Ryan Bowman’s early goal earned Exeter City a 1-0 win at St James Park over Mansfield Town in the Sky Bet League Two.
Manager Matt Taylor made just the one change to his starting XI from Morecambe with now-joint top goalscorer, Nicky Law, temporarily sidelined with injury, allowing Matt Jay to come into the lineup in his place.
The game, as expected, was end-to-end for the entirety of the first-half with both sides having a plethora of chances.
It was the Grecians who took the lead inside five minutes, after a quick throw-in from Dean Moxey and an instinctive first-time finish from Bowman which thundered high into the back of Conrad Logan’s net.
At the other end, Mansfield’s Nicky Maynard made himself a nuisance as the ball was pumped into the box, fortunately his driven effort fell wide of Lewis Ward’s right-hand post.
In the 17th minute, Lee Martin cut inside to beat Mal Benning and hit a left-footed strike towards Logan, however Town’s goalkeeper saved well at his near post.
Soon after, City’s No.7 had another chance as Jay whipped in a low free-kick on the left-hand side, but Martin could only direct his flicked effort straight into Logan’s midriff.
Martin was once again in the thick of the action and looked to turn provider with a sumptuous cross towards Randell Williams at the back post who was millimetres away from touching the ball into an empty net.
Bowman’s confidence was brimming throughout the first 45 minutes, and it was the 27-year-old who rose highest once more from a corner-kick, but despairingly for City his header slammed onto the post and the ball was cleared off the line by Town.
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