So, on to the shortest month, February. To start us off we had our first, and only, postponement of the season. Saturday’s game away to Bournemouth couldn’t be played due to a frozen pitch. Thankfully, it was called off on Friday, so no wasted trips for City fans. A quick replacement date was found, and the game took place on the Tuesday.
A cold Tuesday 7th, saw Exeter City travel for the re-arranged game at Bournemouth. A cold night on the south coast. The Bournemouth club had been spending heavily in the transfers market, surprising many by spending £800k on former Conference player Matt Tubbs.
The Western Morning news (WMN) reported the all too familiar refrain:
For long spells of the game, Exeter competed well, but the game told an all too familiar story as the Grecians failed to take chances that came their way and were left to rue some soft defending, which was ruthlessly capitalised on by Bournemouth.
Inevitably Tubbs scored. Exeter City could and should have been able to better. But instead another goalless night for the Grecians.
Bournemouth 2 City 0. Att: 5,497
Saturday 11th, most of the fixtures in League 1 and 2 postponed due to the weather, this was an opportunity for the Owls to create some space at the top of the table for themselves. However, it was not to be. Two great strikes from free kicks, the first from Billy Jones, the second from David Noble did the damage for Exeter City. Thus ending the goal drought that had been in existence since Sercombe’s 87th minute goal against Chesterfield on Saturday 7th January. The WMN said:
Exeter were deserving of their success and, like Leeds two years ago and Wednesday and Charlton last year, it was another notable scalp for City. And that’s not bad for a pub team.
Although City went 1-0 down in the 63rd minute, a belief that they have when they play Wednesday must have kicked in.
City 2 Sheffield Wed 1 . Att: 5,555
A visit to Meadow Lane to play Notts County on a St Valentines Day Tuesday. 188 intrepid City fans made the trip for this evening kick off. The WMN reported:
Exeter City paid the price for two mistakes after being sentenced to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Notts County at Meadow Lane last night. Keeper Artur Krysiak slipped at the vital moment and presented the easiest of tap-ins for Lee Hughes as County forced the breakthrough after eight minutes. But the visitors pressed the self-destruct button again on 28 minutes when Troy Archibald-Henville clumsily brought down Jon Harley in the penalty area.
Scott Bennett’s goal in the middle of 2 County goals, a defeat on the road, that could and should have been avoided.
Notts County 2 City 1. Att: 4,741
On the Friday evening (17th) Exeter City’s youth team visited Colchester United’s Weston Homes Stadium for a semi-final game. City’s youngsters were victorious after penalties, and so to an Area Final against Millwall.
Saturday 18th had Bury visiting St James Park. Bury had gone in to a free fall, and the big question was could Exeter City take advantage? Much to everyone’s surprise Exeter immediately took the game to Bury. After 9 minutes City were 2-0 up! Troy opened, Nardiello scored from the penalty spot after Sodje clumsily knocked over Jake Taylor. Whilst loanee Amoo pulled 1 back for Bury, a Logan goal meant we went in at half time 3-1 up. Bury added a further goal at the end to give City fans the jitters, but City completed the game as 3-2 winners. The WMN wrote:
Manager Paul Tisdale called on players to put things right after last week’s 2-1 defeat at Notts County and they responded with a blistering start that paved the way for their sixth home success of the season. Troy Archibald-Henville rammed home the opener before Daniel Nardiello doubled the hosts’ advantage with a well-taken penalty.
A good result, essential given that most of the team below City also won.
City 3 Bury 2. Att: 4,281
Saturday 25th meant a trip to Huddersfield. Exeter City got an astonishing 1-0 win their last season. Was fate on Exeter’s side this season? Due to injuries, young Aaron Dawson was called up to make his début. The view of the WMN:
To be fair to Exeter, they competed, and competed well. In fact, they were a match for Huddersfield for long spells of the match, but the difference was ultimately that extra bit of quality in the final third.
Aaron Dawson had a good start to his professional career. However, Exeter City again failed to score a goal.
Huddersfield 2 City 0. Att: 14,105