Would we be able to maintain our position at the top of the table that we gained following our match at Blackburn?
Date: Tuesday 18th October 2016
Opponent: Peterborough United (10th)
Venue: St. James Park
Odds: Exeter City=4/7, Draw=5/2, Peterborough United=4/1
Weather: Dry, 9C
Referee: Mr. Steve Tanner
We get off to a flying start in the 3rd minute when Federico Cenci crosses from the right and it reaches Dacian Varga; he lays the ball off to Michele Marconi who scores his first goal of the season from 5 yards. It needed some help off the post, but it’s in the net. It’s his first start from injury and he’s hit the ground running! Peterborough hit back in the 9th minute when Mutsch pulls the ball back from the right byeline and Ross arrives later into the area to level from 12 yards. The next chance of note comes in the 25th minute when Bertin Matip shoots from 25 yards. The only thing that the shot has going for it is that it’s on target and Ma Kalambay saves a weak shot with ease. Seven minutes later, Marconi turns provider; he slips in Cenci who slides the ball under Ma Kalambay from 12 yards to score his 10th goal of the season and restore our lead. Four minutes before half time, Matip takes a free kick from the right and it reaches Cenci who is 7 yards out. He hits a powerful shot and records his second of the game and 11th of the season to give us a two-goal cushion. Swanson becomes the first name to go into Mr. Tanner’s book following a foul on Gennaro Riccardi. The first half ends with Jonathan Bond pushing away a shot by Stach from 25 yards.
Seven minutes into the second half, Swanson is given the freedom to run down the right wing. He crosses and finds Kucharczyk 8 yards out. It’s a perfect header with plenty of power on it. Unfortunately for him, it’s straight at Bond and although he can’t hold on, we’re able to clear it for a corner. He should have done much better and a yard either side of Bond would have given him no chance. Peterborough keep the pressure on and win a succession of corners as we struggle to clear. Although we’re struggling to clear, the defence remains strong and Peterborough can’t convert their pressure into goals. Michel shoots from 18 yards in the 15th minute, but he can’t get over it and it sails harmlessly over the bar. I bring on Jay Spearing for Bradley Johnson in the 72nd minute so I have two defensively-minded midfielders in the middle of the park. Marconi enters Mr. Tanner’s book in the 79th minute after a foul on George. Ryan Mason replaces Matip in the 86th minute and Will Keane comes on for Cenci in the 90th minute as I give the crowd a chance to applaud him for his two-goal contribution. Mr. Tanner takes a third name in the second minute of stoppage time – Bennett fouls Michel and gets booked.
Result: Exeter City 3-1 Peterborough United
Man of the Match: Federico Cenci
Ratings: GK-Bond (7.0), DR-Zapotoka (7.0), DCR-D’Avanzo (6.9), DCL-Vukovic (7.3), DL-Riccardi (7.5), MCR-Matip (7.3, A, sub 86), MCL-Johnson (7.0, sub 72), AMR-Cenci (8.8, 2G, sub 90), AMC-Michel (6.9), AML-Varga (6.9), ST-Marconi (8.2, G). Subs-Spearing (6.8, on 72), Mason (on 86), Keane (on 90). Unused-Spasov, Karlsen.
League Position: 1st
A good result, but it could have been different if Kucharczyk could have finished the great chance he had at the start of the second half. However, I won’t dwell on that and will celebrate another three points.
The Cittadella manager, Claudio Foscarini, was one of the 8,714 in attendance and the media are reporting he is interested in signing Bertin Matip. He’d be a big loss, so I hope they don’t make any offer.
19th-placed Portsmouth sack Sean Dyche and I’m made the favourite for the job. The media ask me for my thoughts about becoming manager of Portsmouth and I tell them that I have no interest, which delights my board.