Harper helps Exeter claim victory over Cheltenham on injury return

STARS ABROAD Harper helps Exeter claim victory over Cheltenham on injury return

Mark Kinyanjui 10:00 - 02.04.2024

Harper returned from injury with an electric performance for Exeter in their win over Cheltenham.

Harambee Stars left back Vincent Harper returned from injury as a substitute as Exeter hit back from a goal down to claim a last-gasp 2-1 win at relegation-threatened Cheltenham in League One.

Harper enjoyed a good 32-minute spell on the pitch where he won five of his six ground duels and bombed up and down the left flank in efforts to help the visitors get the win, and wil be hoping he made a big enough impression to return to the starting line up permanently.

Exeter demonstrated superiority during a rain-soaked first half. Mo Eisa came agonizingly close to scoring against his former team in the fourth minute, but his shot narrowly missed the target. Ryan Woods also tested Cheltenham's goalkeeper, Luke Southwood, with a well-struck effort in the 22nd minute.

At halftime, Cheltenham made significant changes, including a double substitution and a tactical adjustment, which promptly yielded results. Will Ferry provided an assist to Sean Long, whose cross was met by the head of Ben Williams, resulting in a goal just six minutes after the restart.

However, Exeter responded swiftly, as Luke Harris found the back of the net five minutes later, courtesy of a precise pass from Tom Carroll, much to the delight of their traveling supporters.

In the final moments of the game, Exeter secured victory after Lewis Freestone handled Ryan Woods' shot inside the penalty area. Reece Cole stepped up and calmly dispatched the resulting penalty, ensuring all three points for his team.

In another EFL clash that took place at the same time, Clarke Oduor featured as relegation-threatened Grimsby were denied a priceless win in dramatic circumstances as they drew with Bradford City.

Oduor was on the pitch for 28 minutes, during which he completed one successful dribble, made one key pass and created one big chance.

Richie Smallwood netted a stoppage-time penalty for Bradford after Curtis Thompson had opened the scoring at Blundell Park.

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