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REPORT: Exeter City 1-0 Coventry City - Ryan Harley's early strike sends the Sky Blues home empty handed

City fall outside the play-offs in SkyBet League Two...

13 January 2018

The Sky Blues have been beaten 1-0 by Exeter City at St James Park thanks to Ryan Harley's first half strike.

The Grecians took the lead within the first seven minutes after a mistake from Lee Burge presented Harley with the chance to curl the ball in from outside the area.

Jordan Ponticelli came close in stoppage time to salvaging City a point, but saw his effort pushed onto the woodwork.

The result means Mark Robins' side fall from third to eighth in SkyBet League Two atfer 27 games.

The home side took the lead after just seven minutes. A rare mistake from Lee Burge let Harley have a free sight of goal from the edge of the area and the 32-year-old made the most of it, looping his shot in off the far post.

Jayden Stockey had the chance to punnish City further after 16 minutes when Jordan Willis failed to clear. The former Bournemouth man raced through on goal but was halted by Jack Grimmer racing back to hook the ball away with a last gasp challenge.

Jordan Maguire-Drew made his Sky Blues debut last time out and impressed everybody inside the Ricoh Arena, and the 20-year-old came close midway through the second half when he flicked the ball over the head of Danny Seaborne and fired a shot towards goal, that was well saved by Christy Pym.

Max Biamou came close to levelling the tie just before half time. Marc McNulty did well to hook the ball over the Grecians defence and into the path of the Frenchman, who forced another strong save from Pym.

After the interval Mark Robins' side were shooting towards the 339 strong Sky Blue Army, and McNulty was frustrated with himself that he couldn't level the game straight away when he was playing through on goal following some good work from Biamou. The former Sheffield United man found himself with the ball could under his feet on the uneven surface and failed to get a real shot away.

The introduciton of Ponticelli and Josh Barrett, his Sky Blues debut, added some fresh legs to the City attack, as Michael Doyle saw his shot from range blocked in a crowd on the edge of the six-yard box.

Robins' decision to bring on Ponticelli was almost rewarded in stoppage time, when the teenager turned and volleyed towards goal in acrobatic fashion, only to see his effort tipped onto the bar by Pym.

City fall to 8th in SkyBet League Two.

 

Goals: Harley 7'.

Attendance: 4,219 (339 away).

Coventry City XI: Burge (GK), Grimmer, Davies, Willis, Stokes; Maguire-Drew (Stevenson '83), Bayliss, Doyle (C), Shipley (Barrett 74'); Biamou (Ponticelli 67'), McNulty.

Subs: O'Brien (GK), McDonald, Beavon, Haynes.

Exeter City XI: Pym (GK), Sweeney, James, Archibald-Henville, Tillson, Harley, Holmes (Boateng 77'), Stockley, Seaborne (Woodman 45'), Moxey, Taylor (C).

Subs: Jones (GK), Simpson, McAlinden, Jay, Wilson.


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