Exeter City 0-1 Port Vale: Exeter miss first league title in 32 years

Exeter City 0-1 Port Vale: Exeter miss first league title in 32 years


James Wilson’s first-half goal cost Exeter a first title since winning the old Division Four in 1990

Exeter City missed out on winning a first league title in 32 years by losing at home to Port Vale, with Forest Green Rovers crowned League Two champions.

The Greeks, already promoted to Ligue 1, were a point clear of second-placed Forest Green heading into the final day, but Rovers’ loss and 2-2 draw at Mansfield saw them lose the title on goal difference.

Vale took the lead against the run of play when James Wilson calmly scored from inside the Exeter box.

Despite 17 shots, Exeter only hit the target three times and failed to score for the first time since the 0-0 draw with Vale on March 22.

The win sees Port Vale finish the season in fifth place, two points off the automatic promotion places, and they will face Swindon Town over two legs in the play-off semi-finals.

Aidan Stone produced a superb save to deny Matt Jay’s header in the 15th minute as Exeter had the better of the opening rally – but it proved to be as close as the Greeks were going to score.

Jay, Offrande Zanzala and Jake Caprice all went close for the hosts before Wilson controlled Ben Garrity’s header into goal and tucked away in the opener.

It was a similar story after the break as Jevani Brown, Zanzala and Caprice failed to bother Stone with effort.

Wilson had a few more chances for Vale as Jonathan Grounds wrapped up a 90th-minute effort as Exeter tried everything – including sending goalkeeper Cameron Dawson for a corner – to get what turned out to be an equalizer elusive.

Despite last day disappointment, Exeter will play in League One for the first time in 10 years next season as they ended a five-year period of narrowly missed promotion.

Alignments

Exeter

Training 3-4-1-2

  • 1Dawson
  • 26Sweeney
  • 6StubbsBooked at 45 minsReplaced byLandsto 45′minutes
  • 39Diabate
  • 12Key
  • 8collins
  • 14Dieng
  • 2Caprice
  • 7JayReplaced bynamedto 56′minutes
  • 20Brown
  • 18ZanzalaReplaced byAmondto 70′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Sparks
  • tennamed
  • 11Amond
  • 27Lands
  • 29Kite
  • 31Saithe
  • 40Brown

Port Vale

Training 3-4-1-2

  • 26CalculationBooked at 84 mins
  • 6Black-smith
  • 16MartinBooked at 43 mins
  • 5Entrance
  • 2Gibbons
  • 23pett
  • 8Garry
  • 15HusseyReplaced byBenningto 27′minutes
  • 9WilsonBooked at 45 minsReplaced byHarratto 90+2′minutes
  • 29edmondsonReplaced bytaylorto 62′minutes
  • 13prosecutor

Substitutes

  • 1Covolan Cauagnari
  • 7Worrall
  • 11Benning
  • 17taylor
  • 19Amoo
  • 21Robinson
  • 24Harrat

Arbitrator:
Tom Reeves

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