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Exeter City 1-1 Ipswich Town (4-2 on pens) - Match Report
Tuesday, 14th Aug 2018 21:57

Former Blues midfielder Lee Martin struck the decisive penalty as Town were beaten 4-2 in a shoot-out by League Two Exeter City following a 1-1 draw to crash out of the Carabao Cup at the first round stage. Kayden Jackson put the Blues ahead in the first half but another ex-Town player Troy Brown equalised in the second to leave the scores level at full-time. Teddy Bishop and Trevoh Chalobah missed their spot-kicks for the Blues before Martin won the tie for the Grecians.

Boss Paul Hurst made three changes with striker Jackson and midfielder Tayo Edun making their full Town debuts, and Freddie Sears returning to the XI.

Cole Skuse and Ellis Harrison dropped to the bench, while Gwion Edwards missed out with a minor quad problem.

Bishop, who last played on Boxing Day, and Danny Rowe were among the subs for the first time this season.

Exeter included two ex-Blues, winger Martin, who was making his full debut for the Grecians, and central defender Brown.

Town started positively and as on Saturday passed the ball around confidently. On six, after good work from Edun, Jonas Knudsen crossed deep from the left but Craig Woodman nodded away ahead of Jon Nolan.

Having struggled to get hold of the ball in the early stages, Exeter began to get on top and in the 15th minute ex-Blue Martin struck a curling effort from 25 yards which Toto Nsiala blocked, although it looked to be going wide in any case.

Town quickly regained the upper hand and on 17 a Knudsen cross was cleared out to Chalobah, whose volley wasn’t too far wide of Grecians’ keeper Christy Pym’s right post.

Chances were rare occurrences but on 26 Janoi Donacien broke into the right of the box and flicked the ball over Pym across the six-yard box but no Town player was on hand to add the final touch and Aaron Martin cleared.

Exeter should have taken the lead on the half hour when Lee Martin was sent away behind the Blues’ backline and crossed to Matt Jay at the far post but the sliding striker somehow scuffed the ball wide when it seemed easier to score.

With eight minutes of the half remaining, Town went in front. Edun skipped past a couple of Exeter players then as he reached halfway sent Jackson away down the left.

The £1.6 million signing from Accrington cut in virtually along the touchline and looked set to cut back to any one of a number of team-mates but instead smashed a shot into the net off Pym at his near post with the keeper covering the cross.

Whether Jackson was shooting or crossing was the subject of debate, however, the 24-year-old appeared to have noticed Pym straying away from his post and had tried something similar from the other flank earlier in the game.

The Blues were a more confident outfit having gone in front and might have doubled their lead just before half-time when a cross ran out to Nolan 12 yards out from where he hit a shot on the turn which was deflected wide off Jake Taylor.

Soon after, the half-time whistle went with the Blues having been in control for the most part, although with Exeter having had the game’s best chance up to Town’s goal through Jay, who really ought to have put his team in front.

As in their previous two games, Town had been more comfortable on the ball than was the case in previous seaosn and played it around slickly at times, with Edun catching the eye, however, without creating too many clear-cut opportunities.

Jordan Spence replaced Donacien ahead of the start of the second half, the right-back presumably having picked up an injury.

The home side went close to an equaliser in the 55th minute when sub Archie Collins broke into the area and hit a shot which deflected into the side-netting off Knudsen. From the corner, Aaron Martin flicked a header wide.

Exeter weren’t too far away again on 59 when Hiram Boateng sent in a dangerous low ball from the left but sub Tristan Abrahams was unable to get a touch at the near post.

Town threatened for the first time since the break in the 62nd minute when Spence sent Jackson away on the right but the goalscorer’s low ball flew behind Edun.

But two minutes later, the Grecians equalised and via one of their former Blues. Jack Sparkes’s low freekick from the right somehow made it into the six-yard box where Bartosz Bialkowski desperately stuck out a toe. However, the keeper was only able to send it straight up in the air and Brown nodded into the net from an inch or so out.

Two minutes after the goal Bishop replaced Sears, then Grecians skipper Jake Taylor was booked for a foul on Nolan.

As the game moved into its final quarter of an hour, Jackson was sent away by Spence and cut the ball back to Nolan, who shot not too far over the bar from the edge of the box. On 78 Rowe took over from Ward.

