Vital Football

Latest Exeter City News

Harley continues to flourish

Harley continues to flourish

Just as it seemed Exeter were heading out of the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy Ryan Harley latched on to Jamie Cureton`s flick and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper for his eleventh goal of the season.

He then went on to score the first penalty of the shootout to set City on their way to the area final at the expense of Bristol Rovers.

Harley has been prolific this season from midfield this season, thriving in Paul Tisdale`s dynamic 3-5-2 system.

Illness meant that he could only manage a 20 minute cameo against Plymouth Argyle on Saturday and his absence was notable as City laboured to a 2-0 defeat.

Tuesday nights JPT game with Bristol Rovers saw glimpses of Harley at his best. Playing in a central midfield three with James Dunne and Liam Sercombe allowed Harley to drift all over the pitch, coming short to pick up possession, occasionally drifting out to the left flank and in the last minute of normal time breaking beyond the strikers to great effect.

Harley return an impressive ten goals from midfield last season, most notably scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory over Leeds United last January, he also scored the crucial goal at home to Huddersfield that preserved the Grecians League One status on the final day of the season.

His late strike against Bristol Rovers saw him surpass last seasons` goal tally, something he has been able to achieve for several reasons.

Beside him in midfield, Dunne and Sercombe have been a revelation, their committed ball winning performances allow Harley to enjoy large chunks possession, Harley himself looks a fitter player this season highlighted in Tuesday night's victory when in the last moments of the game he was still willing to make runs in behind the opposition defence.

Competition for places is healthy in the Exeter City midfield, David Noble is coming into form and is pushing hard for a regular starting berth and Paul Tisdale also has Bertrand Cozic to call on should he wish.

A criticism laid at Harley`s door in the past has been that the defensive side of his game lets him down but it`s a tag that Harley seems to have shaken this season. His off the ball work has flourished this season, without the ball he becomes an old fashioned inside centre offering Scott Golbourne some cover at left wing back, and does a lot of good work defending the edge of his own penalty area.

From a fans perspective Harley is a joy to watch when on top of his game, he always wants the ball, is comfortable using both feet and his individual skill and range of passing is a joy to watch.

Harley began his career as a youngster at Bristol City but after being released wound up playing for Western-super-Mare before Exeter City signed him up early in 2008.

Rumours are rife that Harley is to attracting interest from Championship clubs but no formal approach has been reported yet. Aged 25 Harley is in his prime and it won`t be a surprise if there is a chance for him to move in January.

But for now he is an Exeter City player and no doubt an important part of Paul Tisdale`s plans as St James` Park.







Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Kithson Bain
Date:Thursday December 16 2010
Time: 10:30PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Exeter City Articles

More Reliable Than A League 2 Octopus? (22/2/17)

Time for the new special computer that crunches the numbers to determine the final League Two positions for 2016/17.

Football League - Fixture Day & 2017/18 Key Dates

The Football League have released the key dates for the coming 2017/18 season, and the all important fixtures will be released on Wednesday June 21 at 9am.

Who Serves A Suspension This Week - 17/2/17

Here's a list of all the players currently serving, or under a suspension at the beginning of the week that will potentially keep them out of contention for an applicable...

January League 2 Player Of The Month - Watkins

Exeter City striker Ollie Watkins has been named the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month for December.

Archived Vital Grecians Articles

Vital Grecians articles from

Site Journalists

Write for Vital Grecians
Write For Vital Grecians
Apply Here

Current Poll (see more polls)

Cambridge v Exeter
Suggested By:
Exeter win66%
Cambridge win29%
Draw5%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Doncaster 33 19 8 6 65 23
2 Plymouth 32 19 5 8 62 17
3 Carlisle 33 15 13 5 58 8
4 Portsmouth 32 16 7 9 55 19
5 Luton 33 14 12 7 54 18
6 Exeter 33 15 6 12 51 16
7 Colchester 33 14 8 11 50 8
8 Mansfield 33 13 11 9 50 5
9 Stevenage 33 15 4 14 49 2
10 Cambridge 32 13 7 12 46 4
11 Wycombe 33 13 7 13 46 -2
12 Barnet 33 11 12 10 45 -3
13 Morecambe 32 13 6 13 45 -6
14 Grimsby 33 12 8 13 44 -1
15 Blackpool 32 10 13 9 43 12
16 Crawley 32 12 6 14 42 -10
17 Yeovil 33 9 12 12 39 -7
18 Crewe 33 8 12 13 36 -12
19 Cheltenham 33 8 11 14 35 -9
20 Accrington 31 8 10 13 34 -10
21 Notts County 33 9 7 17 34 -21
22 Hartlepool 33 7 11 15 32 -19
23 Leyton Orient 33 8 5 20 29 -16
24 Newport 33 5 11 17 26 -16
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Exeter City Results (view all)

Exeter City Fixtures (view all)

Feb 28 2017 7:45PM : Crawley Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 4 2017 3:00PM : Hartlepool United (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 11 2017 3:00PM : Accrington Stanley (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 14 2017 7:45PM : Cheltenham Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 18 2017 3:00PM : Luton Town (a)
Sky Bet League Two
Mar 25 2017 3:00PM : Yeovil Town (H)
Sky Bet League Two
Write for Vital Football