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Exeter City 1-0 Ipswich Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 4th Jan 2020 15:56

Nicky Ajose’s goal in the final minute has given Exeter a 1-0 half-time lead over the Blues at half-time in the Leasing.com Trophy.

Teddy Bishop and Freddie Sears both made their first starts of the season playing off lone central striker Will Keane with Cole Skuse and Andre Dozzell in the centre of the midfield.

Toto Nsiala, James Wilson and Luke Woolfenden - two of only three players who started at Wycombe on Wednesday to keep their places - were the back three with Myles Kenlock and Gwion Edwards - the other - the wing-backs. Tomas Holy was back in goal.

Exeter made 10 changes from the team which won 1-0 at Forest Green Rovers on New Year’s Day with former Blues midfielder Lee Martin on the bench.

The Grecians were forced into a late change of keeper after Lewis Ward picked up an injury in the warm-up. Sub Jonny Maxsted started with youngster Jack Arthur on the bench.

Town began the game on top with Bishop making a couple of early trademark pacy dribbles towards the Exeter penalty area, despite a surface more Sunday league than EFL.

But the game’s first shot came in the 10th minute - with Grecians fans still streaming into the ground - when Joel Randell cut inside Edwards on the left of the box and hit a low shot which Holy claimed at the second attempt.

On 12 Ajose looped an effort well over after being found in space on the left, then at the other end Bishop almost found himself in on goal after the ball dropped for him on the edge of the area but his touch let him down and Alex Hartridge stabbed away from him. Two minutes later home skipper Jake Taylor shot over from distance.

Nsiala headed Town’s first attempt at goal into the side-netting from a tight angle from a Dozzell ball in from the right following a corner.

Taylor curled over for the Grecians, who were having a lot of the ball and plenty of shots from distance but without testing Holy.

Most of the game had been played in the Town half but on 36 Skuse looked the break on halfway but was tripped by Matt Jay, who was shown the game’s first yellow card by referee Josh Smith.

As the half moved into its final five minutes the Blues began to put the Grecians under pressure and on 40 went very close to going in front. Keane got round his man on the right, cut the ball back, hit a defender and struck the post before bouncing away from goal.

Town kept the ball around the Exeter box and eventually it was played out to Dozzell, whose shot from 20 yards was going wide to the left of goal until Keane nodded it not too far past the other post. A minute later, Keane was yellow-carded for frustratedly kicking the ball away.

However, in the final minute of the half, the home side took the lead. Nigel Atangana sent a ball in from the right which was flicked on to Ajose at the far post from where he struck a shot off the inside of the woodwork and over the line.

Moments later, referee Smith ended a rather understated half in which the Blues had struggled to make their divisional superiority tell on a pitch which was hardly conducive to playing passing football.

Until the brief spell when the Exeter post was hit and Keane nodded just wide, Town had rarely threatened other than when Bishop, who had had a lively half, had made breaks forward.

The home side had seen more of the ball but until their goal had been limited to efforts from distance which had failed to trouble Holy.

Town: Holy, Woolfenden, Nsiala, Wilson, Edwards, Skuse (c), Dozzell, Kenlock, Bishop, Sears, Keane. Subs: Norris, Jackson, Norwood, Judge, El Mizouni, Garbutt, Dobra.

Exeter: Maxted, Dyer, Warren, Hartridge, Richardson, Taylor (c), Atangana, Jay, Randall, Ajose, Seymour. Subs: Arthur, Martin, Bowman, Collins, Kite, Chrisene, Dean. Referee: Josh Smith (Bedford). Att: 2,299 (Town: 420).

Photo: TWTD

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jas0999 added 16:05 - Jan 4
Must do better in the second half. Exeter have made ten changes. League Two team.

blueboy1981 added 16:09 - Jan 4
Champions League here we come - that’s where Lambert thinks he is ...... !!

blueboy1981 added 16:14 - Jan 4
Our ‘second first team’ are doing well - only 1-0 down .... !!
No excuses please, if they don’t pull this one back. Long journey, tired, getting over Xmas, what else could it be ? - I’ll tell you, they are not good enough full stop.

blueboy1981 added 16:23 - Jan 4
Alleluia - 1-1.

runningout added 16:46 - Jan 4
this is thrilling :-/

tractorboybig added 16:50 - Jan 4
donot worry its part of our long term plan???

Karlosfandangal added 16:52 - Jan 4
You. Could not write this 2-1 last minute and Lee Martin

Tractorboy1985 added 16:52 - Jan 4
Go and extend that deal a bit further mr Evans! Total embarrassment of a football club! EVANS OUT LAMBERT OUT

Pezzer added 16:53 - Jan 4
So we conceded at the end of each half. Very hard being a Town fan still.

dirtydingusmagee added 16:53 - Jan 4
are'nt we great , beaten by Lge 2 team now.

grinch added 16:54 - Jan 4
Lambert is a joke so annoying with these pathetic line ups Nisala should not be anywhere near this squad league 2 side defeats us what a crap manager he is results since his arrival are shocking in fact as bad as the idiot before him

LWNR2013 added 16:56 - Jan 4
Bovvered. Irrelevant tournament.

Tractorboy1985 added 16:57 - Jan 4
Mc Carthy was so bad wasn’t he.... worked miracles under the worst owner in football history! Would have been where we are 5 years before if it wasn’t for him! Some fans still won’t accept he done a very good job with the resources! Don’t blame him for sticking 2 fingers up at the numbskulls! I would rather watch mc carthy boring football but effective than lamberts side to side cr@p and headless chickens with no end product! EVANS OUT LAMBERT OUT

VanDusen added 16:58 - Jan 4
Good. Out of this joke trophy. Now let's concentrate on getting out of League One...

blueboy1981 added 17:00 - Jan 4
Lambert deserves another contract extension after that lot. Such is the ludicrous current situation.
Quite simply far too many players are in cloud cuckoo land, and not good enough.
Either that or the Manager is totally incapable of motivating.
Exeter made 9 or 10 changes for this game within a truly limited squad - so NO excuses please, they won’t stick.

fistpumpfury added 17:02 - Jan 4
How we get out of this current humiliation is beyond me. Probably the worst squad of players ever to don the shirt.
Owner clueless, manager clueless, players clueless, fans too much money to waste obviously.
Forever league one.

ITFCsince73 added 17:07 - Jan 4
Fist pump.....probably?.

Dolphinblue added 17:07 - Jan 4
Unlucky boys, chin up, rubbish cup anyways, league one full focus now....COYB

ITFCsince73 added 17:08 - Jan 4
Each week little by little we drop that little bit more....and so it continues.

19781981twtd added 17:08 - Jan 4
Absolute S***e how much more do we have to put up with perhaps we really have dropped to a league 2 side and below average at that fitted can not even get to Wembley in a mucky mouse cup per F***ING Martin you could just guess it "Sick as a parrott" but this seems to be the Saturday morn.

Elizabeth added 17:14 - Jan 4
Why didn’t Judge and Garbutt play a part in the second half when we were struggling to create anything against a League 2 side ? Totally clueless decision .. should have beaten this team easily ! Seem to be on a slippery slide now . Too many changes being made week after week , clearly doesn’t know his best team !

grinch added 17:33 - Jan 4
should be saying unlucky they are a disgrace how many more defeats before end of season they won't make playoffs in this form even though others are also playing badly they have us to play do that will be 3 points for them and we are mid table sad very sad Hurst and Lambert have brought the level to a mid to bottom of league 1 standard and get paid vast sums of money to achieve this if Hurst was poor then Lambert doing a great impression of him ain't we lucky as town fans to go through this appalling mess

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