Exeter lacklustre at Oldham
Exeter City slipped to their fourth consecutive as they were comfortably beaten at Boundary Park.
Two goals in the first fifteen minutes of the second half was enough for Oldham to themselves halt a run of four defeats on the spin. The result also lifted Athletic above the Grecians in the League table.
This was a poor away performance from City, more reminiscent of the October defeats at Huddersfield and Walsall than recent setbacks at MK Dons and Bristol Rovers.
Deane Smalley opened the scoring for Oldham six minutes into the second half from the edge of the box, and few could see City coming back after Paul Heffernan`s shot doubled their lead seven minutes later.
Many will point to the collapse at MK Dons as the catalyst for this recent run of results. Prior to that game, City were unbeaten in six and looking up the table. The two subsequent games saw two narrow reverses, and Paul Tisdale`s side were particularly unfortunate to come way from Bristol Rovers empty handed. This game will have been a concern for the City boss, and he will have to ensure that it was a one off. After having no problem finding the net home and away until a couple of weeks ago, City have now failed to find the net in their last three matches. Combined with a lack of clean sheets this campaign, this is a cause of concern.
I confidently stated three weeks ago that I would be surprised if Exeter City were dragged into a meaningful relegation scrap. That was after the adrenaline rush of the 3-1 victory at Stockport. At that point we were seven points above the relegation zone. Now the gap is just two points after collecting a single point out of the last twelve on offer. However, I am not going to eat my words just yet. The table is still extremely tight and a decent run of the results will see the Grecians back on the road to mid table obscurity. Nevertheless, we will have a much clearer picture of the challenges City face when we enter the New Year. It`s a shame Bristol Rovers declined the offer to play at St. James Park on the 2nd January. Despite that, City still have two home games over the Christmas period, with a tough trip to Southampton on Boxing Day.
It is important the City fans get right behind the team over the coming weeks. This league was never going to be easy. Up the City!