Date: 13th September 2008 at 11:52pm
Written by: thebradfordian

Many fans, including myself, walked into Valley Parade this afternoon expecting a walkover. Boy were we wrong. After getting back to winning ways last week many of us thought little of Exeter’s chances of pulling an upset, and despite the score, we were wrong.

Newly promoted Exeter troubled the Bantams on various occasions in the first half, making a mockery of the defence and giving Matt Clarke a real headache. If it wasn’t for Rhys Evans we would have been a few down. However City had chances of their own, the most notable being an absoulute thunderbolt of a shot from 25 yards out, causing Grecian keeper Paul Jones to make what surely must be the save of his career.

With less than 10 minutes until half time, Exeter stunned the home crowd. A low ball into the box was poorly dealt with by the usually consistant Matt Clarke, who sliced the ball and kicked the ground, causing Matt Gill to take advantage of the slip up and get a shot off, deflecting off the post and into the net.

I wish i knew what Stuart McCall said to the boys at half time because they came out a completely new team.

From the moment the second half kicked off, Joe Colbeck ran the gaunlet. Pulling shots off that worried the goalkeeper and great runs down the wing. It was Colbeck himself who caused City’s first goal, beating his man and shooting, with League 2 top scorer Peter Thorne in posistion to tap home.

Less than 5 minutes later Bradford were in front. Summer singing Paul Arnison managed to get a cross in and it was met by the head of Micheal Boulding, smoothly nodding it into the net, sending the Bantams top of the table.

Another player who played exceptionally well is Omar Daley. With rumours of the Jamaican leaving in January buzzing around through-out the week, it was nice to see him giving his all for his club. Like Colbeck, he ran the Grecians ragged all second half, and it was his ball that sparked the third goal, finding Colbeck at the other end of the field, who frustratingly found his shot saved by Jones. However Deja Vu struck, as the ball found it’s way to Thorne, who prodded it over the line for 3-1.

But it didn’t stop there. Daley started a perfect counter attack and spinted down the wing like fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt, and his instincts managed to lay off Boulding, whose second of the game wrapped things up.

So, Exeter were eventually thumped, but could it be better? I could just be being critical, but should teams like Exeter be taking the lead? Should we be trailing by the first half? It’s definately something we should work on. Next up: Bournemouth

Player Ratings

Rhys Evans
Was not a fault for the first goal and looked good. Was there when needed.

Graeme Lee
Looked a bit uneasy in the first half but pulled it together in the second.

Matt Clarke
A nerve-racking first half for the big man. Mistake gave Exeter the lead but I doubt they’ll hold it against him. Solid second half though.

Paul Arnison
Got the job done when needed and looked confident with the ball.

Paul Heckingbottom
Looked as if he was going to have a job on his hands in the first half but he pulled it together beautifully. Good game.

Paul McClaren
Good Game from the Summer signing. Set up Boulding and looked sharp. Watch this space.

Lee Bullock
Did his job perfectly. Picked up the ball and layed it off to Colbeck or Daley. Which was all that could of been asked.

Omar Daley
Great game from the Jamaican. Constantly bothered the defence and created a goal. Sponsor’s Man of the Match.

Joe Colbeck
My Man of the Match. Did his job perfectly and looked sharp all game. Runs terrifyed the defence and played a part in 3 of the 4 goals. Fantastic Game

Peter Thorne
Typical performance from the top scorer, both goals were that Wayne Rooney would be proud of. Showing great awareness to tap in two strikers goals.

Micheal Boulding
Good Game. His partnership with Thorne looks promising and he has tremendous aereal ability, which is what we’ve been missing. Expect better things to come

Dean Furman
For Bullock 75 mins

Barry Conlon
For Thorne 75mins
For Daley 82 mins

Manager Rating
McCall had a word with Joe Colbeck at half time, telling him to spark life into the team and the game, which is exactly what he did.

Top of the league, our first real challenge is against Shrewsbury in 2 weeks, which is a must win for the Bantams, but next week it’s at home to Bournemouth.