With the noise inside St James Park reaching unprecedented levels, Michael Rudling and James Bagby watched Exeter record a convincing defeat of their county rivals.
Exeter City returned home in style after a difficult couple of away games, with an emphatic 4-0 win over Devon rivals Plymouth Argyle at St James Park on Saturday.
The Grecians started intensely before a sell-out crowd, as Lee Martin and Ryan Bowman both came close to taking an early lead in the first five. The visitors seemed equal to the challenge in the opening exchanges though, creating a series of chances 15 minutes in, culminating in a shot from Antoni Sarcevic that forced a good save from Jonny Maxted in the Exeter goal.
The home side, unflustered by Plymouth’s early confidence, kept the pressure up in the final third as the visitors frequently struggled to clear their lines. Against the run of play, it looked as though Argyle might nick a goal when Nick Rudden caught the home side on the break in the 26th minute, but his cross failed to find the well-placed Joel Grant.
With four minutes left in the half, Exeter stamped their authority as Lee Martin burst into the box, only to be held back by Plymouth’s Josh Grant. The ref pointed to the spot, and Nicky Law finished calmly to put the Grecians 1-0 up at the interval.
“OTHER THAN A SCRAPPY GOALMOUTH SCRAMBLE IN THE 62ND MINUTE, EXETER BOSSED THE REMAINDER OF THE GAME”
City stayed dominant after half time, with Tom Parkes neatly guiding a Randell Williams cross into the roof of the net to double the lead. The Grecians couldn’t afford to switch off though, as Plymouth’s Joel Grant took the ball past the keeper just seconds after the restart, and it took a fine last-ditch challenge from Aaron Martin, who defended brilliantly all afternoon, to keep it at 2-0.
Other than a scrappy goalmouth scramble in the 62nd minute that required some smart work from Maxted, Exeter bossed the remainder of the game. The third goal was Manchester than Exeter City, as the home side stroked the ball around the final third before releasing Randell Williams, who delicately raised the ball over the Plymouth keeper to all-but guarantee the three points in the 68th.
The Plymouth heads seemed to drop after the third goal, and their spirits weren’t raised in the 84th minute when Jake Taylor hit a great strike against the post from distance, and Law followed up with a neat tap in to complete his brace, and round-off a brilliant Grecian performance.
Attendance: 7,924 (1,154, away).