Grecians defeated by Premier League oppositionExeter City succumbed to a 2-0 friendly defeat at St James Park against Premier League opposition in the shape of Swansea City.
City’s creative power certainly tested Swansea’s defence, but ultimately quality prevailed in the scoreline.
Goals either side of the break by Bafetimbi Gomis and Josh Sheehan were enough for the visitors to seal a pre-season win at the Park, although David Wheeler hit the bar in the first half too.
Under-18 midfielder Alex Byrne was again named in the squad, as he took a seat on the bench next to trialist Christian Ribeiro.
Meanwhile many of Swansea’s stronger players were named amongst the subs, although new Ecuadorian signing Jefferson Montero was on the wing for the visitors.
Despite naming a largely inexperienced squad, the Welsh side were understandably composed and assured on the ball and were controlling much of the possession in the early stages.
Nevertheless, it was Exeter that had the first decent chance of the game as Craig Woodman’s cross from deep found the head of Tom Nichols, whose effort drifted over Gerhard Tremmel’s bar.
The Jacks’ main threat was down the left through Montero, whose pace and trickery was causing a few headaches for the Grecians.
The World Cup star was denied a chance to cross by a sliding tackle from Scot Bennett, and moments later he smacked an effort wide of Christy Pym’s far post.
But Swansea were soon to find the opener as a nicely weighted cross by Neil Taylor found the head of Gomis, who just steered the ball beyond the dive of Pym and into the net.
Exeter reacted well and kept attacking as they had been throughout – and Keohane dragged a shot wide just moments later, after Woodman’s persistence allowed him to lay in the attacker.
Before half-time, both teams were denied by the woodwork – David Wheeler improvised a clever flick from a low Arron Davies cross, and instantly Swansea attacked down the other end and Gomis hit the upright from range.
Half-time: Exeter City 0 Swansea City 1
Substitutions stemmed the tide of the second half somewhat, and meant the game never really settled into a pattern.
Swansea were the major threat again, and substitute Jonjo Shelvey played a raking ball to fellow sub Wayne Routledge on the left – the tricky winger lifted a ball across for Josh Sheehan to hit, but he smashed over the bar.
Keohane was just denied by Dwight Tiendalli when he pulled a ball out of the air from a lofted ball from Aaron Dawson, as City aimed to test the Swansea rearguard.
But the second goal followed for Swansea, and Sheehan was the man to get it. Wilfried Bony set up the midfielder on the turn and he slotted past the exposed James Hamon for the Swans’ second.
Hamon saved a near-certain goal from Bony when he bravely got ahead of the forward to punch when Nathan Dyer put in a delightful cross from the right flank.
Bony had the last chance of note in the match as he headed towards goal, only for Dawson to block the ball on the line.
Full-time: Exeter City 0 Swansea City 2
Exeter City: Pym (Hamon 71); Baldwin, Coles (Riberio 60), Bennett (Tillson 68), Woodman (Dawson 64); Wheeler (Jay 64), Oakley (Butterfield 58), Grimes (Byrne 63), Davies (Riley-Lowe); Keohane (Pope 68); Nichols (Watkins 53).
Swansea City: Tremmel (Cornell 64); Tiendalli (Shephard 76), Bartley (Richards 68), Williams (Tancock 78), Taylor (Kingsley 68); Lucas (Shelvey 46), King (Bony 46), Sheehan; Bray (Ki 30), Montero (Routledge 46); Gomis (Dyer 64).
Goal: Gomis (31), Sheehan (78).
Attendance: 2,274 (375 away).
Referee: Oli Langford