Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports


16 March 2024

Match Reports


16 March 2024

ALBION suffered defeat on the road for the second time in a week as ten-man Exeter City survived second half pressure to cling on to victory courtesy of Reece Cole’s first half strike.

The midfielder struck just before half time before the home side were reduced to ten men during the interval with defender Zak Jules red carded for violent conduct as the players left the field at the break.

Skipper John Brayford struck the bar late on after Deji Oshilaja had also seen a header hit the woodwork in the first half and substitute Antwoine Hackford fired wide as Albion piled on the pressure with the man advantage but the home side clung on.

For the second long away game in five days manager Martin Paterson resisted the temptation to make numerous changes. The only change to the side came with Tolaji Bola preferred at left wing back, in place of Steve Seddon. Rekeem Harper and Jake Caprice continued at the ground where they spent last season whilst the Grecians were able to name former loan keeper Viljami Sinisalo in their starting line-up.

An early yellow card for Caprice saw Albion under early pressure as Reece Cole’s free kick on the left had to be hacked clear and Luke Harris blazed over from inside the box from a sweeping move down Exeter’s right.

Sonny Cox then fashioned a chance for himself with a sharp turn and shot inside the box which Max Crocombe showed good hands to hold on to.

Albion threatened when Caprice’s low cross was almost diverted past Sinisalo by one of his own defenders, Will Aimson getting back to clear before Joe Hugill could pounce.

Harper’s pass split the Exeter defence wide open on twenty minutes allowing Hugill to put Aimson under severe pressure and a lack of communication at the back led to Exeter scrambling the ball away for a corner.

Chances continued to come at either end. Wildschut and Cox contrived to squander a good opportunity as the hosts threatened down the left again before Oshilaja was denied at the other end after Brayford and Sweeney had helped on Powell’s free kick.

But it was the home side that made the breakthrough four minutes before half time. Ilmari Niskanen accelerated down the right and delivered a low cross that COLE despatched past Crocombe having timed his run into the box to perfection.

Albion almost found an instant equaliser when Sweeney found himself free in the box and his shot was blocked.

Oshilaja rattled the crossbar in stoppage time from Powell’s corner as Albion’s luck in front of goal continued to desert them.


Returning a man light the home side tried to go on the attack early but Albion started to get a grip of the midfield and dominate without really threatening Sinisalo.

Harper and Bola made way on 56 minutes as Albion made their attacking changes. Kamwa provided added attacking thrust down the left whilst Hackford joined forced with Hugill in attack.

Hackford was inches away from connecting with a curling cross from Caprice on 66 minutes as the Brewers continued to search for an equaliser against the ten men.

The changes continued midway through the half as Hugill and Oshilaja made way for Ola-Adebomi and Mustapha Carayol.

Hackford then spurned a great chance to equalise. Good link-up with Ola-Adebomi had the Sheffield United loanee through but under pressure he slid the ball the wrong side of the post.

Albion’s luck in front of goal continued to go against them when a lovely piece of skill from Kamwa down the left resulted in the ball at Brayford’s feet and his shot cannoned back off the crossbar.

Tempers flared late on when Carayol’s challenge on Niskanen earned him a yellow card with Cole also seeing yellow for his confrontation with Carayol in the aftermath.

Sweeney flung himself at Carayol’s teasing cross as thew game ticked into the first of eight added minutes but a rearguard effort in what remained of the game from the home side ensured that Albion made the long journey home with nothing to show for their efforts.

ALBION: Crocombe; Hamer, Brayford, Sweeney; Caprice, Helm, Harper (Hackford, 56), Powell, Bola (Kamwa, 56); Oshilaja (Carayol, 68), Hugill (Ola-Adebomi, 67).

Substitutes: Blackman, Seddon, Gilligan.

GOALS: EXETER – Cole (41)

Referee: Martin Woods

Attendance: 6,188

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account