Exeter City’s fantastic recent form in front of goal continued after cutting apart Grimsby Town in a 4-1 win.

Ryan Bowman, after his hat-trick last week, gave City an early lead with a poachers finish after a corner, but out of nowhere, Luke Hendrie bundled in an equaliser for the hosts.

But a Randell Williams double in the space of three minutes right before the break gave City a two goal lead, before Matt Jay sealed it 20 minutes from time.

It is now 46 goals in 20 games for the Grecians this season – they are the highest scoring team in the top four divisions of English football this season – and 13 in the last three.

The win means Matt Taylor’s men rise to third in the table and now have just suffered one defeat in 17 games and are now unbeaten in ten away from their St James Park fortress.

Goal celebration by Exeter City player Matt Jay during the Skybet League Two Match between Grimsby Town and Exeter City at Blundell Park, Grimsby on Dec 1 – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

For Grimsby, Ian Holloway made just the one change from the eleven that beat Crawley Town 2-1 in their last outing, with Harry Clifton for Max Wright, who missed out with a hamstring injury.

Taylor made six changes from the City side who reached the FA Cup third round on Saturday with a 3-2 win at Gillingham – restoring five of the eleven who featured in last week’s 6-1 win over Colchester United.

Pierce Sweeney, Tom Parkes, Jack Sparkes, Jake Taylor and Matt Jay replaced Rory McArdle, Alex Hartridge, Lewis Page, Nigel Atangana and Nicky Law, while Jonny Maxted, fit again after his dislocated kneecap, replaced Jakull Andresson, who with the ex-Accrington man fit, has seen his emergency loan spell come to an end.

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And Jay, back in the side, should have given City a fifth minute lead. After Ryan Bowman stole the ball from a Grimsby man on the edge of his box, Joel Randall slid in the academy product, but his left footed effort from 12 yards was well saved by James McKeown.

City had started the better of the two sides, often getting into promising positions, and 20 minutes into the game, went into a deserved lead. After a Jay corner was cleared, skipper Taylor headed the ball back into the danger zone, Sweeney kept the ball alive, and Bowman, from six yards out poked it home under the keeper for his sixth goal of the season.

Goal celebration by Exeter City player Ryan Bowman during the Skybet League Two Match between Grimsby Town and Exeter City at Blundell Park, Grimsby on Dec 1 - PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK
Goal celebration by Exeter City player Ryan Bowman during the Skybet League Two Match between Grimsby Town and Exeter City at Blundell Park, Grimsby on Dec 1 – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

Taylor should have quickly doubled City’s lead. After a swift counter-attack, Taylor, on his 29 birthday, found himself clean through on goal, but McKeown made himself big and turned his effort around the post, before from the resulting corner, Josh Key forced the Grimsby skipper into a diving save.

The misses cost City. Sean Scannell, Grimsby’s brightest player, twisted and turned before he floated a cross to the back post, and Luke Hendrie, getting there ahead of Sparkes, bundled home from close range on the half hour mark. Picking the ball out of the net was about all Maxted had to do on his return to the side.

Gillingham vs Exeter City

Grimsby had their tails up and only a vital Sweeney touch stopped Matt Green from being able to tap into an empty net, but City soon retook the lead.

Goal celebration by Exeter City player Randell Williams during the Skybet League Two Match between Grimsby Town and Exeter City at Blundell Park, Grimsby on Dec 1 - PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK
Goal celebration by Exeter City player Randell Williams during the Skybet League Two Match between Grimsby Town and Exeter City at Blundell Park, Grimsby on Dec 1 – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

A luscious through ball by Archie Collins saw Williams latch onto it to it, take a touch, and produce a delightful clipped finish over the diving McKeown for his second of the season.

Minutes later, Williams had a third and a second of the night. Key galloped down the right and into the box, fired in a low cross and the winger prodded home from close range, with his finish going in off the post.

Randall had a chance early in the second half to make it four, but got the ball stuck under his feet after driving into the box, as City looked to hold what they had after the break, with the Mariners unable to create anything to worry the Grecians, a Scannell effort blocked by Sparkes as close as they came.

Goal celebration by Exeter City player Matt Jay during the Skybet League Two Match between Grimsby Town and Exeter City at Blundell Park, Grimsby on Dec 1 - PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK
Goal celebration by Exeter City player Matt Jay during the Skybet League Two Match between Grimsby Town and Exeter City at Blundell Park, Grimsby on Dec 1 – PHOTO: Steve Bond/PPAUK

And with 20 minutes to go, City did make it four through Jay’s ninth of the season. Randall found space down the right, he cut inside and while his shot was blocked, the rebound fell to Jay who tapped into the empty net.

Bowman should have made it five, but somehow couldn’t turn a Sparkes cross in from close range, but it mattered little, as City saw out a comfortable win.

Wins fans set to return to stadiums, there is plenty of City’s legion of supporters to be excited about as the goals just keep flying in, with a short trip up the M5 to second placed Cheltenham Town on Saturday up next.

Grimsby Town (4-5-1) – James McKeown, Luke Hendrie, Duncan Idehan (Mattie Pollock, HT), Luke Waterfall, Danny Preston, Owura Edwards (Luis Adland, 74), Danny Rose, Elliott Hewitt (Terry Taylor, 82), Harry Clifton (Kyle Bennett 64), Sean Scannell, Matt Green (Virgil Gomes, 64)

Subs: Ollie Battersby, , Joseph Starbuck

Booking: Rose, Hendrie

Exeter City (4-4-2) – Jonny Maxted, Josh Key, Pierce Sweeney, Tom Parkes, Jack Sparkes, Randell Williams (Alex Hartridge, 82), Jake Taylor (Nicky Ajose, 90), Archie Collins, Joel Randall (Nigel Atangana, 82), Matt Jay (Nicky Law, 90), Ryan Bowman (Alex Fisher, 85).

Subs: Harry Lee, Rory McArdle,

Booking: Key





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