The Peacocks suffered their first pre-season defeat as the League Two club eased to victory. Only trailing by a single goal at the interval and still in the game, Town conceded early in the second half as a strong City side pulled away to record a comfortable win.
The hosts had Toby Holmes and Jack Goodall back in the fold after being absent for the opening run-out at Clevedon, but centre half pairing Nick Grimes and Jake Wannell were still missing. Town knew they would have their hands full against a powerful Exeter squad and so it proved when the visitors took an early sixth minute lead, Jack Veale’s low cross into the area being deflected home off the leg of Ben Seymour.
The goal apart, chances were scarce in the opening quarter hour. City’s Jake Caprice put a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but no-one was there to capitalise before the Peacocks had their best chance of the night on 20 minutes. Holmes latched onto a Jordan Dyer back pass on the left, rounded City keeper Scott Brown but prodded against the outside of the post from the narrowest of angles.
New City signing Callum Rowe rifled into the side netting at the opposite end after Joe Guest had slipped over but it was the Peacocks who had the better sight of goal up until the break. Ollie Chamberlain released Jared Lewington, making his home debut, but he blasted his strike the wrong side of the post while Dan Sullivan’s effort was blocked.
Unfortunately the second half was a different story for the home side as the Grecians got fully into their stride. Only six minutes had elapsed before City doubled their lead, a tidy phase down the right ending with Caprice crossing to Seymour in the middle and his angled drive found the corner of Lloyd Irish’s net. A third soon followed on 56 minutes when another Caprice cross was headed clear but only as far as Jevani Brown twelve yards out and he lashed the ball home before a spell of three goals in a dozen minutes was concluded in the 63rd as Sam Nombe who had only just come off the bench held off the defence to power through and slot past trialist keeper Marko Radovanovic.
A rare opportunity came Town’s way when Sullivan played inside to Chamberlain whose 20 yard shot was safely held by Brown but Exeter weren’t finished. Josh Key glanced a header wide while the impressive Nombe, a summer signing from MK Dons, saw two efforts narrowly fail to hit the target but there was no dispute about his second goal of the night and City’s fifth after 82 minutes, receiving the ball from the left before turning inside and drilling home a fine strike from just outside the box.
Taunton: Lloyd Irish (Trialist 56), Ben Adelsbury, Ollie Chamberlain, Lee Lucas, Toby Holmes (Trialist 69), Dan Sullivan (captain), Joe Guest (Trialist 69), Jack Goodall, Ross Staley (Trialist 45), Jared Lewington (Gethyn Hill 56), Zac Smith (Dan McBeam 56)
Exeter: Scott Brown (Andrew Sowden 74), Pierce Sweeney (Jack Sparks 60), Jordan Dyer (Alex Hartridge 60), Check Diabate (George Ray 60), Callum Rowe (Ellis Johnson 60), Jake Caprice (Josh Key 60), Jack Veale (Michael Lilley 60), Harry Kite (James Dodd 60), Matt Jay (captain) (Archie Collins 60), Jevani Brown (Joel Randall 60), Ben Seymour (Sam Nombe 60)
Referee: Rick Hulme (Midsomer Norton)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Richard Lawrence (Corfe)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Jordan McRitchie (Bath)
“Disappointed with some of the goals but we’ve got to look at the bigger picture” – hear Rob Dray’s reaction on Peacocks TV HERE
Match highlights on Peacocks TV HERE