Exeter City 0 Burton Albion 1: MATCH REPORT
Two missed golden chances and a calamitous piece of defending in the last minute contributed to Exeter City’s 1-0 home defeat to Burton Albion.
The Grecians had dominated almost the entire game, but could not get their noses in front with John O’Flynn and Alan Gow missing gilt-edged opportunities.
And they were made to pay when a lack of communication between goalkeeper Artur Krysiak and captain Danny Coles led to the City captain needlessly conceding an 89th minute corner, which was emphatically headed in by Phil Edwards for the only goal of the game.
City made one change to the starting line-up from their last two games with Sam Parkin replacing Jimmy Keohane, who dropped to the bench.
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Adam McGurk was the first to try their luck with a shot from 25 yards that only just cleared Krysiak’s crossbar. It had been a slow start from City, but Gow changed all that with a defence-splitting pass that sent O’Flynn scampering clear, but his shot was saved by Jordan Pickford. It was a great chance.
Jimmy Phillips crossed for McGurk, who headed straight into the arms of Krysiak and Billy Kee was just too high with a shot from distance. The former Torquay man tried his luck from distance again soon afterwards, but was denied by Krysiak’s smart stop.
Exeter just could not get going in the opening half first half and did not threaten the Burton goal. There was a distinct lack of movement and the front three of Parkin, Gow and O’Flynn were struggling to work in tandem.
It was no surprise that manager Paul Tisdale changed things at half-time with Parkin replaced by David Wheeler. Parkin hadn’t done anything wrong, but the lack of football in the final third was frightening.
The Grecians started the second half well with Gow’s audatious attempt from wide on the right tipped over by Pickford and the Scot then curled an effort just high from 20 yards before another shot was blocked.
It was far better from Exeter, who had some tempo to their play, but they had to be careful not to overcommit with Burton threatening when they went forward. McGurk was off target from 18 yards after being teed up by Kee and Jimmy Phillips was denied a fine goal by Krysiak’s brilliant finger-tip save.
Davies fashioned a chance for O’Flynn, which he fired straight at Pickford from 18 yards before Robbie Weir escaped a red for an elbow into the face of Tommy Doherty. The referee deemed the offence worthy of a booking and the City midfielder then drilled a low shot just wide from 25 yards.
Davies again created a great chance for Exeter when he put Gow in on goal, but his shot was saved by Pickford and Wheeler’s shot went across goal and wide after more good work in midfield by Davies.
MacDonald headed a good chance over the bar for Burton before the Brewers scored the only goal of the game a minute from full-time. It all came from a needless corner the Grecians conceded and Edwards rose at the near post to head emphatically into the net.
Exeter City (4-3-1-2): Krysiak; Bennett, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman; Sercombe, Doherty (Grimes 80), Davies; Gow; Parkin, O’Flynn (Gill 80). Substitutes (not used): Pym (gk), Moore-Taylor, Nichols, Keohane.
Burton Albion (4-4-2): Pickford; Edwards, Sharps, Cansdell-Sherriff, McCrory; Palmer, Weir, Palmer, Phillips; McGurk, Kee (MacDonald 63). Substitutes (not used): Lyness (gk), Diamond, Bell, Knowles, Dyer, Symes.
Goal: Edwards 89
Bookings: Hussey, Weir, MacDonald
Referee: D Coote.