Exeter City scored their biggest league win this season as they beat Accrington Stanley 5-0 to extend their St James Park winning streak to three games on the bounce.
The Grecians dominated the entirety of the game, with five different goal scorers, in Demetri Mitchell, Sam Nombe, Josh Key, James Scott and Jay Stansfield, with the latter scoring his first goal in front of the Big Bank.
Following last weekend’s 3-1 defeat away at Cheltenham, Gary Caldwell made three changes to the side, with the returning midfield duo of Kevin McDonald and Harry Kite taking the places of Kegs Chauke, who is currently on international duty with South Africa U21’s, and Joe White who dropped to the bench, with Alex Hartridge returning from his suspension in place of Jonathan Grounds.
The hosts started the game on the front foot, with Key and Mitchell pushed far forward, and they crafted out their first half-chance after three minutes as Key drove down the wing and played the ball across to Stansfield, whose shot was blocked by Baba Fernandes.
City had a good opportunity to open the scoring five minutes later, as Nombe burst forward on the break down the right flank, and curled the ball across to Mitchell, who took it down well, but his effort was blocked and cleared for a corner.
With half an hour gone, the Grecians were clearly the team on top and had another chance as Harry Kite thread the ball through two Accrington defenders into the path of Nombe, who took a snapshot at goal which was comfortable for Lukas Jensen.
Exeter had a huge chance to open the scoring just two minutes later, as Stansfield played the ball to Key, who squared the ball to an unmarked Archie Collins, but his first-time effort from close range flew over.
With the momentum in their favour, the hosts continued to put the pressure on as Collins played a lovely outside of the foot pass to Nombe, but his shot was comfortable for Jensen.
City made their pressure count after 36 minutes, with Mitchell receiving the ball on the left, and dribbling inside, before unleashing a superb strike on his right foot from 25-yards out which found the top right corner and put the Grecians ahead.
The Grecians started the second half with the same energy as the first and doubled their lead after 50 minutes, as Will Aimson played a fantastic lobbed ball which created a big gap in the Accrington defence and found Josh Key who went one-on-one with Jensen and slotted the ball past him to score his second goal in as many games.
City could have made it three soon after, as Nombe found himself in on goal, but his effort was fired straight into the arms of the Accrington goalkeeper.
An out of form Accrington were feeling the pressure that City were putting them under, and the hosts made it three after 54 minutes, as a corner was headed on Key, into the path of Collins who headered it towards the foot of Alex Hartridge who flicked it onto the crossbar, and the ball fell to Nombe who tapped home from close range.
Exeter were in complete control of the game, and Mitchell tried to get his second of the afternoon as he took on an Accrington defender before firing a shot over the bar.
With the game winding down, Caldwell made the decision to bring on James Scott, and he made an instant impact as he used his first few touches to pass the ball through to Stansfield, who squared the ball back to the striker, who scored his first City goal to make it 4-0.
The hosts were running riot at St James Park, and it was a special moment for the club with ten minutes to go, as Jack Sparkes played Stansfield in down the left flank, and the Fulham loanee cut inside and fired home to score his first goal at St James Park, in front of the Big Bank.
This result means Exeter have now won their last three games at St James Park, and ensures a perfect recovery following last weekend’s defeat.
The Grecians will look to continue their home unbeaten run as they take on Barnsley on Tuesday March 28th.
CITY: Blackman, Key (Coley, 84), Sweeney, Aimson, Hartridge, Mitchell (Sparkes, 74), Kite, McDonald (White, 62), Collins, Stansfield (Harper, 84), Nombe (Scott, 74).
Subs not used: Lee, Grounds.
Accrington: Jensen, Clark, Whalley, Leigh (Butler-Oyedeji, 45), McConville, Longelo (Nolan, 45), Rodgers, Adedoyin (Lowe, 62), Martin (Moonan, 79), Pickles (Pressley, 45), Fernandes.
Subs not used: Savin, Mancini.
Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 6,556 (130 away fans)