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Exeter City 1 Charlton Athletic 2

An excellent win today with the Addicks producing a steely performance with two clinical goals meaning all 3 points came back from Devon.

Dean Holden again had the team better organized and resilient. He has simplified our play and plays to strengths.

We started under the cosh and had to weather a couple of early corners. Then with our first real attack Rak Sakyi beautifully volleyed home an equally beautiful pass from Dobbo. 8 minutes on the clock.

The whole team then went to the touchline to collect and hold up a shirt with the words: ‘Forever in our hearts Ben Jay x’ a year after the young Addick passed. Rak-Sakyi was promptly booked by the referee, which I’m not sure I’ve seen before.

Following the restart we were in full flow, and 10 minutes later we were 2-0 up. Another lovely pass this time from Ness set CBT away who kept his calm and slotted past their keeper.

Exeter made a change straight after, and were more threatening. The Grecians are a good team, who hold the ball well, and are dangerous in attack. A couple of minutes later they were back in it as substitute Mitchell scored at the back post. A goal that should’ve have been defended better.

We needed half-time as Exeter were on top and AMB had to make a fine stop to send us in ahead.

The 2nd half was more even with Exeter easily winning the corner count, but we looked more dangerous. There were periods of the half when we had to defend resolutely but both CBT, Bonne and Leaburn had chances to kill the game off.

As is habitual there was a big scare well into injury time when AMB did brilliantly to save a shot. Stansfield followed up but slashed it wide.

Kilkenny’s debut was promising. He looked a little rusty but he was busy and gave us a lot more balance I thought. The back four kept it simple and stuck together. I thought Fraser played well, but Dobson gave a captain’s performance.

Up front I really think Holden should start with Leaburn and have Bonne as an impact sub. Bonne didn’t get much service, but I just think Leaburn is more likely to make something happen.

It was a good day, the travelling Addicks deserved that and I hear Holden was buying the beers on the train back.

Dean Holden: “It’s a really important three points for us on the back of losing last week. It has been a long week when you lose a game and we said good teams that want to do something in the season don’t lose two games on the spin, so that was really important. A big thank you to every one of the supporters that came today because it’s not an easy place to get to.”

Stats (CAFC first): Possession – 49% / 51%; Passes – 400/ 407; Accurate passes – 288 / 310; Shots (on target) – 9 (4) / 13 (5).

Photo: Paul Edwards

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. LP #

    Have you read the CAST interview with Holden? I’m trying hard not to fall in love too soon.

    February 5, 2023
  2. LP #

    Oh, and who scored elsewhere yesterday? Stockley, kirk and o’connell!!

    February 5, 2023
  3. Shadow Play #

    To be fair to the referee there was no alternative than to book JRS – the sanction for holding up a message like that is a yellow card so he had no option. But sometimes it’s worth taking the yellow when the cause is right.

    As for the match, this was a good example of what Dean Holden is about. Under Ben Garner we tended to play too much football, with Holden we are focusing on getting the ball forward a bit more often. Both goals exploited a gap in Exeter’s three man defence – someone did their homework on Exeter. Otherwise we kept it tight, their goal came slightly out of the blue when I think it was JRS who allowed the attacker to get in front of him, he’s not a defender…

    February 5, 2023
  4. Daggs #

    A very welcome win. I’m not sure that I’m convinced we’ve gone from a useless rabble to a good team just yet. Hopefully we’ll no longer flirt with relegation and perhaps settle for mid-table obscurity (again)

    February 5, 2023
  5. Mike #

    CA agree with almost everything with the exception of Frasier. I thought he had a poor game apart from one little flurry when he left two defenders on the floor after crashing into one another.
    He did very little in midfield and was at fault for the goal yet again with his poor defending. As even Minto said, whilst Dobson was trying to stop a cross, Frasier was just standing there watching him, not helping and marking no one, he might as well have not been there, even Steve Brown, who really likes Frasier, had to agree! Other players normally get hauled over the coals for not doing their defensive side duties, but Frasier always seems to get away with it!
    He might do some nice tricky moves going forward but as a midfielder his defending is almost non existant, he ambles back whenever he loses the ball and rarely gets in a tackle and if he does it is usually from behind and he gives away a foul, normally in a good position for the opposing team. Plus watch how many times he waves his arms about telling other players who to mark etc, whilst he doesn’t mark anyone, very similar to a Mr Gilbey!
    Apart from that agree with Daggs, great to see a good away win at last, but also will be interesting to see what happens if any of our main players get injured, which in every season, at least one vital player always does.

    February 5, 2023
  6. Jeff Alpe #

    The rule is advertising or taking off a shirt (Dobbo) gets the yellow
    Law 4 Wearing or revealing any item of clothing displaying any personal message (Rak-Saki)

    Rarely seen yellow more issued for removal of shirt

    February 6, 2023

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