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Match Reports

Report: Blues 1-1 Exeter

26 November 2013

Steven Craig’s third goal of the season was cancelled out by a second-half Alan Gow strike as Wanderers drew 1-1 with Exeter City.

Craig fortuitously opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Josh Scowen’s effort from the edge of the area hit the striker on the chest and wrongfooted keeper Artur Krysiak.

Blues created the better chances, but were pegged back 10 minutes from time when Gow scrambled home from close-range.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to the side that lost at Chesterfield on Saturday with Matt Bloomfield and Dean Morgan replacing Paris Cowan-Hall and Matt McClure.

Neither side stamped their authority in the opening stages, but a slice of good fortune helped the Blues take the lead in the ninth minute. Scowen was allowed too much time by the Exeter defence and the midfielder tried his luck from the edge of the area. The ball struck Craig and flew into the opposite corner, giving Krysiak no chance.

Sam Wood’s fine through ball released Morgan in the 13th minute and the forward cut inside, only to see his shot deflected behind. From the resulting short corner, Morgan curled over the bar.

The goal had sparked Wanderers into life and Billy Knott was the next to try his luck after escaping from a challenge in midfield, but the Sunderland loanee’s powerful 25-yarder was straight at Krysiak.

Krysiak produced a fine save to prevent Ainsworth’s men from doubling the lead in the 33rd minute as he superbly parried away Lewis’ deflected drive after the visitors had failed to properly clear a Wood corner.

Gary Doherty did well to deny Liam Sercombe eight minutes before the break after the midfielder jinked his way into the area in a rare Exeter attack, but Blues were still looking the more threatening and Morgan dragged a shot wide following a quick break by Knott.

Wanderers were fast out of the traps in the second half and Craig headed Wood’s inch-perfect cross over the bar from eight yards.

Bloomfield curled over the bar from 15 yards, but the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the game so far soon after and Scot Bennett tested Ingram, but Blues’ No.1 was well placed to save on the hour.

Doherty headed Scowen’s corner straight at Krysiak and the centre-back came even closer in the 68th minute when he met Bloomfield’s corner, but Danny Butterfield cleared off the line.

David Wheeler was inches away from dragging the Grecians level two minutes later when his half-volley took a deflection off Wood and whistled just past Ingram’s right-hand post.

Ainsworth made his first change 19 minutes from time when Max Kretzschmar replaced Scowen, who was on a booking, before bringing on McClure for Morgan four minutes later.

Exeter’s introduction of former Chairboy Sam Parkin added a different dimension to their attack, but they were still struggling to break through a well-organised Wycombe defence and it was the Blues who had the next chance as Bloomfield made ground on the right, only to curl wide of the far post.

Blues’ final change came 11 minutes from time when goalscorer Craig was replaced by Cowan-Hall and the visitors levelled less than 60 seconds later when Gow scrambled home from close-range after Wanderers had failed to completely clear Matt Gill’s long throw. Gow almost grabbed a second straight from the resulting kick-off, however, his shot deflected narrowly over.

The game was swinging from end to end and a sliding-in McClure was just unable to get a touch on Bloomfield’s cross after the midfielder had been found well by Knott inside the area.

Bloomfield then collected McClure’s pass and turned past Butterfield, only to see his well-struck shot fly straight into Krysiak’s arms.

McClure’s first-time volley from Bloomfield’s cross was also comfortable for Krysiak as Chairboys pushed for a late winner and Doherty was just unable to turn home Kretzschmar’s driven cross in injury-time as Exeter held on for a point.

Subs: Horlock, Dunne, Johnson, Morias.
Wanderers: Ingram, McCoy, Wood, Doherty, Stewart, Scowen (Kretzschmar 71), Bloomfield, Lewis (c), Knott, Morgan (McClure 75), Craig (Cowan-Hall 79).  

Subs: Pym, Baldwin, Doherty, Keohane, Nichols.
Exeter: Krysiak, Butterfield, Woodman, Coles (c), Bennett, Wheeler (Davies 75), Gill, Sercombe, Grimes, O’Flynn (Parkin 65), Gow.  


Attendance: 2,357 (185 Exeter)

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