Exeter City ran out 3-0 winners over Bath City at Twerton Park in pre-season.
First half goals from Ryan Bowman and Archie Collins were the difference between the two sides as the Grecians continued their preparations ahead of the new season.
Manager Matt Taylor named a strong starting XI with Nicky Ajose featuring for the Grecians for the first time since signing for the club against a Bath City side which featured the Grecians’ very own Alex Hartridge, who has just agreed a loan deal at Twerton Park.
The Grecians almost went ahead inside three minutes when good chasing down from Ryan Bowman saw him block Ryan Clarke’s clearance but for a Bath defender to prevent the ball from going in.
But Matt Taylor’s side went ahead just a couple of moments later when a good ball forward from Lee Martin found Bowman in space before he lofted the ball over Clarke’s head to give City the advantage.
Bowman was at the heart of a lot of good play from the Grecians early on, and he nearly had another goal, when he linked up fantastically with Ajose before firing a curled effort at goal but for Clarke to save well.
Tom Smith had Bath’s first attempt when the home side worked it well before the midfielder shot low just wide of Jonny Maxted’s goal.
Pierce Sweeney was next to have an attempt for the Grecians when they worked it well on the edge of the Bath box before laying it back to the Irishman to send a stinging effort just over Clarke’s goal.
The Grecians were two goals to the good just before the half hour mark when Collins finished off an impressive City counter-attack. After breaking through Nicky Law, Martin’s shot was blocked into the path of the youngster before he curled an effort into the top right-hand corner.
Bowman notched his second of the game just one minute later when a City breakaway saw a Jake Taylor shot blocked into the path of the forward before he acrobatically finished well.
Tyler Harvey went close for the home side on 42 minutes when he saw his curling free-kick from the edge of the City box edge just over Maxted’s goal as City took a dominant lead into the break.
Substitute Tom Richards had Bath’s first chance after the break and it came just before the hour mark when the ball dropped to him inside the box, but at a tight angle, his effort could only find the side netting.
Bowman then had the chance to get his hat-trick on 62 minutes when Collins won the ball back high up the pitch before finding the forward whose shot was straight at Clarke.
Matt Taylor then made a host of changes for the final 25 minutes with only Maxted remaining on the field as the City boss ensured the whole squad were given minutes.
Substitute Randell Williams looked lively again for the Grecians and he almost made it 4-0 when he managed to dart down the right before sending a left footed effort just wide of Clarke’s goal.
Clear chances became few and far between throughout the second period with City controlling much of the possession in midfield, but credit to their opponents, who were resolute in reducing City to half chances.
Ben Seymour had an attempt for the Grecians on 86 minutes when he latched onto a clever ball through the middle, but for the Bath keeper to close him down sharply before Seymour’s effort was sent just wide as City claimed the win.
Bath City: Clarke, Harper, Riley-Lowe, Smith, Batten, Hartridge, Hillman, Trialist, Harvey, Mann, Stearn
Subs: Raynes, Wiles-Richards, Parsons, Bower, Watkins, Richards, Artus, Simpson, Brunt
Exeter City: Maxted, Sweeney (Dean, 63), Parkes (A. Martin, 63), Warren (Cundy, 45), Moxey (Woodman, 63), Taylor (Kite, 65), Law (Jay, 65), Collins (Tillson, 63), L. Martin (Sparkes, 65), Ajose (Williams, 45), Bowman (Seymour, 65)
Subs not used: Ward, Dyer, Seymour, Kite, Sparkes, Randall, Smerdon