Edun then shot well over from 20 yards, prior to Blues fitness coach Nathan Winder being shown a yellow card - with coaching staff receiving cautions for the first time this season - for dissent, referee Brett Huxtable having given a freekick to Town when the Blues were still in possession and breaking forward.

Jackson was crowded out as he broke into the area on 81, then Knudsen and Nsiala were both yellow-carded, the Dane for dissent having conceded a freekick and the former Shrewsbury defender for a foul on the edge of the box. From the resultant freekick, Sparkes shot straight at Bialkowski.

Town came close to winning it in the 85th minute when Jackson laid the ball back to Edun, who hit a powerful strike which Pym did well to bat away.

The game was becoming ever more open with penalties looming and two minutes later Abrahams struck a shot across Bialkowski from an angle on the left which the keeper saved low and Chalobah cleared.

In the final minute of scheduled time, Spence appeared to aim a stamp towards Woodman after being rather unnecessarily clattered from behind on the touchline but fortunately appeared not to make contact and little was made of the incident.

Moments after the board was raised signalling four additional minutes, the Blues went close again. Nolan hit a cross-shot from the left and Woodman did well to force the ball out ahead of Bishop inside the six-yard box.

Neither side was able to find a winner in the remaining minutes of an evenly-balanced scrappier second half and the game went to a penalty shoot-out in the traditional format rather than the ABBA system used in the competition last year.

Town got off to the perfect start with Bialkowski saving Taylor’s kick down to his left, but Bishop saw his penalty saved by Pym having hit the ball too close to the Exeter keeper.

Bialkowski almost saved from Pierce Sweeney, pushing his penalty on to the inside of the post but the ball eventually found the net.

Skipper Chambers made it 1-1 with a confidently struck kick, then on-loan Norwich striker Tristan Abrahams put the Grecians back into the lead with a spot-kick into the roof of the net.

Jackson sent Pym the wrong way to make it 2-2 before Collins smashed his penalty home to make it 3-2 to the League Two side.

Chalobah blasted his spot-kick well wide to leave ex-Blue Lee Martin with the chance to put his old club out of the Carabao Cup, which he duly did, beating Bialkowski with a well-struck penalty.

Having just about shaded the first half, Town faded after the break, as they have done in all their games so far this season, and allowed Exeter back into the game with Brown’s goal which was a very poor one to concede from a Blues' perspective.

Another Town cup campaign comes to an early end with the Blues still looking for their first win of the season ahead of Aston Villa’s visit to Portman Road on Saturday and then a similarly tough-looking trip to Derby next Tuesday.

Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Brown, A Martin, Woodman, Boateng (Sparkes 62), Tillson, Taylor (c), L Martin, Jay (Collins 52), Stockley (Abrahams 52). Unused: Hamon, Forte, Oates, Croll.

Town: Bialkowski, Donacien (Spence 46), Nsiala, Chambers (c), Knudsen, Chalobah, Edun, Sears (Bishop 66), Nolan, Ward (Rowe 78), Jackson. Unused: Gerken, Skuse, Harrison, Kenlock. Referee: Brett Huxtable (Devon). Att: 3,675 (Town: 351).

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unknown100 added 21:59 - Aug 14
Great moral boosting win.. wait what 🙄

I'll judge after 10 games, said that from the start

billywizz added 22:00 - Aug 14
Very poor, looked like headless chickens from what I saw along with Sunday league crosses! My confidence is slowly decreasing

afcfee added 22:00 - Aug 14
Massive pressure going into the next couple of games now.

Karlosfandangal added 22:00 - Aug 14
New faces new manager same old Town

BlueParadigm added 22:01 - Aug 14
In an earlier post I predicted that Town would be relegated but come straight back up next season. However, following poor games against newly promoted teams from Div 1 and now being beaten by a Div 2 outfit I fear a future of lengthy spells in EFL Div 1/2. In defence of PH the owner should have made the managerial change much earlier last season because he has had no time to develop his team/strategy and in the Championship you have to hit the ground running.

BobbyRobsonsZombies added 22:01 - Aug 14

guentchev added 22:02 - Aug 14
Gutless is the only word that comes to mind.....can we at least try to practice corners and penalties?

