Date:Sunday September 6 2009
Exeter City suffered a very disappointing afternoon as they were comprehensively outplayed and beaten by Gillingham at the Priestfield.
The scoreline could have read worse than 3-0 for the Grecians, who now lie just above the relegation zone in 20th place.
City`s two new loan signings both made their debut. Stuart Fleetwood started in a lone striking role whilst 18 year old Tottenham Hotspur loanee Oscar Jansson started in goal in place of the injured Paul Jones. There was also a debut for 19 year old James Dunne, who was signed from Arsenal in the summer.
As with last weekends disastrous start at home to MK Dons, City conceded an early goal after Marcus Stewart fouled Marcus Fuller in the penalty area. It was a soft penalty, but Simeon Jackson dispatched the spot kick off the right hand post.
City`s chances of claiming anything from the game were effectively ended when Gillingham scored just 10 seconds into the second half. Richard Duffy sold keeper Jansson short with a backward header and Jackson crept in and finished well past the near post.
The Grecians made a triple substitution on the hour, and former Swindon striker Barry Corr joined Fleetwood up front. However, things didn`t improve for City and the Gills scored a third 12 minutes from time after John Nutter`s strong run and cross down the left found substitute Luke Rooney in the centre of the area, who duly struck the ball into the top left hand corner with his left foot.
This was not only a heavy defeat for City, but was also compounded by what was an ineffectual performance. It is clear manager Paul Tisdale will have a lot of thinking to do before the Grecians head to East London next Saturday to face Leyton Orient, who also have five points from six games. Perhaps the primary aspect under scrutiny from supporters is Tisdale`s policy of playing with a lone striker. Stuart Fleetwood played in this role in this match and received limited service and support from a midfield that was disjointed and didn`t see alot of the ball. However, Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon that he was reluctant to dump a system that served City well during much of last season. He went onto say he was at his "lowest ebb". He stressed that "we`re all entitled to have a bad day", and lets hope it was just that for City, who will need to show a dramatic improvement in the capital next weekend. If the Grecians can merge the form of the first half against Yeovil and the second half against MK Dons I`m sure City fans can look up rather than down in this, our first season back in League 1
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Date:Sunday September 6 2009
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