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Match Report


Posted Sat 20 Mar 10 at 17:52 PM


A last minute Richard Logan goal cruelly denied a brave Wycombe Wanderers a deserved victory here at Adams Park.

The Grecians came from two goals down to snatch a point after the Blues had gone two goals ahead through Gareth Ainsworth and Stuart Beavon in the second half.

In what was a pulsating last quarter of the game, the Blues looked set for victory before a stunning effort from Exeter midfielder Liam Sercombe pulled his side back into the game.

And Logan's late leveller completed the comeback to leave Wycombe seven points adrift of safety with nine games remaining.

Blues boss Gary Waddock made one enforced change from the trip to Oldham, with Chris Westwood coming in for Alan Bennett, who had been recalled from his loan spell at Adams Park by Brentford during the week.

During the opening exchanges it was the away side that settled quicker, with Wanderers finding it difficult to establish any significant rhythm to their game.

On four minutes Exeter had the first attempt at goal, with Adam Stansfield forcing Heaton in the Blues goal into a smart save down to his right from 20 yards out.

The visitors threatened again on ten minutes. The referee awarded a free kick five yards outside the Blues area, but Heaton gathered George Friend's curling effort comfortably into his chest.

Steve Tully, the Exeter right back, charged down the right hand side and played a dangerous ball across the Wycombe six yard box, which was ushered out of danger by the Blues defence.

Matt Harrold had the home side's first attempt on goal after some good work by Kevin Betsy, who found Ainsworth on the right hand side of the area and his clipped cross was just headed wide by the towering striker.

Harrold was in action again soon after, running on to a smart ball played into the channel from Julian Kelly, and Harrold forced a corner from his blocked cross. Dean Keates whipped the corner over where Ainsworth rose at the back post but his header just went the wrong side of the post.

At this stage the Blues were beginning to impose themselves on the game. On 38 minutes Stuart Beavon unleashed a fierce left footed volley that just flashed over Paul Jones' crossbar, after the ball broke to him on the edge of the visitors' penalty area.

Three minutes later Stuart Beavon found his strike partner Harrold who powered through the heart of the Grecians defence
, showing great strength to hold off a number of challenges before forcing a very good save from Jones with a well struck effort.

This was the last meaningful action of the first half and as the referee blew his whistle for half-time, Blues boss Gary Waddock would have been pleased with his side's efforts following a nervous start to the game.

The home fans appeared to sense that the Chairboys needed lifting as the second half began. The Adams Park faithful upped the noise levels and the home side responded first through a 25 yard drive by Dean Keates that just flew wide of the Exeter goal before Matt Harrold again had a headed effort that came close.

Wanderers' tails were up and on 55 minutes their excellent start to second half was rewarded when Gareth Ainsworth latched on to a ball that Exeter's Liam Sercombe failed to clear, and from 45 yards out Ainsworth rolled back the years by racing into the box and coolly slotting the ball under the advancing Paul Jones.

And it got even better for the Blues five minutes later. This time Woodman played a great ball over the top for Stuart Beavon who ran on to slot the ball past the despairing dive of Jones. Cue wild celebrations in the Greene King Stand as hopes of a crucial victory for the Chairboys were growing.

However those hopes were dampened somewhat five minutes later as Exeter pegged one back against the run of play. Midfielder Liam Sercombe atoned for his error that led to Ainsworth's goal by unleashing a stunning 30 yard strike into the top corner that gave Tom Heaton no chance.

This appeared to rock the Blues confidence as Exeter began to create more goalscoring opportunities as the second half progressed. Veteran striker Marcus Stewart had a chance from 12 yards out for the visitors but spooned his shot over the bar.

Exeter forced a series of corners but were repelled by some heroic last ditch defending by the Blues defence, with skipper Adam Hinshelwood in particular leading by example flying into tackles and blocking shots.

At the other end Beavon had a shot deflected over the bar after being found by a superb little flick by Alex Revell who replaced Matt Harrold. Waddock brought on Jon- Paul Pittman on 82 minutes for Stuart Beavon as the visitors continued to threaten the Blues goal.

Heaton produced another excellent save from Exeter substitute Richard Logan, saving down low to his left following a powerful header from the striker.

The pressure was mounting on the Wanderers, and the tense atmosphere inside the ground was indicative of how the game was going. Then on 90 minutes the ball broke to substitute Logan and he slotted the ball low into the bottom left hand corner of Heaton's which levelled the game.

This was a cruel blow to the Blues, whose brave effort and commitment deserved more than this cruelest of endings. A late John Mousinho effort forced a corner for Wanderers but the game finished in a draw.

The Blues' committed and stirring performance looked to have secured a crucial three points but they will have to make do with another point in the battle for survival.

By Gary Anderson

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