Exeter City continued their preparations for life in EFL Sky Bet League One with a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Bristol City.
As temperatures in Bristol soared to 30 degrees, the Grecians faced their toughest test of pre-season so far against Championship opposition.
Goals from Josh Coley and Alex Hartrige would give City a two-goal lead before a quick-fire double from Conway meant the match ended in a draw.
After a slow opening ten minutes where both teams got used to the heat, City forced the first opening. Clever work from Jevani Brown down the right won the first corner, but it was well defended by the Robins.
City then fashioned a decent chance to go ahead as Josh Key travelled to the touchline before sending in a cross that Tim Dieng could only divert wide.
The Grecians took the lead which their bright start deserved. Harry Lee’s clearance found Jake Caprice in space down the left, after moving the ball forward he delivered a sublime outside-of-the-boot lofted ball through to find Josh Coley in space just inside the area, he took a touch and fired home.
The goal gave City confidence and a couple minutes later it should have been two as Josh Coley played a ball out to Caprice who sprinted into the box and crossed low, just behind Tim Dieng.
Bristol City had the chance to level after seventeen minutes as captain Andy King twisted and turned inside the box before sending a clever chip towards the top corner but it whistled just over the bar.
On twenty minutes City went close as neat play outside the box lead to Jevani Brown turning and sending a shot just inches over the bar with the ‘keeper stranded.
Bristol City created their best chance to level after half hour. Tim Dieng was dispossessed in the centre and the ball was fed through to Sam Bell who found himself one-on-one with Harry Lee. Bell shot low but Harry saved well with his legs.
City caused the Robins all kinds of problems down the left, Caprice and Hartridge combining which allowed Alex to whip in a ball just ahead of Sam Nombe that was well cleared.
City were the happier of the two sides going into the break with a one goal lead.
The second half started in much the same way as the first, with City doing the pressing. After winning the ball back, Josh Coley played in Jevani Brown down the right who sent a low cross in that Sam Nombe just couldn’t connect with, with the goal at his mercy.
In the 53rd minute City had the golden chance to double the score, a loose pass back was intercepted by the rapid Sam Nombe who raced forward but sent his shot just wide of the post.
City continue to create all the chances, just before the hour mark the lively Jake Caprice found space down the left before cutting back and whipping a ball onto the head of Tim Dieng, who connected well, and his header crashed against the post.
Bristol City came close to levelling the scores as substitute Scott worked some space in the box with quick feet but his shot fell just wide of the far post.
City finally gpt the second goal their play deserved as Pierce Sweeney found space down the right on seventy minutes before whipping a fantastic cross across the face of goal that found Alex Hartridge free at the back post to nod home.
And it was almost three moments later as Josh Key was found on the edge of the box, he hit the ball on the half volley, and it was narrowly wide of the Robins goal.
Five minutes later and the Robins were back in the match as Scott feeds the ball through to Wells who cuts it back for Conway to slot home from close range.
In the 85th minute the match was level. Bristol City pounced on a defensive error by Diabate and the ball is played to Conway who fired home from just inside the box.
Despite both teams looking for a winner the match would end in a hard-fought draw.
The Grecians final pre-season friendly is on Saturday away at Torquay United in a 3pm kick-off. You can find the details of that here.
Starting XI: Lee, Key (Sparkes ’80) Sweeney (Jay ’80), DIabate, Hartridge, Collins, Dieng (Borges ’80), Coley (Pond ’80), Brown, Nombe (Iseguan ’80)
Bristol City XI: O’Leary, Klose, Towler Idehen, Wilson, Meassengo, King, Taylor, Bell, Conway, Wells
Subs: Casa-Grande, Araoye, Scott, Taylor-Clarke, Henry