City rout previously unbeaten league leadersLine-Ups
Exeter City: Olejnik, Noble (Oyeleke 87'), McAllister (Woodman 80'), Ribeiro, Harley, Oakley (capt), Nicholls, Nichols, Wheeler (McCready 83'), Tillson, Brown.
Subs: Pym, Butterfield, Morrison, Reid.
Goals: Nichols 5' (pen), 56' (pen), Nicholls 37', Wheeler 77'
Leyton Orient: Grainger, Clohessy, Essam, Dunne (Kashket 68'), Baudry (capt), Cox, James, McCallum (Palmer 75'), Moore (Turgott 58'), Pritchard, Simpson.
Subs: Sargeant, Shaw, Payne, Maguire.
EXETER CITY put four past League 2 leaders Leyton Orient at St James Park to end the visitors' one hundred per cent record at the top of Sky Bet League 2.
Two Tom Nichols penalties joined goals from Alex Nicholls and David Wheeler as City put in their most convincing display so far this season.
In the absence of Joel Grant (international duty) and Will Hoskins (knock), Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale welcomed Tom Nichols and Christian Ribeiro back from thier respective injuries with places in the starting line-up for the visit of table-topping Leyton Orient. Alex Nicholls also came in to the league line-up having scored in the 2-0 Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Portsmouth in midweek.
And Tom Nichols was at the heart of the action right from the off. Fouled in the box by debutant Orient goalkeeper Charlie Grainger, he picked himself up to smash the ball into the net for a fifth-minute opener from the spot.
Orient gained the ascendancy for the better part of the first half, with half-hearted penalty appeals when Bradley Pritchard almost took a tumble and Jordan Tillson and Troy Brown on hand to block efforts from Dean Cox and Paul McCallum.
But City were two to the good with just under ten minutes of the period to go. Ryan Harley seized possession of a loose ball shortly after an Exeter City corner, and he teed up Alex Nicholls on the edge of the box to double the Grecians' lead.
HALF-TIME: EXETER CITY 2-0 LEYTON ORIENT
After being booked in the first few seconds of the second half, Alan Dunne was lucky not to be shown another when he pulled back David Wheeler ten minutes in. After consultation with his linesman, referee Kevin Johnson came to the correct conclusion in awarding a penalty, but was very generous in affording Dunne the opportunity to remain on the field. Tom Nichols converted his second penalty of the day to hand the Grecians an even more commanding lead.
Ryan Harley struck the bar before Charlie Grainger pulled off a wonder save to deny Tom Nichols his hat-trick from the rebound, with City well on top going into the final twenty-five minutes. Another wonder save from Grainger kept Harley out again after Tom Nichols' lay-off, but after a hashed clearance, David Wheeler passed the fourth through the crowd on seventy-seven minutes.
FULL-TIME: EXETER CITY 4-0 LEYTON ORIENT
Attendance: 3,648 (505 away)
Man of the Match: Troy Brown