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City held in lackluster stalemate

Swindon
0 - 0
Exeter City

The County Ground

29/1/11

Attendance: 8,132

Referee:

Bitterly cold conditions accompanied a truly forgettable game of football at The County Ground this afternoon as Swindon and Exeter played out a dour 0-0 draw.

Both sides hit the woodwork in a scrappy first half but despite the open nature of the game neither team looked capable of claiming maximum points.

City welcomed back Ryan Harley to the starting line-up and John O`Flynn was also recalled as Paul Tisdale shuffled his pack following last weeks victory over Walsall.

Meanwhile struggling Swindon were having to search for an improvement in their form without the departed Charlie Austin.

Despite their troubles Swindon did calve out several early chances. In the ninth minute Alan O`Brien burst past Steve Tully and his clipped centre was perfect for the onrushing Matt Richie who thundered his header against the cross bar.

City`s Ben Hamer was by far the busier of the two keepers early on as he was soon forced into a several saves. First from Jonathan Douglas` deflected effort which he did well to get his body behind and then throwing himself low to his right to deny Richie from range.

City finally offered something in attack after twenty minutes, Jamie Cureton heading wide from O`Flynn`s cross. It proved to be Cureton`s last contribution as he was forced to limp off against his former club to be replaced by Jake Thomson.

Kevin Amankwaah thought he`d given Swindon the lead as he turned the ball home at the far post but the off-side flag was raised just as the PA system began to blast out unnecessary goal music.

Ryan Harley almost gave City a barely deserved opener when his twenty yard free -kick rebounded back off the bar but goalless was how it stayed as the teams headed for the dressing rooms.

What little quality was on offer in the first half disappeared altogether after the break as neither side managed to so much as force a save from either keeper.

Man of the match O`Brien continued to get the better of Tully down City`s right hand side but his final ball was often found wanting and on the occasion when he did pick out a team-mate Thomas Dossevi inexplicably missed the target when well placed.

As an attacking force City`s afternoon was littered with wayward passes and lack of power in the final third, O`Flynn and Daniel Nardiello cut frustrated figures as neither seemed to be able to assert themselves on proceedings.

The introduction of Logan for O`Flynn did little to change this as the game seemed set in its ways.

David Noble almost wriggled through half a dozen tackles to score but his rare venture into the penalty area was halted by a late covering block.

It would have been harsh on Swindon who despite their own shortcomings certainly didn`t deserve to lose, 0-0 a fair reflection of a game between two teams not at their fluent best.

A point away from home is by no means disastrous for the Grecians but tougher challenges lie ahead in the form of Southampton on Tuesday night and Huddersfield next Saturday.

City: Hamer, Tully, Taylor, Duffy (Archibald-Henville), Golbourne, Sercombe, Noble, Harley, O`Flynn (Logan), Cureton (Thomson), Nardiello


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Writer:Kithson Bain
Date:Sunday January 30 2011
Time: 2:33AM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Northampton 45 28 12 5 96 35
2 Accrington 45 24 12 9 84 26
3 Oxford 45 23 14 8 83 40
4 Bristol Rovers 45 25 7 13 82 30
5 Portsmouth 45 21 15 9 78 32
6 Plymouth 45 23 9 13 78 21
7 Wimbledon 45 20 12 13 72 13
8 Cambridge 45 18 13 14 67 11
9 Leyton Orient 45 18 12 15 66 -2
10 Wycombe 45 17 13 15 64 4
11 Exeter 45 17 13 15 64 1
12 Carlisle 45 16 16 13 64 0
13 Mansfield 45 17 12 16 63 8
14 Luton 45 18 9 18 63 -1
15 Barnet 45 16 11 18 59 -4
16 Hartlepool 45 15 6 24 51 -18
17 Notts County 45 14 9 22 51 -24
18 Yeovil 45 11 15 19 48 -15
19 Stevenage 45 11 14 20 47 -15
20 Crawley 45 13 8 24 47 -30
21 Morecambe 45 12 9 24 45 -22
22 Newport 45 10 13 22 43 -20
R Dag & Red 45 8 10 27 34 -34
R York 45 7 12 26 33 -36
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