Exeter Get The Better of Reading
St. James Park
08/09/09 - 7pm
Adam Stansfield stated his intent for a starting birth at Leyton Orient on Saturday after his brace of goals helped Exeter City reserves overcome their Reading counterparts 2-1 at St. James Park.
Stansfield who has been sidelined since Easter played the full 90 minutes in the South West Combination League fixture. The Grecians fielded a strong line-up, with Richard Logan starting alongside Stansfield up front, and the impressive Bertie Cozic in midfield. Rob Edwards and Dan Seaborne will also hope to force their way back into Paul Tisdale`s first team plans after good performances.
In the first half, City were bright without creating a great deal, with Logan having two good long range efforts clear the crossbar. But an excellent exchange of play, starting with a crunching tackle from right back Furzer led to Stansfield being released one on one with the keeper, and he megged the advancing keeper. Five minutes later City doubled their lead when Joe Burnell drove a shot into the ground which was then fortuitously re-directed via Stansfield`s head into the back of the net.
The visitors started the second half with more intent, and just three minutes into it England Under-19 international James Henry fired past Grecians keeper Oscar Jansson in a one on one position. Reading then proceeded to have the greater threat for the rest of the game, but Jansson made some solid saves as well as a glaring miss for the royals in the box from a right hand side cross. City did find some space on the counter attack but often failed to make the most of situations. However, Neil Saunders did have an excellent one on one chance, but was foiled by the keeper as he tried to round him.
As previously stated, the aforementioned Edwards, Seaborne, Cozic and Stansfield all played well. I was also impressed by the enterprise of Elliot Frear who came on at left back, and who provided genuine width and pace down the wing. Perhaps with seven substitutes on the first team bench he could be a useful option for Tisdale in the closing stages of a game. What do people think?
Aside from that, the only possible injury concern is that of keeper Jansson who was not taking his goal kicks for the whole second period. Hopefully this won`t amount to much as there are concerns over Andy Marriot`s fitness, and of course number one Paul Jones will be out for at least four weeks.