Jack Sparkes scored his first senior goal for Exeter City in what was an otherwise disappointing night for the Grecians as they lost 3-1 at home to Yeovil Town in the Checkatrade Trophy.
City manager Paul Tisdale made six changes to the starting line-up, with Jack Sparkes getting his first competitive start in a Grecians shirt while Alex Byrne, Matt Jay and James Hamon also picked up their first starts of the 2017/18 season.
However, City manager Paul Tisdale was forced into another change after five minutes when Luke Croll was caught by a late challenge from Jordan Green and stretchered off. That meant Harry Kite was given an earlier than expected debut at left-back.
City then enjoyed a good 20-minute spell in the match when they really should have taken the lead. First Jake Taylor tested former Grecian and Yeovil Town keeper Artur Krysiak with a half volley at the back post.
Reid then hit an effort just over before Jake Gray sent a left-footed volley just wide for the visitors. However, it was still the hosts who were impressing. It was good closing down from Matt Jay that created the next chance as he stole the ball off Bevis Mugabi before pulling a pass back for Reid to have a goalbound effort deflect behind for a corner.
It was the visitors who were to end the half on top though as Sam Surridge went close twice – one effort being superbly blocked by Troy Brown as it looked destined for the back of the net – and Green also shooting just wide from distance.
It was the visitors who kept that momentum going into the second half as good pressure from Jordan Green saw him steal the ball off Troy Archibald-Henville in the box. Hamon came to close him down but the Yeovil attacker did well to move the ball on to Surridge who fired home.
City hit back as Jay then fired a shot into the side netting before Holmes crossed for Reid to glance a header wide.
However, Yeovil proved clinical on the counter-attack. First Otis Khan played in Browne who slid a shot past Hamon to make it 2-0. Then Khan broke down the left before firing from an acute angle to further stretch the visitors’ advantage.
Sparkes briefly gave City some hope of a comeback when he headed an Alex Byrne cross home at the back post, but when Archibald-Henville’s header was cleared off the line City’s chances of a remarkable comeback – like the one they staged against Yeovil in their last league meeting at St James Park – started to fade.
City: Hamon; Taylor, Brown, Moore-Taylor (James, 58), Croll (Kite, 7); Sparkes, Archibald-Henville, Byrne, Holmes; Jay, Reid (McAlinden, 64). Subs not used: Pym, Woodman, Tillson, Key.
Booked: Archibald-Henville, Moore-Taylor, James
Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Alfei (Nelson, 85), Mugabi, Smith, James; Green, Bailey (Santos, 45), Gray, Khan; Surridge, Olomola (Browne, 39). Subs: Maddison, Davies, Dickson.
Booked: Green, Browne, Surridge, Khan