Late goal comdemns City to home defeat
St James' Park
Ashley Barnes` stoppage time goal handed league leaders Brighton all three points at Exeter.
Richard Logan had earlier given City a half time lead but Glenn Murray equalised soon after the hour mark before Barnes` dramatic late winner.
This was only the second home defeat of the season for the Grecians, Brentford the other victors at the park back in November.
After a 4-0 hammering by Southampton on New Years Day City were desperate for an assertive start and that`s just what they got.
Jamie Cureton saw his audacious chip from 25 yards tipped over by Casper Ankergren.
But the visitors reprieve was short lived, in the eighth minute Logan was first to react from Matt Taylor`s knock down at a corner and his smart turn and shot beat Ankergren to put City a goal up.
City could have gone further ahead but Ankergren saved well from Cureton, Logan and Ryan Harley to keep the deficit down to just one.
Brighton grew into the game as the half wore on, Paul Jones tipping Matt Sparrow`s effort round the post.
But Brighton who are six points clear at the top of League One weren`t to be denied, they levelled in the 64th minute when Murray headed Barnes` cross home via a post.
Both sides pushed for a winner in the final stages, Harley saw his shot coming crashing back off the bar for City as the match seemed to be heading for a draw.
But their was to be a late twist, former Plymouth Argyle player Barnes was cast in the role of match winner as he calmly swept the ball home from Elliot Bennett`s low centre in the 90th minute.
Four minutes of stoppage time weren`t enough for City to muster an equaliser as they cruelly suffered a second defeat in three days.
City: P Jones, Duffy, Taylor (Archibald-Henville), B Jones, Sercombe, Noble (Dunne), Harley, Logan, Cureton (Nardiello).