Exeter City slipped to a narrow defeat away from home to league leaders Luton Town in Sky Bet League Two.
The Grecians, who spent much of the match without the ball against a strong Luton team, defended well for much of the game but weren't able to hold out.
Harry Cornick's shot in the first half took a wicked deflection off the impressive Jordan Storey and ended up in the back of the net as the Hatters claimed the win.
Match Report sponsored by Speedy Freight
With a quick turnaround from Wednesday night’s win over Forest Green Rovers, the Grecians made five changes as the likes of Kane Wilson, Kyle Edwards, Dan Seaborne and Hiram Boateng all came into the side alongside youngster Jordan Storey who made his first league start for the club.
It was Nathan Jones’ side who had the first real attempt at goal in the fifth minute through Cornick. After being found in space on the edge of the City box, he shot left footed but could only find Christy Pym’s left-hand post.
But the much-changed City side were holding their own against the league leaders and looked dangerous through the likes of Jayden Stockley and Edwards on the left, despite the Hatters dominating possession.
Edwards had a good chance on 15 minutes as City broke on the counter-attack, and after receiving the ball just inside the box, his shot was well blocked as the Town defence raced back.
Hiram Boateng was the next City player to have an opportunity, just before the 20-minute mark, when he turned well on the edge of the box. The midfielder’s shot, though, was straight at Marek Stech.
Town hit the woodwork again on 27 minutes when James Collins got down the right to send in a cross, which took a wicked deflection off Storey, before the ball bounced off the top of the crossbar.
The home side then had a stroke of luck when they took the lead on 38 minutes. After working the ball inside, Cornick saw his shot take a wicked deflection off Storey and end up in the City goal with Pym little chance of reacting to as the sides went into the break with City trailing narrowly.
The home side continued to look the more likely in the second-half but were struggling to create many clear-cut chances with the likes of Storey and Seaborne defending well, as the Grecians hoped to use the pace of Edwards and the introduction of Lee Holmes to their advantage.
A couple of dangerous Luton corners and blocked shots were all that Jones’ side could come up with as City continued to frustrate their opponents. Collins then went close on 79 minutes when he cut inside and shot towards the far corner but was unable to keep his effort on target.
City thought they’d levelled just three minutes from time when they had the ball in the net through substitute, Liam McAlinden, but for a foul in the build up by Robbie Simpson on Stech as the Grecians pushed in the dying moments for an equaliser.
But it wasn’t to be as City’s good run was halted by a Town side, who to their credit, dominated much of the match.
Luton Town: Stech, Potts, Stacey, Lee, Cornick (Jones, 83), Jervis (Hylton, 76), Rea, Berry, Collins, Downes, Sheehan
Subs not used: Justin, Shinnie, Mpanzu, D’Ath, Shea
Exeter City: Pym, James (Holmes, 55), Tillson, Stockley, Seaborne (McAlinden, 70), Moxey, Wilson, Taylor, Edwards (Simpson, 85), Storey, Boateng
Subs not used: Jones, Sweeney, Jay, Byrne
Attendance: 8,788 (Inc, 464, away)