First up was the under 18s representing the Grecians in the FA Youth Cup. This took place at the new ground that AFC Totton have, and on 3rd November. Despite taking a 2-1 lead the youngsters bowed out of the cup 3-2.
Nardiello was up for the Football League player of the month. Despite his excellent goal tally, the award went to Jordan Rhodes, who had scored a hat-trick against Exeter last month.
After the 4-4 at Sheffield United had the Grecians found their goal-scoring touch? Saturday 5th saw Carlisle turn up at the Park. This time it was the defence that earned the plaudits. Despite efforts on target, neither side could convert their chances in to goals. So 0-0 it finished. This is what the Western Morning News said:
It was by no means a drab encounter, with lots of half-chances, but the second half was far less entertaining. Exeter found decent opportunities hard to come by, and it was Carlisle who had the better openings.
City 0 Carlisle United 0. Att: 4,245
It would be fair to say that the pairing with Walsall in the first round of the FA Cup was a disappointment to all. However, you have to play what is set out in front of you. Progress in the cup important for finances as well as giving the fans a boost. Saturday 12th. Walsall took the lead on 20 minutes, but it took until 4 minutes of added time before David Noble earned the Grecians a replay. The Western Morning News (WMN) reported:
A jaded and disjointed Exeter side had got out of jail. On the basis of chances created, it was probably what they deserved, but what the scoreline masked was just how disappointing the Grecians had been
City 1 Walsall 1. Att: 3,026
A short trip up the A30/A303 to fellow strugglers Yeovil on Saturday 19th. Any latecomers would have missed 2 goals. Yeovil scoring after 1 minute, but Jake Taylor equalised 2 minutes later. An O’Flynn penalty meant that the Grecians went in at half time 2-1 up. The lead lasted until the 55th minute when Yeovil got an equaliser. The WMN said:
“It was a terrific game to watch. I hope our supporters enjoyed it, because I did,” the Grecians’ chief added. “We were stretched and we extended ourselves to the very limit, and we did extremely well.”
Yeovil Town 2 City 2. Att: 5,635
Wednesday 23rd meant the replay against Walsall in the FA Cup. Paul Tisdale having to make a number of changes Jake Taylor, Dan Nardiello, Guillem Bauza, Matt Oakley and Billy Jones were not available and then David Noble failed a fitness test ahead of the match. City took the lead before half time through Logan (his first goal of the season). Walsall fought back in the 2nd half, with 2 goals on 64 and 69 minutes. But Frear, with his first senior goal, made sure that the game went to extra-time, 2-2. However, in the first half of extra-time Walsall booked their place in the next round against Dagenham and Redbridge.
Walsall 3 City 2 (aet). Att: 2,089
News on Thursday 24th was that City have signed Millwall winger Chris Hackett on loan until the 31st December. Mainly as replacement of Matt Oakley, who returned to Leicester due to injury.
An injury crisis meant a makeshift side, Richard Duffy and Scot Bennett to cover a the defensce midfield, plus Chris Hackett and Elliott Frear were given their full débuts. Tranmere Rovers the visitors on Saturday 26th. The WMN reported:
But Tisdale’s new-look team rose to the occasion – shrugging off the absence of big-name players and Tranmere’s physical challenge – to record a comfortable 3-0 win.
Goals from Bennett on 41 mins, Coles 66 mins and Logan on 78 mins, gave the Grecians a surprising and comfortable win. Plus a rare clean sheet.
City 3 Tranmere Rover 0. Att: 4,108
City gained 5 of the 9 points on offer in December. City occupied 17th place in League 1.
References for quotes
Western Morning News Match Report for the Carlisle game
WMN Match report for Walsall FA Cup
WMN Match report for Yeovil
ECFC Official Site match report for Walsall away in the FA Cup
WMN Match Report for Tranmere match