Ryan Harley is a bearded ginger wizard

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The game is tense, five minutes to go as Exeter City look to hold onto a 1-0 lead against league leaders Leeds when suddenly, out of nothing, Ryan Harley swivels on the ball and coolly rifles an unstoppable shot into the top corner to send City 2-0 up and Grecians fans worldwide into raptures.

This is not a dream, although HaL certainly went to bed dreaming of it last night. And when Harley, who rarely seems to make connection between the very top half of his body and the ball, gets a headed goal for City's first you know some kind of strange parallel universe has just invaded and made things a bit messed up.

Quite simply, after today, Ryan Harley is a God and I'll take on any atheists who disagree with me. Some things are worth starting religious wars over.

HaL, sadly, couldn't be at the game but did manage to haul its arse down to Tooting & Mitcham versus Billericay Town, where regular text updates kept us warm at a freezing Imperial Fields.

Dragging things back down to earth for a moment, who in their wildest dreams, expected us to beat Leeds. This is Leeds, you know, probably the best team in the division, slayers of Manchester United in the cup and, er, drawers with Wycombe Wanderers the game before. Hmmm.

That last result certainly gave encouragement. Wycombe are poor, so that was a hell of a result for them. Would we get a backlash or, with Leeds' eye on a fourth round tie against Spurs and Beckford in sulk mode, was there to be a chance for us? I was confident enough to predict a 1-1 draw on Gnet, but no more.

There's also been a sense of recent weeks that we're not far from one really good result and if we clicked that could come sometime soon. We were all probably thinking the Westcountry derby with Yeovil would be the place.

So, huge credit to all the players yesterday and for Tis for getting his tactics spot on. I'm only going by second hand reports here, but it sounds like the entire team was immense with Harley, Captain Taylor, and Big Sir Rob Edwards outstanding. Heroes, one and all.

But let's also put a sense of perspective into this. The win will count for nothing with we lose our next two games away at Yeovil and at home to Carlisle. Any kind of result against Leeds is a wonderfully joyous and unexpected bonus. But points against teams in the bottom half of the table are just as, if not more important.

After all, a win against Leeds followed by two losses still reads W1 L2, no matter how big that win is in terms of stature. Let's hope the players carry this on to Huish Park next weekend.


A few bits and bobs from the land of City that have occurred since the last update; bits and bobs that are almost pointless to write about because you probably all know about them already, but we're going to write about them anyway and pretend we know what we're talking about.

We lost to Norwich last week. You knew that. It was cold and rather snowy and yet somehow the game went ahead and we conceded three soft goals. Ah well, onwards and upwards to Leeds. Ah, yeah, we've already done that. Bloody brilliant, innit. Did I mention we beat the league leaders 2-0?

Then there's the loss of Danny Seaborne to Southampton for an undisclosed fee. I've mixed feeling about this. On one hand, Danny has really knuckled down this season and fought hard to retain his place. He's been a much improved player and, at 22, the young centre half could have stayed with us an improved even further.

On the other hand, he could also be shocking. For whatever reason, his head got turned last season and his form was poor. And even this season his distribution still leaves a lot to be desired and he's prone to one dozy moment in the game.

But, on balance, I'd rather have kept Danny at St James Park, as he could have been a key member of our squad in seasons to come. Then again, perhaps he needed a chance of scenery to truly kick on. We wish him the best at Southampton and hope he soon becomes another youth graduate playing in the Championship or higher.

What is definitely means is we need another centre-half, otherwise we just have Matt Taylor, Sir Rob and possibly Troy and youngster Scott Bennett.

Of more concern is rumours QPR are interested in Paul Jones. If he goes we're truly doomed.

Ok, that's maybe an exaggeration, but Jones is one of the best goalkeepers we've had in a long time and, at 23, keeps improving. It's no surprising other teams are looking at him. Hopefully Paul Hart's departure from QPR means they'll drop their interest in him.

Andy Marriott's a capable deputy but he's 39 and there's only a certain amount of time he can play for before his body decides no more.

Yeah, can we add a goalkeeper to that shopping list please?

PS Did I mention we beat Leeds 2-0?


Happy As Larry

This is an Exeter City fan blog by Gary Andrews, covering news, views and action from the real St. James' Park.

Come on you Grecians!

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