Exeter City Season Review 2010/11: March

On to a season defining March. 7 games to be played. City fans looking to the usual improvement that comes to the Grecians at the end of the season. This could be the opportunity to move to mid table obscurity and safety from relegation. Exeweb voted Scott Bennett as their player of the month for February.


The month started with quite a surprise for City fans. Last season’s lead goalscorer, Jamie Cureton, came in on loan from Leyton Orient. His wages generously being paid for by Follett and Stock. Could he repeat his goalscoring feats of last season, and lead us to safety?


First up is the return leg of the opening fixture of the season. Stevenage flying high in League 1, having been promoted from the Conference only 2 seasons ago. So, Saturday 3rd we were up at the Park for the visit of 6th place Stevenage.

The Western Morning News had this to say:

He {Cureton} played the full 90 minutes on his return and his all-round play was good, but he could not mark his second debut with a goal against an efficient Stevenage outfit who were good value for the draw.

A rare start for Logan, which was rewarded by him with a 5th minute goal. Stevenage equalised in the 64th minute.
City 1 Stevenage 1. Att: 4,437


A trip to London for a Tuesday night (6th) game. City had not lost at Griffin Road since returning to the Football League, mind you all the games had been drawn. But in our miserable season defeat it was going to be, goals from Berahino on 41 and 69 minutes condemned us to a 2-0 defeat, a red card for the captain David Noble and City finished the night in the relegation zone.

The WMN reported:

Noble went in with an elbow on Brentford’s Harlee Dean midway through the second half. Referee Darren Deadman wasted no time in flashing the red card, meaning – perhaps more crucially – Noble will miss Exeter’s next three matches, and Berahino added salt to Exeter’s wounds by notching a second just two minutes later. There was absolutely no need for it and up until then, Noble had been Exeter’s best player. But their lack of fluency going forward and impotent goal threat meant that it was yet another blank on the road for Exeter’s 350 travelling fans to witness.

Brentford 2 City 0. Att: 4,124


City appealed David Noble’s red card to The FA, paid for by Perryman, but as usual The FA paid no heed.

City sign former premiership defender Jonathan Fortune, who was available as a free agent.


Saturday 10th meant a visit to Milton Keynes. A place where we’d never won. Jonathan Fortune made his début, and featured early on, when a shot deflected off of him, and over a stranded Krysiak. Further bad news for City, as February’s player of the month, Scott Bennett limped off with a suspected hamstring injury. Their 2nd goal came when a poorly made pass let MK Dons gain possession and a goal was inevitable. The 3rd came with Exeter pushing for a goal. All in all, a poor day out for City and City fans. The WMN’s thoughts:

Come full-time, manager Paul Tisdale kept his players in the changing room for over an hour in an attempt to rebuild some of that shattered confidence and restore belief. It is an unprecedented step, as was his decision to board the coach home and ignore the gathered media awaiting his thoughts after the game. The truth of the matter is that City are in a difficult place. Saturday’s display perhaps showcased them as they are right now: a team with a tremendous work ethic that will fight until the end, but ultimately, one that lacks genuine quality.

MK Dons 3 City 0. Att: 9,016


If City‘s season couldn’t get any worse, Danny Coles fractured his spine in a training ground accident. Danny was taken to Exeter’s RD&E for treatment. Danny won’t be featuring in a game for sometime.

To replace Danny, City signed Pat Baldwin on loan from Southend.

2 home games, could make or break City‘s season. But firstly, City fans played a friendly with Preston fans. It finished 5-1 to the Preston North End fans. Match report here.


Brazilian TV was in attendance on Saturday 17th, when Graham Westley’s Preston North End were the visitors. The Big Bank tried to create a bit of a samba atmosphere, and plenty of Brazilian flags were in evidence. But on the pitch Exeter City were not joining in with the spirit of the occasion. City went in 1-0 down at half time, to a typically Westley physical side. Liam Sercombe fired in a brilliant equaliser, but Krysiak went walkabout later on to allow Preston to score a winner. The WMN said:

That should have been the cue for City to go on and win the game and to be fair, they gave it their best shot. But Artur Krysiak’s latest clanger, in a season littered with costly mistakes, proved crucial as he went walkabout on the edge of his penalty area and allowed Iain Hume to round him with ease and slide the ball into an empty goal.

