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Match Reports


7 October 2023

Match Reports


7 October 2023

A 90th minute John McAtee header was enough to beat Exeter City today and rack up a fifth successive victory on the road!

It wasn't as spectacular as the midweek win in Cambridge, but John McAtee's goal saw Neill Collins' Reds edge out the Grecians at St James Park.

The first half promised a fair bit, but never really delivered for either side who were both guilty of being wasteful in the final third. 

After an early coming-together 30 yards from the Reds' goal, Jamie McCart was harshly booked when colliding with Grecians forward Demi Mitchell. The resulting free-kick was fired in with power by Reece Cole, but only into the side-netting.

Up the other end and Devante Cole looked to be felled inside the box having been played in by Jon Russell, but the referee waved play on with Max Watters eventually shooting just wide from the edge of the box.

The hosts' goalkeeper Viljami Sinisalo had to be alert to tip over an audacious shot from Herbie Kane, who tried his luck from 35 yards out, wide right. That was before Callum Styles wriggled his way into the box but his right-footed effort was poor, screwed well wide. 

Before the break, Liam Roberts slipped as he attempted to clear inside his area but luckily, the purchase he got on his connection was enough to see the ball rebound off former Reds striker Jack Aitchison and out for a goal kick.

There were bookings for Aitchison and Styles before we headed into the half time interval with the deadlock unbroken.

HALF TIME: Exeter City 0-0 Barnsley

Standards weren't raised after the break, and if anything, the home side were starting to look the likeliest to nudge ahead. Their brightest player on the day, Mitchell was allowed to run through and towards the box before seeing his effort come back off the woodwork. 

Collins made five changes in the second half and in the last 20 minutes, Barnsley began to wrestle back control of the contest. 

With 15 minutes remaining, Styles should have done better when he found himself 10 yards from goal but having found that space, his shot was tame and straight at Sinisalo. 

The impressive McCart powered a downward header just wide at the back stick, getting on the end of Owen Dodgson's corner, before the latter came up trumps with his delivery soon after. 

Lively substitute McAtee worked the ball wide left and Dodgson's first time cross was inch-perfect for the on-loan forward who had continued his run into the box, diving to head the ball in low from some six yards out, to signal pandemonium in the away end!

But the game wasn't done there, with Mitchell again going as close as you can get with a header that came back off the post in stoppage time, before McAtee had a chance to seal the three points when chasing a long ball and with the 'keeper out he got his shot all wrong, blazing wide with the goal at his mercy.

However, the victory was confirmed seconds later as the Reds registered a fifth straight win on their travels in Sky Bet League One, and moved up to 3rd in the table with a week off coming up due to the international break.

FULL TIME: Exeter City 0-1 Barnsley

Roberts, O'Keefee (Cotter), Williams, de Gevigney, McCart, Cadden (Dodgson), Kane, Russell (Phillips), Styles, Cole (Cosgrove), Watters (McAtee).

Unused: Killip, Shepherd.

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