Sparkling City mugged by Shrews
St James Park
Saturday 16 August 2008
Exeter City`s last game against Shrewsbury was a Nationwide Conference battle at Gay Meadow. The home side had much the better of a scrappy game, but two late goals earned City a 2-2 draw and left the travelling Grecians deliriously happy with an unlikely point.
With both sides now restored to the Football League, their first encounter at that level left the Shrews faithful equally amazed to come away with all three points.
'We mugged yer', admitted one guilty Shrew over post-match beers. Whether the confession was heartfelt or influenced by our chanting, raised pitchforks and burning pyre is another matter...
City hit the bar three times in the first half, as the Grecians dominated proceedings at a soggy St James Park.
A magnificent Ryan Harley free-kick was turned onto angle of post and crossbar by the diving Daniels in the Shrewsbury goal. Agonisingly, Danny Seaborne hit the crossbar from the resulting corner.
Towards the end of the half, Harley hit the woodwork again, his ferocious shot from just inside the box cannoning back from the bar with the keeper beaten all ends up.
In the second half, City`s dominance was less stark, but still the Grecians played some fine football. However it was Paul Murray, tricking Rob Edwards to give himself plenty of time 25 yards out, who struck a shot past the diving Paul Jones. It certainly won`t make any 'comedy howlers` videos, but Jonah will be disappointed not to have kept that one out.
At the other end, Daniels produced a miracle save to deny Ryan Harley yet again. The magnificent Harley blasted a free-kick low, hard and clean through the wall, but Daniels somehow reacted in an instant to dive to his right and turn the ball past his right hand post.
As City pressed forwards in the closing minutes, Shrewsbury gave an inkling as to why they`re many people`s favourites for promotion this season. Although their finishing was wasteful, they counter-attacked ruthlessly in search of a second, but had to (her, hum) settle for a 1-0 win.
Weaker sides than City may well get thumped by the Shrews, but, as we now know, this Exeter City side is pure class.