City 1 Preston 2. Att: 4,741


In a desperate bid to deal with the goal scoring crisis, Exeter City took on loan, Lauri Dalla Valle from Premiership Fulham. Reported on Exeweb here.

Fellow strugglers Wycombe Wanderers came to town on Tuesday 20th. An archetypal 6 pointer. Wanderers had discovered some form recently after signing a number of loan players. 0-0 at half time, could City hold on and get an all important win? Sadly, was not to be the case. A Hayes goal on 58 minutes, followed by some hope from a James Dunne free kick, but Wycombe took charge of the game with Beavon getting the 2nd on 62 ,minutes and Hayes wrapping up the game and the 3 points for Wycombe Wanderers on 70 minutes. City‘s performance on the night confirmed for many that we weren’t too good to go down.

The WMN said:

It was a game that Exeter City really needed to win in their battle to avoid the drop but, once again, sloppy defending contributed to another depressing defeat as relegation rivals Wycombe Wanderers triumphed 3-1 at St James’ Park.

City 1 Wycombe 3. Att: 4,121


Much excitement from City fans about Rohan Ricketts signing, which had initially been made public by Rohan via Twitter. City also picked up former Argyle player Alan Gow.  However, Alan would have to wait for international clearance before he could don the red and white strips of the Grecians.

In answer to how the Club could afford these new players, the Club admitted that the new players finance had come from private donations.


Saturday 24th meant a visit to the Wirral. The 2 previous visits had resulted in defeats for City, and Rovers, since the appointment of Ronnie Moore, were on a rich vein of form. Rohan Ricketts was available to play, but Alan Gow, despite frantic calls to the Indian FA, was not. The hugely influential and significantly missed David Noble was back in the team after his 3 match suspension.

In two previous trips to Tranmere Rovers, Exeter City returned home well beaten. They were again on Saturday after succumbing to a 2-0 loss, but they may feel somewhat aggrieved at the way things panned out on a gloriously sunny day on the Wirral. With just two minutes on the clock, Ian Goodison punched City loanee Lauri Dalla Valle full in the face. It was worthy of a straight red card, yet referee Steve Rushton barely even gave Goodison a talking to.

City succumb to goals from Labadie on 49 minutes and Cassidy in the 90th. Rohan played for 22 minutes, which was to be his only appearance for the Grecians. City fans beginning to believe the Club genuinely had been renamed Exeter City Nil.

Tranmere 2 City 0, Att: 4,786


The last day of the month (31st), saw Colchester United visiting St James Park. Alan Gow had his international clearance so was available to play.

Whilst Exeter started the game well, a slip in concentration meant that Colchester took the lead after just 6 minutes. Leaving a City side low in confidence with a mountain to climb. Gow lasted 60 minutes in his first game before giving way to Cureton.

With eight minutes remaining, Cureton’s deft header took a huge deflection off Magnus Okuonghae before finding the net. It was Exeter‘s one effort on target in 90 minutes. City had chances to win it, but Cureton was twice off target in the closing stages as Colchester wilted in the spring sunshine. However, while they still remain painfully shy in front of goal, there were many positives for Tisdale to take from the game. Ultimately, though, a point did little for Exeter‘s quest to complete a great escape and they remain eight points adrift of a position of safety.

Cureton has officially been credited with the equaliser on 83 minutes, though it did look like it was an own goal. The draw left Exeter in 23rd place, 8 points adrift of safety.

City 1 Colchester 1. Att: 3,889


Just the 2 points out of a possible 21 points in a disastrous month. City favourites now for one of the relegation spots.


References for quotes
Stevenage match report from the Western Morning News.
Brentford WMN match report
MK Dons WMN match report
Preston North End match report
Wycombe Wanderers match report
Tranmere WMN match report
Colchester United WMN match report

Leave a Reply