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REPORT | Exeter City 0-0 Yeovil Town

Glovers come away from Devon with a point

13 March 2018

Jordan Green dribbles with the ball PPAUK

Town continued their run of good form against their West Country rivals with a well-earned 0-0 draw at St James Park.

In a goalless first-half Town had to stand firm at the back as the Grecians began in a menacing manner, but the Somerset outfit held their Devonian counterparts to stalemate at the halfway point.

In an end-to-end second 45 the visitors more than matched their top seven opponents with Lewis Wing going close to breaking the deadlock, but a well-earned point stopped a run of three defeats in Sky Bet League Two.

Looking to halt a run of defeats, Darren Way made four changes for the shortest trip of the season to St James Park. 

Handing Stuart Nelson and Shaun Donnellan their debuts in goal and defence respectively, Jonny Maddison dropped to the bench whilst Corey Whelan missed out completely as the unfortunate sixth loan.

Completing the changes, Jared Bird replaced the injured Connor Smith in the centre of midfield with Alex Fisher coming in for Sam Surridge to partner captain Francois Zoko up front.

Lining up against each other for a third time this season, the hosts started in determined fashion keen to avoid a third straight defeat at the hands of the Green & Whites. 

With just a minute on the clock debutant Nelson was called into action, finding himself perfectly placed to tip Matt Jay's shot from inside the box over the bar. 

Penning themselves deep in Yeovil territory in the opening five minutes, the visitors had to ride their luck as Jake Taylor's venomous strike was deflected inches wide before Ryan Harley had a well-hit effort blocked by Omar Sowunmi.

At the other end, Bird was left frustrated when referee Keith Stroud waved his penalty appeal away following a challenge from home 'keeper Christy Pym, in a rare foray forward at the start of proceedings.

In Exeter's final act of a dominant start, Jay glanced a Jordan Tillson cross wide of the target before the Glovers enjoyed a spell of possession and territory midway through the half. 

Jordan Green had a second penalty claim turned down following a high foot from Craig Woodman, a moment of anxiousness for the hosts who otherwise restricted Yeovil to long-range strikes.

Plateauing into a tight affair, Paul Tisdale's side rallied one last time before the break in search of an opener and went close when Hiram Boateng clattered a shot off the bar from six yards, but it was Yeovil who had the last act of the half when Otis Khan tested Christy Pym from long-range.

In a parallel opposite start to the first-half, the second 45 began in more timid fashion as the visitors continued to contain their top seven counterparts. 

As the hour-mark came and went, corners at each end of the pitch provided the only meaningful attempts on goal as Dean Moxey headed wide for the Grecians before Sowunmi could only pick out Pym at the other end.

Restricted to strikes from outside the box Jay and Ryan Harley went close to testing Nelson, but frustration continued to grow amongst the 3,600 home supporters as it remained goalless. 

Growing in confidence, the Green & Whites began to pose more of a threat in the final 20 minutes led by the impact from the bench of Rhys Browne. 

The Antiguan winger burst along the by-line with 74 minutes played only for his cut-back to be parried by Pym.

Finishing strongly, Yeovil had their best chance of the half with 10 minutes remaining when Lewis Wing's venomous drive from the angle was well parried by Pym, as the visitors searched for a first away win since Boxing Day.

Desperate not to drop points in their quest to finish up in the top six, the Devonian outfit missed a gilt-edged chance in the 90th minute when Jayden Stockley somehow missed the target after the ball squirmed to him inside the box. 

Seeing out six minutes of additional time the Glovers ensured they would make the short journey back to Somerset with a share of the spoils, ending a run of three defeats by frustrating their play-off chasing opponents.

Exeter City: Pym; Sweeney, Brown, Moxey, Woodman; Taylor, Boateng, Tilson, Harley (McAlinden 82'); Stockley, Jay (Edwards 74').
Bookings: Tillson 81'
Subs not used: Jones, Archibald-Henville, Seaborne, James, Simpson.

Yeovil Town: Nelson; James, Sowunmi, Donnellan, Dickson; Green, Wing, Bird, Khan (Browne 57'); Zoko (Surridge 82'), Fisher (Barnes 70').
Bookings: Green 43', Donnellan 72'
Subs not used: Maddison, Mugabi, Santos, Seager.

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