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Match Reports

Report: A dominate display sees Town beat Exeter at Highbury

11 November 2023

Match Reports

Report: A dominate display sees Town beat Exeter at Highbury

11 November 2023

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Fleetwood Town swept away their opponents Exeter City on Saturday afternoon and claimed all three points in a 3-0 win on the Fylde Coast.

Lee Johnson's side made it three wins from three in all competitions, extending the unbeaten run to six following the victory over Gary Caldwell's side. The three goals came in the first half thanks to Ryan Broom, Brendan Wiredu and Phoenix Patterson.

It was also an important clean sheet for the boys in Red and White as this was the first one since the 2-0 win over Cheltenham Town back at the start of October - plenty to build on going forward into a busy November and December schedule.

In the match, it didn't take the hosts long to get the opening goal of the game, and guess who it was? Yes, Broom was on hand to calmly slot his shot past the on-rushing Vijami Sinisalo to score his third goal in two matches at Highbury.

Town nearly doubled their lead moments later. Broom broke the offside trap down the right and this time saw his effort blocked, but then Danny Mayor followed up and saw his shot blocked then Brendan Wiredu was unlucky not to get the third attempt between the sticks.

Ben Heneghan - who wore the captain's armband for this match - was the next Fleetwood player to get a chance on goal. His header from Broom's cross was headed back across goal towards the far post, but the defender just watched it go narrowly wide.

Every time the visitors Exeter City got in promising positions, the attacks broke down in the final third. Town defended those opportunities well - you could see a clean sheet was on their mind after collecting one in midweek.

As the game reached the half-hour mark, the Grecians picked up the tempo and had shouts for a penalty after Jack Aitchison thought he was fouled inside the 18-yard box, but the referee stood firm and waved away the claims.

Despite Exeter pushing, Town broke down the other end and won themselves a corner. Pheonix Patterson delivered a peach of a ball into the box and up went Wiredu who headed across goal to score his second of the season. 

Keeper Jay Lynch did have a quickfire round of shots on his goal, but as calm as the striker had been down the other end, he made two comfortable saves to keep the score as it was.

Patterson got his name on the scoresheet four minutes before half-time. He won the free-kick himself - looked inside the box at first glance - but from the set-piece, the former Waterford FC man did what he does best and that was bending it in from 20 yards to give his side a three-goal lead at the interval.

With the second half underway, the visitors made three changes, was it a message for them to go for it? Well within two minutes of the restart, Lynch was called into another double save. The second was a superb save, guiding the ball wide of his left-hand post.

One of the substitutes, Ilmari Niskanen thought he had narrowed the deficit when the ball fell to him inside the box, but with a team who are struggling for confidence, you could sense that when the ball was struck wide. 

The match seemed to settle down with twenty minutes left on the clock. Town still looked to dominate the possession stats, whilst also causing problems for the visitors in the final third. How Jack Marriott didn't get on the scoresheet, only he will tell you. The forward had a number of really good attempts, but he was denied on all occasions by the Exeter keeper.

Town will be pleased with their performance, but will now have to wait two weeks until their next game as the match against Bristol Rovers on Saturday 18 November has been postponed due to the international break.

Town XI: Lynch (GK), Wiredu (Simons, 68), Lawal, Mayor, Broom, Marriott (Tshimanga, 84), Heneghan (C), Omochere (Robertson, 79'), Rooney, Earl, Patterson (Stockley, 84').

Subs not used: McMullan (GK), Holgate, Graydon.

Exeter XI: Sinisalo (GK), Jules, Aimson (C), Hartridge (Niskanen, 46'), Trevitt, Muskwe, Scott (Wildschut, 46'), Kite, Sweeney (Dibate, 46') , Aitchson, Harper (Taylor, 73).

Subs not used: McDonald (GK), O'Connor, Cunningham.

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