Exeter run out of gas as Barnet go marching on

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After the glory in defeat of their 2-0 FA Cup replay loss to Manchester United, it was back to Nationwide Conference business as usual for Exeter City with the most difficult match possible of that competition, a game against the runaway league leaders Barnet at Underhill.

After the glory in defeat of their 2-0 FA Cup replay loss to Manchester United, it was back to Nationwide Conference business as usual for Exeter City with the most difficult match possible of that competition, a game against the runaway league leaders Barnet at Underhill.

The Bees, managed by the England non-league and former Stevenage Borough manager Paul Fairclough, only needed one chance to win the match and it fell after 15 minutes to Giuliano Grazioli, one of the most reliable strikers at non-League level for several years, who scored his 19th League goal of the season.

The three points, earned in front of a crowd of 3,489, somewhat fewer than the 67,551 who viewed the Grecians' efforts at Old Trafford, gave Barnet a massive 17-point lead at the top, while Exeter slipped two places to ninth.

Elsewhere in the Conference, Crawley Town, promoted only this season, won 3-2 at Farnborough and shot up from 11th to fourth, giving themselves a good chance of a play-off place and League membership next season. But discipline went west at Canvey Island where Stevenage Borough had two players - George Boyd and Simon Weatherstone - sent off in their 3-0 away defeat.

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