Exeter City under-23s hopes of qualification to the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup look to be over after they were held to a 1-1 draw with Leicester City under-23s on Thursday evening.
The Grecians went into the match level on points with Leicester knowing that a win in their final group game with the Foxes would lift them above their opponents into one of the two qualification spots.
However, now only a heavy defeat, of more than six goals, for Leicester in their final game against group leaders Nottingham Forest will see the Grecians qualify.
City, with a team full of teenagers, started the match brightly as Jack Sparkes got down the left before sending in a low cross that found its way to the back post where Josh Key, having taken a touch to steady himself, hit a shot that grazed the crossbar on its way over the top.
After that Leicester began to control the first half proceedings as Layton Ndukwu glanced a header wide before Felix Norman produced a great save to deny Louis Ramsey.
However, the visitors then took the lead just past the half-hour mark when a corner was only cleared towards Lamine Kaba Sherif, 30 yards from goal, and hit a superb volley into the net.
City started the second half the brighter of the two teams though and were level when Sparkes drew a clumsy challenge in the box to win a penalty. Ben Seymour stepped up to take the penalty, which was saved, but Sparkes followed in the shot well to tuck home the rebound.
However, for the remainder of the second half it was, again, the visitors who created the more clear-cut openings as first Admiral Muskwe hit a close-range effort against the post before Sparkes had to clear another effort off the line.
In the end, the game would end in a disappointing fashion as City defender Joe Belsten was clattered off the ball Kairo Edwards-John, who received a straight red card. He was then shortly followed down the tunnel by Callum Wright, who received his marching orders for a second yellow card.