Goals in each half from Adam Reach and Callum Paterson saw a depleted Wednesday side progress through to the fourth round of the FA Cup in a 2-0 win at Exeter this afternoon.
The Covid-hit squad, with a largely inexperienced back line and only four players on the bench, made it four wins in the last five games and we go through to Monday evening’s draw for rounds four and five.
Second division Exeter missed two great chances early on, the unmarked Matt Jay’s diving header going wide and then Ryan Bowman scuffing a shot straight at Joe Wildsmith soon afterwards,
We had not been seen as an attacking force before taking the lead on 27 minutes, Barry Bannan’s excellent 60-yard free kick picking out Reach in the box and he shrugged off the attentions of ex-Owl Rory McArdle to fire a fierce angled drive between home keeper Lewis Ward and his near post.
Exeter’s best chance of the game came soon after half-time, McArdle’s far post header lacking the power to beat Wildsmith when he looked set to equalise.
The home side posed few threats after that and we clinched victory in the 90th minute, man-of-the-match Liam Shaw’s tremendous marauding crossfield run from defence ending with him picking out Paterson with a low cross and the striker had the simple task of tapping home from six yards.
Stand-in boss Andy Holdsworth will have been particularly pleased with the performance of the young defensive trio of Shaw, Ciaran Brennan and Ryan Galvin – the latter also catching the eye wth an outstanding display at left back on his Wednesday debut.
Wildsmith, Odubajo, Brennan, Shaw, Galvin (Eratt-Thompson 90), Harris, Pelupessy, Bannan, Hunt (Dele Bashiru 65), Reach, Paterson (Rice 93). Unused sub. Render.