Exeter City returned to winning ways after a comfortable 4-1 win over Morecambe at St James Park in Sky Bet League Two.
Two goals from Jayden Stockley, as well as goals from Troy Brown and Dean Moxey sealed an excellent victory for the Grecians as they impressed in front of a home crowd.
The Grecians made two changes from Tuesday’s defeat to Notts County as Lee Holmes and Troy Archibald–Henville were replaced by Moxey, who made his first start of the season, and Luke Croll.
The game was just one minute old when Reuben Reid attempted to latch onto a long ball from Craig Woodman, but the City striker clashed with goalkeeper Barry Roche who hobbled off the field leaving the away side with no choice but to make an early substitution as Danijel Nizic replaced him.
Following that delay, both teams struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the opening period, with Moxey having City’s only real opening when he did well to get the wrong side of Mitchell Lund and work some space, but slipped just before he could fire an effort towards goal.
But the Grecians began to up the tempo shortly after Moxey’s opportunity as they fired themselves into the lead just after 20 minutes.
An in-swinging corner from Lloyd James was met at the back post by Troy Brown who was on hand to fire in and put City a goal to the good as he claimed his first goal of the season.
Good play play then saw the Grecians double their lead just a few minutes later when Jayden Stockley did well to create space on the right before being threaded in by Jake Taylor.
The City striker then made no mistakes as he fired in powerfully right footed to double City’s lead.
But the Grecians’ advantage was halved on 37 minutes when Vadaine Oliver pounced in the City box to fire home.
A thunderous strike from Garry Thompson on the edge of the box was parried by Christy Pym and Oliver did well to react first and slot past the City goalkeeper
Moments later, City were dealt another blow when Jordan Tillson, who had been lively in the centre of the field, limped off following a challenge from Lund, and was replaced by Hiram Boateng just minutes before the break
On the stroke of half-time City created an excellent chance from a free-kick with Stockley at the heart of the action. The forward, who was tussling with a Morecambe defender, went to ground but got up in time to come within inches of the ball as it was crossed back into the area as another chance went begging.
But the City forward was back in the goals just moments before when, from a throw in, he did well to set himself up to turn and volley into the far corner and put City into a 3-1 lead going into the break.
Just a few moments into the second half, Stockley had a wonderful chance to seal his hat-trick after excellent link up play with Reid.
A long ball forward saw the City number 33 back heel into his striker partner’s path but Stockley was unable to keep his effort on target as the Grecians attacked the Big Bank.
City then found their fourth on 47 minutes when they broke on the counter attack at speed. After Stockley received it on the half-way line and ran at the Morecambe defence, he teed up Moxey who calmly placed the ball past Nizic to score his first goal for the club since April 2009 against the same club, Morecambe, at St James Park.
The Grecians continued to attack and came close to their fifth on the hour when the tenacious Reid burst through the Morecambe defenders, but miscued his shot as Nizic collected comfortably.
Stockley then went close to his hat-trick once again on 73 minutes after good build up play from James. The central midfielder, who had time to look up in the middle, played a delicate cross towards the City striker, but his header edged inches wide of the goal.
Substitute, Boateng, then showed an excellent turn of pace as he picked up the ball in midfield and drove at the visitors. After finding himself some space on the edge of the box, he shaped to curl into the far corner, but again for City, they were unable to find their fifth.
Morecambe then felt aggrieved after Pym rushed from his goal to collide with substitute Callum Lang, and the resulting free-kick from Michael Rose cannoned off the post to keep the score at 4-1 in the 83rd minute.
But there were no more goals to be had for the Grecians as they returned to winning ways at St James Park and remain second in League Two.
Exeter City: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman, James, Tillson (Boateng, 41), Stockley, Moxey (Edwards, 71), Croll, Taylor, Reid (Jay, 86), Brown
Subs not used: Hamon, Archibald-Henville, McAlinden, Wilson
Booked:Croll, Moxey, Pym
Morecambe: Roche (Nizic, 1) Brough, Old, Thompson (Lang, 76), Fleming (Kenyon, 68), Oliver, Campbell, Ellison, Lund, Muller, Rose
Subs not used: McGowan, Lavelle, Turner, Osborne
Booked: Lund, Thompson
Attendance: 3,651 (Inc, 27, away)