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Taunton Town 1 Exeter City 2: Match report

26 July 2016

Goals from Wheeler and Riley-Lowe gave City their sixth win of pre-season at Taunton Town

Wheeler scored on the stroke of half-time and Riley-Lowe headed home on the hour mark after a wonderful cross from the impressive Matt Jay.

It leaves the Grecians in confident mood going into Thursday’s final pre-season game at home to Cardiff City.

City lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, with David Wheeler partnering Liam McAlinden up front. Matt Oakley started his first game of pre-season in the centre of defence alongside Jordan Storey, while a young looking midfield included Jay, Kyle Egan, Jordan Tillson and Riley-Lowe.

The first half saw chances for both sides, despite City dominating the possession. McAlinden and Egan fired early warning shots that were comfortably saved by Taunton keeper Lloyd Irish.

However, Taunton’s first chance came shortly after as Jordan Rogers gambled on a soft header back to Christy Pym from Storey. He managed to get around the City keeper, but Storey recovered superbly to get a telling block to his shot with the goal gaping.

McAlinden then crossed for Riley-Lowe to volley over before Jay fired inches wide.

Taunton responded with a couple of efforts from midfielder Adam Kelly, but it was City who broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time.

Pierce Sweeney crossed from the right and Taunton failed to clear the ball at the first attempt and David Wheeler pounced to rifle a shot into the roof of the net.

Player-coach Danny Butterfield made two changes at the break bringing on Alex Hartridge and Alex Byrne for Sweeney and Oakley.

Taunton had a couple of early chances in the second half, but were 2-0 down on the hour mark as Jay chipped a superb cross to the back post to leave his teammate Riley-Lowe with the simple header from six yard out.

Butterfield made three more changes five minutes later, bringing on Ethan Ampadu, in midfield, as well as Cameron Hargreaves, up front, and Archie Collins.

Kelly then forced Pym into a top save as he palmed his shot around his post for a corner and then Wright had a header that bounced narrowly over the crossbar.

City responded as Hargreaves crossed for Jay to send another heading looping just over the crossbar with 17 minutes to go.

Taunton pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go though as Kelly again drew a superb save out of Pym. However, unfortunately for the City keeper, the ball ricocheted off him and into the path of Craig Veal who side-footed a shot into an empty net.

Jay continued his impressive performance on 82 minutes as he picked up a pass from Riley-Lowe, but his turn and shot in the box could not produce a third goal as the ball cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and to safety.

Jay then had another shot with two minutes to go that Irish couldn’t hold. Collins tried to profit, but after taking the ball around the keeper he fired wide from an acute angle.

Taunton Town: Irish; Searle, Martindale, Batley, Hitchings, Karoma, Trowbridge, Chamberlain, Wright, Rogers, Kelly. Substitutes: Regan, Buse, Boateng, Veal, Dyer, Waldy, Mooney, Palmer.

Exeter City: Pym; Sweeney (Hartridge, 45), Storey, Oakley (Byrne, 45), Woodman (Collins, 64); Jay, Egan, Tillson, Riley-Lowe (Haines, 85); Wheeler (Hargreaves, 64), McAlinden (Ampadu, 64). Subs not used: Williams, McCready.

Attendance: 562

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