Writer: Kithson Bain
Date:Monday February 21 2011
A scintillating second-half display saw City run out deserved 3-1 winners against promotion-chasing Charlton.
Liam Sercombe`s low drive, John O`Flynn`s tap-in and a Ryan Harley penalty meant that Bradley-Wright-Phillip`s late strike was nothing more than a consolation.
Paul Tisdale stuck with the same side that beat Notts County last time out, but he was forced into an early change when Richard Duffy limped off with a side strain. Sercombe replacing Duffy resulted in a premature tactical reshuffle with City`s back five becoming a back four.
A first half of few chances saw Exeter on the back foot for long periods but Charlton failed to capitalise on their territorial advantage.
Nathan Ecclestone`s squandered their only clear cut chance, shooting straight at Ben Hamer from close range.
In attack, City`s strike pairing of O`Flynn and Jamie Cureton struggled to free themselves of the attentions of Charlton`s back four and chances were few and far between.
Cureton`s speculative turn and shot was City`s only shot on target in a largely uneventful first-half.
In contrast the second period proved much more open with both teams seemingly solely intent on victory.
Powel Abbot came close to putting Charlton in front, neatly collecting a cross-field ball he turned inside Steve Tully and unleashed a curling effort that beat Hamer and crashed against the cross bar and back into play.
This reprieve seemed to spark City into a higher gear and after a spell of pressure City took the lead in stylish fashion.
The increasingly influential Ryan Harley found space on the edge of the box and cleverly played a reverse ball into the path of the onrushing Sercombe who`s low shot had too much power for Rob Elliot in the Charlton goal.
Buoyed by the goal City never looked back and soon bagged goal number two with the help of some suicidal defending by the home side.
Gary Docherty, trying to head the ball back to Elliot didn`t see O`Flynn closing in and the striker nipped in, rounded Elliot and tapped home for his sixth league goal of the season.
Seven minutes later and City added a third to compound Charlton`s misery. Collecting Scott Golbourne`s through ball O`Flynn once again beat Elliot to the ball, this time the keeper scythed him down and Harley expertly converted the resulting penalty.
With a bumper 25,000 fans inside The Valley Charlton`s performance won`t have encouraged many to return, most had already left when Wright-Phillips flicked home Docherty`s goal-bound volley to reduced The Addick`s arrears to 3-1.
City closed the game out with consummate ease to record back to back away victories for the first time this season.
It`s been an impressive response from City since losing three home game in six days. This victory is one of the most impressive under Tisdale and it leaves City comfortably in thirteenth place in League One and feeling confident about the rest of the season.
City: Hamer, Tully, Duffy (Sercombe), Taylor, Archibald-Henville, Golbourne, Dunne (Cozic), Noble, Harley, O`Flynn (Logan), Cureton
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Date:Monday February 21 2011
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|The Opposition View - Northampton Town
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