BigAlsMate added 22:02 - Aug 14
Fill the team with League 1 unknowns and unfortunately you can end up with a League 1 quality team. Let's keep hoping for the best. COYB

BlueWiddow added 22:03 - Aug 14
Would have liked to have seen Harrison & Jackson up top together. Not worried yet but our shots to shot on target % is a concern.


BobbyPetta11 added 22:03 - Aug 14
Let’s all calm down, it’s very early days you can’t bring 9 players in overnight and expect wonders. Give PH 3/4 months then judge him. I understand travelling fans that went tonight must be extremely frustrated. Him & his signings will come good and kick on after a couple months. My major worry tonight was that Knudsen made Lee Martin look like Mbappe.

WaffleMan added 22:03 - Aug 14
Boring. Beginning to feel slightly worried now. We didn’t create any clear cut chances against a league two side which is frustrating and our goal was extremely fortunate. Struggling to see how we are going to get anything from the next 3 fixtures. I really hope something changes soon. Sounds like we are lacking creativity, missing a young player named Dozzell who surely must be good enough to start in this team right now? Giving PH time and backing 100% but I hope he changes it around before it’s too late

PinstripeBlue added 22:04 - Aug 14
I always liked Lee Martin. Watched him for Town, Millwall then Gillingham.
Underrated in my opinion.
I’m sure he is happy tonight, after a confidence boosting win!!

BartonBluee added 22:04 - Aug 14
If we can’t beat a league 2 team with league 1 / 2 players, we don’t stand a chance against teams from the championship. I don’t care what anyone says football is a results driven business, end of. I don’t find my team losing “entertaining” in the slightest. I just hope Hurst and Co sort it out quickly!

Swn98 added 22:05 - Aug 14
Well done to the Traveling town fans safe journey home.
Lot of work to be done worried about Saturday think we could get tanked I'm affraid.

jjhbruno added 22:06 - Aug 14
I’m all for being positive and thought this is going how I wanted it with the new manager and the stamp he is making but no matter how positive you are you just can’t help but be really really disappointed by this result. We were rubbish no doubt about it. Too many times there were really bad individual errors (back to normal in that sense), don’t want to change the approach as most of us really don’t want to see the football we have had to endure for the last few years but losing (nearly) against 3 teams that were a league or 2 below in the previous season would worry any fan. No panic yet but we need a lift already. Early days

aas1010 added 22:06 - Aug 14
Utter rubbish can’t even beat lower league club , with lower league players. Wrong choice of manager , Evans fault !!! Div1 here we come !!

jas0999 added 22:07 - Aug 14
Not good enough. No excuses and very few positives. This may be early days, but I simply can’t see that this squad is anywhere near good enough. Too many championship quality players sold for big money and inexperienced players brought in. It will take time, but even they should be able to beat Exeter. This was a strong team.

It’s so very disappointing. Just can’t see us being good enough.

BlueWax added 22:07 - Aug 14
Couldn’t make the game but deeply disappointed, we start with a strong team and still lose in poor fashion. Mate S.P remains confident we can make play offs and said at least we took them to penalties tonight!

martin587 added 22:07 - Aug 14
My clotted cream tea in Lyme Regis was the best part of my day.! I'm just lost for words really,I just don't know where to start.
Three games now and there are not any signs of improvement.It will eventually come right,a lot for the manager to sort out before Saturday.We desperately Nead a CB before Saturday and must play two up front.
I've said enough.Now driving home.😡

leftie1972 added 22:07 - Aug 14
Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

brockleyblueboy added 22:07 - Aug 14
Boring boring rubbish rubbish. This is finally the season we wave good by to the championship however it will be via relegarion. I am so sad this evening to be actually witnessing the demise of our once great club. I don’t care if people say I’m over reacting or give it time, this is serious and what makes it worse is the hope that was given however that hope was in the shape of terrible sub standard signings and a manager who is way waaaaaaay out of his depth, selling waghorn and Garner was just sheer stupidity. #ripitfc

mags96 added 22:08 - Aug 14
Be careful what you wish for

itfckenty added 22:08 - Aug 14
Oh well, on the brightside Evans had a good bank meeting today, his profits are up.

EuanTown added 22:09 - Aug 14
Two up front required. Fitness levels need to increase if cannot manage to play for 2 halves.

Steve_D added 22:09 - Aug 14
Get rid now bring in Big Sam ,

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