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9 August 2014

Wallace goal ensures season starts with a point

Andy Awford handed a debut to three players, with Paul Jones, James Dunne and Craig Westcarr all named in the starting 11.

But they were much better in the second half and last season’s top scorer Wallace grabbed a deserved equaliser to ensure a share of the spoils.

The Blues were well below par before the break and trailed to Tom Nichols’ close range finish.

Jed Wallace was on target as Pompey started the 2014/15 campaign with a 1-1 draw at Exeter.

The Blues had one chance to get back on level terms before the break, but the Grecians were able to clear their lines after Ryan Taylor had headed down Nicky Shorey’s cross.

Ben Chorley was soon forced to clear behind a low Aaron Dawson ball into the box, as City enjoyed a period of pressure.

Jack Whatmough ensured Pompey did not fall further behind, first by heading clear a dangerous cross and then making a fine attack-ending challenge.

Grimes’ cross somehow made its way through a sea of blue-shirted bodies, leaving Nichols with a simple finish from just a few yards out.

The hosts livened things up on 27 minutes, however, when they broke the deadlock.

But, in truth, it was not proving to be the most exciting half of football as both sides struggled to find any fluency going forward.

The action then switched to the other end, where Wallace tricked his way into the box before firing into the side netting.

Exeter – who have been beset by off-field problems over the summer – had the first opportunity when Matt Grimes sent a free-kick flying narrowly over.

Awford decided action was needed and brought on Nigel Atangana in place of Westcarr on the hour mark.

But it was not all one-way traffic and Jones did well to keep out Liam Sercombe’s thunderbolt before stopping Nichols finding the net from an acute angle.

Exeter keeper Christy Pym was finally called into action on 52 minutes, saving shots from Westcarr and Wallace in quick succession.

The second half was much more frenetic than the first, although Adam Webster could not quite guide Wallace’s corner on target soon after the restart.

Exeter 1 Pompey 0 Half Time:


Whatmough might have put them ahead soon after, but Pym was able to save his close range header.

But the Blues were level moments later, as WALLACE collected Atangana's pass and cut inside before driving home through a packed Exeter box.

Pompey then thought they should have had a penalty for handball when Taylor’s effort was blocked in the box.

It was his last meaningful action, though, as the winger made way for Miles Storey on 72 minutes.

Andy Barcham then had a great chance to level, bursting through on goal and forcing Pym off his line to make a fine block.


Nichols 27Goals:
Pym; Bennett (c), Baldwin, Tillson; Dawson, Sercombe (Butterfield 86), Oakley, Grimes, Woodman; Keohane; Nichols (Wheeler 80) Exeter (3-5-1-1):

But Pompey were unable to find the second goal that would have ensurd a perfect start to the season.

That injected plenty of confidence into the visitors and the pushed forward in search of a winner.


Wallace 74Goals:
Jones; Webster, Chorley (c), Whatmough, Shorey; Dunne, Hollands; Wallace, Westcarr (Atangana 60), Barcham (Storey 72); Taylor (Bird 88) Pompey (4-2-3-1):

Hamon, Tisdale, Davies, Pope, Watkins Subs not used:

5,694 (1,548 Pompey fans)Attendance:

Andy Woolmer Referee:

Poke, Wynter, Robinson, Awford Subs not used:
Whatmough Booked:

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