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Match Reports

Town 0 - 0 Exeter - Resilient Town earn valuable point

19 January 2021

Match Reports

Town 0 - 0 Exeter - Resilient Town earn valuable point

19 January 2021

A spirited Town performance resulted in Simon Weaver's side earning a valuable point at home to Exeter City.

Town had been reduced to ten men after 73 minutes when Warren Burrell was sent off after being shown two yellow cards in quick succession.

In holding firm though Town halted an Exeter attack that had scored in their past fourteen fixtures and had failed to find the target in only two games all season.

Weaver opted to make a number of changes from the side that started Town's last game away at Cambridge, with Jay Williams, Aaron Martin, Brendan Kiernan and Josh Falkingham returning. January additions William Hondermarck, Josh March and Josh McPake all made the bench.

For the visitors Nigel Atangana replaced Jake Taylor whilst Harry Kite returned to the bench.

It was Town's first home fixture for a month since the 1-0 defeat against Salford whilst this was the first time the Grecians have played on their travels since early December, a run that has seen them play seven consecutive games at St James' Park.

The visitors came into the game with the most prolific attack in the division, netting 41 times so far and leading the league in expected goals mainly through efforts of Matt Jay and Ryan Bowman.

And it was Bowman, with nine goals to his name this season, who posed the first threat to the Town defence but his attempt to catch James Belshaw off his line went harmlessly over.

George Thomson immediately responded for the home side with a drive that Jonny Maxted turned wide.
Exeter were enjoying the majority share of possession in the early stages and looked to exploit both flanks.

From one attack, Joel Randall beat Williams down the left and forced a smart save from Belshaw under his own crossbar.

Town would have their own moments in the first-half though with Maxted tested again, first by a blistering effort from a marauding Warren Burrell and then when Jack Muldoon shot from distance which the Grecians ‘keeper parried just out of the path of an onrushing Martin.

Archie Williams profited from a mistake in the Town backline, but having created some space to shoot he failed to test Belshaw.

The visitors began the second half as they finished the first, with an advantage in terms of possession and Bowman again proved a danger in the area but he failed to find the finish that was needed.

This sparked a positive spell for Town with Kiernan at the heart of things. His foray into the box took him past a number of defenders but he was squeezed out before he could get his shot away.

On the hour he went even closer when Muldoon was played through from Martin's clever flick on and delivered a wicked, low cross across the area that he just failed to connect with.

Town's task was made tougher with a shade over 15 minutes when Burrell was shown his marching order. Weaver made an immediate change, bringing on Ryan Fallowfield in place of Williams.

After a double-change from the visitors, Weaver threw on Josh March for Muldoon with five minutes remaining. The visitors pressed hard in the final stages but Town remained resolute to come away with a share of the spoils.

Harrogate Town: Belshaw, Williams (Fallowfield, 76), Burrell, Lawlor, Hall, Thomson, Falkingham, Francis, Kiernan (Kirby, 79), Martin, Muldoon (March, 83).

Subs not used: Minter, Hondermarck, McPake.

Booked: Burrell (64).

Sent off: Burrell (73).

Exeter City: Maxted, Caprice, Atangana (Law, 82), Collins, Bowman, Randall (Seymour, 86), Parkes, Jay, Page (Hartridge, 82), Sweeney, Key (Sparkes, 63).

Subs not used: Ward, McArdle, Kite.

Referee: Thomas Bramall.

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