NERVY FI­NALE AWAITS MARK

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Bam­sey

MAN­AGER Mark Yates is brac­ing him­self for a nerveshred­ding fi­nal day de­cider af­ter Chel­tenham Town kept alive their hopes of se­cur­ing an au­to­matic pro­mo­tion place.

Russ Penn scored his first league goal of the sea­son to lift the Robins up to fourth and leave Ex­eter’s play-off dream in tat­ters.

Chel­tenham must win their last game of the sea­son at home to Brad­ford and hope that Rother­ham lose at home to strug­gling Alder­shot.

Yates said:“I asked the play­ers to take it to the last game of the sea­son and they have done that.

“If re­sults don’t go for us next Satur­day we can hopefully go into the play-offs in a pos­i­tive frame of mind. Next week prom­ises to be a ner­vous day for a few teams.

“This was a big win for us to­day and a real pro­fes­sional job.

“We started the first half really well but were too open af­ter that. They had great move­ment and threw cau­tion to the wind. Fortu- nately, though, they didn’t cre­ate too many clear-cut chances.

“The sec­ond half was a dif­fer­ent story and we were in con­trol. We tweaked a few things at half­time be­cause we knew if we were a lit­tle bit more com­pact they would strug­gle to break us down.”

Penn struck the only goal of the game af­ter five min­utes, his an­gled drive from 12 yards catch­ing keeper Ar­tur Krysiak un­sighted and bob­bling into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Ex­eter came close to grab­bing an equaliser af­ter a snap-shot from Jamie Cure­ton flashed inches past the far post.

On-loan mid­fielder Law­son D’Ath let fly with a shot that sailed past the post and Jamie Reid fired a shot wide af­ter Cure­ton teed up the young striker.

De­spite Ex­eter know­ing they needed to win to keep their sea­son to alive, they rarely looked like breach­ing a well-drilled Chel­tenham rear­guard.

Jimmy Keo­hane blasted the ball over the cross­bar af­ter Scot Ben­nett’s cush­ioned header fell invit­ingly into the sub­sti­tute’s path. And the Ir­ish­man was left hold­ing his head in hor­ror when his closerange pile-driver was ac­ro­bat­i­cally tipped over the top by Brown. And that was about it.

Ex­eter boss Paul Tis­dale said: “It’s dis­ap­point­ing and there are plenty of rea­sons why that is the case.We have been left want­ing in one or two ar­eas of our game.

“I am really pleased with the way the play­ers and the squad have com­mit­ted to the sea­son and I thought it was a fan­tas­tic ef­fort again to­day from a group that has been de­pleted by in­jury of half a dozen def­i­nite starters.

“We had young play­ers coming into the side and I thought they played really well to­day, es­pe­cially in the first half and it summed up the sea­son really.We have lost to Chel­tenham twice, have played ex­tremely well on both oc­ca­sions, but haven’t scored.”

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