Exeter snaffled two goals inside the last ten minutes to grab a pre-season draw on a very warm evening. It appeared as though Ollie Chamberlain’s terrific strike and Josh Grant’s goal were going to steer Town to a creditable win until the Grecians pegged them back.
City’s side all featured players from the first team squad, and they made a confident start without troubling the target until Ben Seymour got goalside after Craig Woodman’s long ball over the top, but Lloyd Irish made a comfortable save. The visitors’ patient football led to further openings, with Matt Jay’s drive blocked and trialist Charlie Seaman cutting in from the right before firing wide.
The Peacocks were restricted to hopeful efforts, with Rocky Neal blasting over and then Pierce Mitchell’s shot being held low down in front of his post by Jonny Maxted. Town’s defence were doing their job though as City only really continued to have half chances, Lee Martin making space in the box for a pot at goal which failed to unduly test Irish and Seaman nearly capitalising on some sloppy defending but shooting over.
The second half was only two minutes in when the stalemate was broken by a corker from Chamberlain. Shane White’s long throw from the left was headed clear of the area, only for the Town midfielder to connect with a first time volley which flew past Maxted into the bottom corner. Grant then notched his first goal for the Peacocks on the hour, Jamie Price swinging in a diagonal cross from the left which Neal couldn’t manage to direct on target but instead found the Peninsula League’s top scorer from last season and he applied the finish into the roof of the net.
At this stage Exeter were hardly threatening before they began to find some urgency in the final quarter. Joel Randall, who spent some time on loan with the Peacocks in 2017-18, sent a close range header straight at Irish from a Sparkes cross and then the same player had a shot blocked following a swift break.
The visitors reduced the arrears with eight minutes remaining when Sparkes whipped in a free kick from the flank which Irish was unable to punch clear and the loose ball was forced over the line by Seymour.
A stray pass out from Irish then put Luke Manley in trouble just two minutes later and Randall was pulled down by the young Town defender as he burst into the box. City’s chance looked to have gone though when Irish made a great one-handed save from Seymour’s spot kick and then blocked Randall’s attempt as he went for the rebound. However the Grecians did find an equalizer two minutes into stoppage time when Will Dean planted a firm header into the net from five yards after a Sparkes corner.
Match: Taunton Town v Exeter City
Date: July 25, 2019
Venue: Viridor Stadium
Kick Off: 7.15pm
Taunton: Lloyd Irish, Pierce Mitchell (Lewis Hall 53), Shane White, Ben Adelsbury, Ed Palmer (Luke Manley 66), Jamie Price, Ollie Chamberlain (Noah Coppin 76), Naby Diallo, Matt Wright (captain) (Jamie Short 53), Josh Grant, Andrew Neal (Jack Rice 68) . Unused subs: Dan Sullivan, Owen Searle
Exeter: Jonny Maxted, Charlie Seaman, Craig Woodman (Joel Randall 45), Robbie Cundy, Will Dean, Jordan Tillson, Matt Jay (Ben Chrisene 66), Jack Sparkes, Lee Martin (captain) (Harry Kite 58), Alex Fisher, Ben Seymour. Unused subs: Pierce Sweeney, Randell Williams, Ryan Bowman, Lewis Ward
Referee: Marc Whaley (Plymouth)
Referee’s Assistant 1: Jack Bromham (Glastonbury)
Referee’s Assistant 2: Guy Beale (Taunton)