Simpson on target as City prevail in pre-season opener
Conor Riley-Lowe Man of the Match:
Martin Underhay Referee:
FULL-TIME: WEYMOUTH FC 0–2 EXETER CITY
Lee Holmes fired one over in the dying stages before referee Martin Underhay called time the Grecians’ first match of a busy pre-season schedule. City can take plenty of positives from a good run-out on the south coast.
But City weren’t to be denied a second. Lee Holmes delivered a trademark cross from the left, and Robbie Simpson got across his marker to drive a low effort past Thomas. Paul Tisdale had commented on the importance of developing partnerships over the course of pre-season, and he would have been encouraged to see the early signs of a potentially fruitful combination.
The Grecians had the ball in the back of the net for a second time on sixty-seven minutes following Lee Holmes’ cross-come-shot, but referee Martin Underhay ruled out the winger’s effort due to a foul on the Weymouth keeper.
There were a further four changes for the Grecians on fifty-six minutes, with Joel Grant amongst them following his time spent with the Jamaican national side at the Copa America. Within seconds of his introduction Grant rattled the upright having connected well with a Tom McCready cross from the right-hand side, and the mercurial midfielder was at it again moments later, skipping past his marker before forcing Dan Thomas into a close-range stop.
James Hamon dealt well with his only test of the half, keeping hold of a Charlie Davis free-kick.
With the half-time meat draw in full-swing, City boss Paul Tisdale decided to ring the changes for the second period by introducing six new faces.
HALF-TIME: WEYMOUTH FC 0-1 EXETER CITY
Moore-Taylor’s header was to be the last action of half that bore the hallmarks of an early pre-season encounter.
Substitute Conor Jevon tested Christy Pym for the first time on thirty-two minutes, but the young City stopper got down quickly to deny the Terras an opening goal. Liam McAlinden was forced off five minutes before the interval, and it was his replacement that played a role in the Grecians’ opener. Jamie Reid’s low drive was deflected out of play for a corner, and Alex Byrne’s delivery from the subsequent set-piece was nodded home by skipper Jordan Moore-Taylor.
With the sun lowering over the Bob Lucas Stadium, it was the post to the rescue for the hosts. A ball in from the right-hand side found its way to McAlinden with half an hour played, and City’s latest recruit steered his effort onto the far-post with the keeper beaten. It was Matt Jay’s turn to threaten two minutes later, as the dynamic midfielder fired one over from twenty-five yards out following a bursting run forward.
The Terras were forced into an early substitution on twenty-one minutes, with new signing Sam Jordan replaced by Conor Jevon. McAlinden was looking lively at the other end, and some good combination play between the ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers striker and Riley-Lowe almost saw the Grecians work the space for a shot at the Weymouth goal.
The Grecians were looking lively down the left-hand side with Jordan Moore-Taylor making some good advances from full-back. It was Ollie Watkins who registered the first shot of the game having cut in from the left and on to his right foot, but he saw his effort blocked on the edge of the area.
After an uneventful opening period, City began to find their rhythm with ten minutes on the clock. It was the hosts who nearly worked the first opening, though, as Chris Shepard’s through-ball only narrowly evaded the on-rushing Sam Jordan.
It was an experimental-looking starting eleven for City’s pre-season opener at The Bob Lucas Stadium. New boy Liam McAlinden was handed the task of leading the line, and trialist Pierce Sweeney featured in a back four alongside Jordan Storey, Nick Grimes and Jordan Moore-Taylor. Connor Riley-Lowe, who spent a brief spell on loan with the Grecians’ opponents in 2015, started on the left of midfield.
Moore-Taylor 44’, Simpson 72’ Goals:
Hamon, McCready, Brown, Moore-Taylor, Woodman, Jay, Tillson, Byrne, Riley-Lowe, Reid, Grant. Exeter City (2nd Half):
Pym, Sweeney, Storey, Grimes, Moore-Taylor, Riley-Lowe, Byrne, Tillson, Jay, McAlinden, Watkins. Line-Ups:
Exeter City (1st Half):