Exeter City returned to winning ways with a 3-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers at a packed St James Park.
The raucous Grecian support made their way to SJP for the first game of the much anticipated double game week. A trademark Harry Kite rocket, an Archie Collins tap in and a towering header from Tim Dieng secured City the three points and sent the home fans away with huge smiles after a fantastic performance.
Matt Taylor made only the one change from the team who lost to Cambridge away at the weekend, with captain Matt Jay coming in for his first league start of the season over Sam Nombe.
A very quiet opening ten minutes saw only one big highlight with Wycombe making a mistake at the back resulting in an Alex Hartridge floating cross reaching Josh Key at the back post, but with not much coming from it the ball was cleared away, City the much stronger side from the start.
In the 22nd minute the first big chance of the game came to the feet of Key who played the ball across goal but to no avail, but the pressure kept coming with Jay and Jevani Brown combining to force a corner from the Wycombe defence.
From the resulting corner it was that man again Kite, scoring another perfect finish to add to his repertoire. A corner swung in by Collins, was met by Pierce Sweeney in the air whose header came back off the post and there was the man of the moment waiting on the edge of the area to blast home, taking his tally to three for the season
The first chance of the day for Wycombe came in the 29th minute, for the veteran Gareth McCleary, whose shot from the edge of the area sailed very far wide of the post, leaving keeper Blackman very much untroubled.
A peach of a cross from marauding wing back Jack Sparkes led to a goalmouth scramble in front of the inexperienced Wycombe keeper, but luck was on his side as the ball sailed over the ball, the resulting corner led to some heavy pressure from the boys in red and white, but the pressure came to nothing. Brown and Jay causing lots of trouble to the Wycombe backline.
The 38th minute came along and so did another goal. Some relentless pressure from captain Jay, after a long range diagonal ball from Cheick Diabate, saw the captain place the ball at the feet of another of the City academy boys Collins to slot the ball away and that made it 2-0 for the Grecians.
The Chairboys were not taking it lying down though, as every time the ball was in their possession a searching ball was being sent over the top to McCleary. But the game was clearly getting to much for the experienced winger who sent City wing-back Sparkes flying over the advertising hoardings forcing the referee to show his first yellow of the game.
During the half-time break, all of the academy players did a lap of honour with the much younger children making themselves known to the disgruntled away supporters, however the away fans enjoyed the humour and gave it back to them which was very much welcomed by the stars of the future.
The second half started very much the same for Matt Taylor’s boys with no changes being made, no surprise there as the boys were very much on top for the whole of the first half. No changes made by the away side either.
Out of no where in the 50th minute, Wycombe made it 2-1, a sighting ball over the top caught the City defence sleeping. A cushioned header from McCleary laid the ball off for ex-City favourite David Wheeler to rifle the ball home from range. There was class from the former Grecian, who did not celebrate his goal, before clapping the St James Park faithful as he left the field.
Only moments later and a heart in mouths moment for the City fans as the ball was fizzed into Blackman’s feet with two Wycombe players approaching, but an outrageous piece of skill from the giant keeper, Cruyff turning both players, led to one of the biggest cheers of the day from the home support.
The 59th minute saw the introduction of goal scoring phenom Nombe to the fray, replacing the very much loved Jay. Only moments later a shocking challenge left Dieng writhing around on the floor in what looked like lots of pain.
A blasting shot from outside the area from Collins, once again sent the Wycombe keeper scrambling across goal, but the shot just sailed wide of the far post. The Grecians very much on top but the away side not making it easy for them.
A Sparkes free kick in the 74th almost sent the Big Bank into delirium but a fingertip save from the Wycombe keeper sends the ball just wide. However, in the resulting corner the midfield maestro Dieng made it a three, a floating corner from Brown found the head of the towering frenchmen who nodded it home.
Blackman called into action once again in the 76th minute having to make a big save from an outside of the box effort. Moments later and Taylor's boys were attacking once again a gem of a volleyed pass from the non-stop running Frenchmen sent Nombe through on goal but after sizing the goal up, the ball ended up agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
With the game starting to slow down in the final ten minutes, Taylor's men were still very much in control of the game, with the ball mainly being kept in the Wycombe defensive third. In the final minutes of added time, Brown was pulling out some of his more trademark skills, entertaining the Big Bank in the final moments of play.
Another game is very quickly upon us with Cheltenham Town the next team to make their way down to SJP on Saturday.
Starting XI: Blackman, Key, Diabate, Hartridge, Sweeney, Sparkes, Dieng (Grounds), Collins, Kite, J.Brown, Jay (C) (Nombe)
Subs Not Used: S.Brown, Stubbs, Caprice, Chauke, Coley,
Wycombe Wanderers: Dickenson, Grimmer, Jacobsen (C), Forino (Pattenden), Wheeler (Al-Hamadi), Wing (Gape), Mehmeti (Freeman), McCleary, Horgan (Mellor), Mason, Scowen
Subs Not Used: Blunkell, Obita
Referee: John Busby
Attendance: 6832 (367 away)