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Match Reports

Match Report: Exeter City 2-0 Grimsby Town

Town's unbeaten league run comes to an end in Devon

11 November 2017

Grimsby Town were beaten in the league for the first time in eight games as they lost to Exeter City at St James Park.

The Mariners fell behind when Jayden Stockley opened the scoring just before the half-hour after the hosts had been the better of the two sides.

And after showing signs of improvement in the early stages of the second half, Town conceded again when Liam McAlinden made it 2-0 to seal the points for Exeter.

Town boss Russell Slade again opted not to make any changes to his starting XI, with James McKeown starting in goal behind a defence of Ben Davies, Nathan Clarke, Danny Collins and Paul Dixon.

Siriki Dembele, James Berrett, Luke Summerfield and Martyn Woolford were the midfielders, with Sam Jones and Scott Vernon in attack.

The Grimsby substitutes were Ben Killip, Karleigh Osborne, Mitch Rose, Diallang Jaiyesimi, Zak Mills, JJ Hooper and Jamille Matt.

Exeter came into the game looking for the three points that could see them move back into League Two's automatic promotion places, with Paul Tisdale's side starting the afternoon in fourth place.

Collins conceded an early corner but the danger from the flag was dealt with, although Exeter kept possession and earned another corner, which led to Pierce Sweeney missing the target with a shot.

The early home pressure continued when a foul by Woolford on Lee Holmes gave Exeter a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, which was flicked away for a corner by Collins. 

A Town free kick in a promising position for a foul on Vernon came to nothing as the ball was cleared, before another free kick was played into the box by Dixon but a clearance was made after Clarke had won the initial header.

Another Exeter corner came on 20 minutes but the ball from the flag was missed by everybody and it went out for a goal kick.

A foul on Sumerfield by Hiram Boateng gave Town a free kick on 27 minutes but they were unable to create a chance from it.

Soon afterwards, the hosts took the lead when a ball across goal from Holmes was turned into the net by STOCKLEY, who had been left unmarked at the far post.

The home side had been on top throughout, with Woolford unable to profit when Town did get the ball into the Exeter box on 32 minutes.

A ball into the box from Dixon was headed away as the Mariners continued to struggle to cause problems for their hosts, before a shot from Sweeney went over the bar at the other end after he was put under pressure by Collins.

A good run by Dixon led to a corner when his cross was put behind at the near post on 42 minutes.  Summerfield's ball was touched on by Collins but home keeper Christy Pym managed to make a save on his line.

Soon afterwards, a cross from Woolford was headed towards his own goal by Troy Brown under pressure from Vernon, with Pym pushing it out for a corner.

One added minute was signalled to be played at the end of the half and with no further chances created by either side, Exeter's one-goal lead remained intact at the interval.

No changes were made before the restart and Town's first shot of the second half came from Summrfield, who let fly from 25 yards four minutes in but missed the target.

But although the visitors started the half well, when the game's second goal came, it was the home side who doubled their lead on 52 minutes.  A ball over the top found McALINDEN and he cut inside before curling a shot beyond McKeown.

An Exeter corner two minutes later was cleared, before Dembele tried his luck with a long-range shot that went wide.

The first Grimsby substitution saw Jaiyesimi replace Woolford on 56 minutes and a free kick came for the Mariners five minutes later, although it was cleared.

A cross from Dembele was also cleared after good play between the winger and Jaiyesimi, then Davies became the first in black and white to be booked as he was shown a yellow card for a foul.

Dixon followed him into the referee's notebook soon afterwards for a late challenge, before a shot from Jones was blocked as the Mariners started to show more signs of promise.

Matt was the next to come off the Grimsby bench as he replaced Vernon as the lone striker, with Jones, Jaiyesimi and Dembele now operating as a three behind him and Berrett and Summerfield sitting deeper in midfield.

Dixon was given a final warning by the referee after another foul and it proved to be his last involvement in the game as he was replaced by Mills soon afterwards.  The substitute went to right-back and Davies moved over to the left.

Stockley sent a header just over the bar as Exeter went close to a third goal, although the home side now seemed content to sit on their 2-0 advantage with the clock ticking beyong the 75-minute mark.

Alex Byrne came on for Boateng for the hosts with eight minutes to go, before a Summerfield free kick was saved at the near post by keeper Pym.

Three added minutes were played at the end of the game, with Stockley missing the target with a shot in the second of them as the hosts saw out their win on the attack.

Town are next in action on Saturday, when Carlisle United are the visitors to Blundell Park.

Exeter City

1 Christy Pym 
2 Pierce Sweeney 
3 Craig Woodman 
39 Troy Brown 
15 Jordan Moore-Taylor (C) 
25 Jake Taylor 
10 Lee Holmes 
44 Hiram Boateng 
21 Dean Moxey 
11 Jayden Stockley 
19 Liam McAlinden


13 James Hamon 
38 Jordan Storey 
22 Kane Wilson 
24 Alex Byrne 
28 Kyle Edwards 
20 Matt Jay 
33 Reuben Reid


1 James McKeown 
2 Ben Davies 
3 Paul Dixon 
6 Danny Collins 
5 Nathan Clarke (C) 
7 James Berrett 
27 Siriki Dembele 
19 Luke Summerfield 
25 Martyn Woolford 
21 Scott Vernon 
10 Sam Jones


30 Ben Killip 
12 Zak Mills 
14 Karleigh Osborne 
20 Diallang Jaiyesimi 
8 Mitch Rose 
9 JJ Hooper 
29 Jamille Matt

Referee:  Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 3,854 (254)  

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