it on to second half substitute Tristan Abrahams to rocket one into the top corner, to kick of the Matt Taylor reign with a bang.
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, A. Martin, Law, Holmes (L. Martin 64), Stockley, Forte (Abrahams, 64), Moxey, Taylor, Brown, Boateng (Tillson, 85)
Subs: Hamon, Woodman, Oates, Jay
Carlisle United: Fryer, Miller, Grainger, Liddle, Parkes, Hope, Glendon (Jones, 73), Bennett, Slater (Devitt, 62), Yates (Campbell, 80), Etuhu
Subs: Collin, Gillesphey, Adewusi, Egan
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Attendance: 4,266 (235 away)
Check out our SJP 360 of that memorable day below! 👇