Exeter City fell to a heavy defeat away at Cambridge United as they were beaten by four goals to nil at the Abbey Stadium.
The Grecians started the match slowly and gave away the ball too often in midfield in the first half as they went into the break deservedly behind. However, City began the second half with purpose and almost got back into the match before Cambridge United hit them with a sucker-punch just before the hour, with their second goal, and then added two more on the break.
Manager Matt Taylor made one change from the side that had beaten Forest Green Rovers last time out as Nigel Atangana came in for his first league start of the season.
Cambridge United started the match brightly and had a chance inside the opening minute as Harrison Dunk got down the left and crossed for Sam Smith to send a volley wide from close range.
Jack Roles then hit a shot from 20 yards out that Jonny Maxted saved, before the Grecians had their first chance of note as Ryan Bowman flicked a ball on for Nicky Law to volley just over the top from the edge of the box.
Randell Williams also looked dangerous down the right as he got into a number of good crossing positions, but his ball into the near post just before the half hour mark couldn’t be turned home by Lee Martin.
At the other end, the hosts continued to press with Reggie Lambe sending an effort just over and Roles bringing a good save out of Maxted before the deadlock was broken on 37 minutes.
The goal had an element of good fortune about it as Luke Hannant’s shot, from just inside the box, took a wicked deflection off a City defender before looping over Maxted and into the net.
However, on the balance of play it was a lead the home side deserved and left the Grecians with plenty to contemplate at the interval.
Matt Taylor reshuffled things at half-time and brought on Archie Collins for Atangana. And the Grecians started the second period with renewed confidence and were unfortunate not to get back on level terms when Lee Martin and Nicky Law both had efforts blocked inside the box. Moments later Lee Martin then beat the offside trap to race through on goal but, with seemingly on Dimitar Mitov to beat, a defender got back to make a superb sliding challenge and deny the striker what looked like a great scoring opportunity.
That proved to be a real turning point in the match as moments later Roles finished off a superb counter-attacking move from the host to find the bottom corner and give them a two-goal lead.
From then, City were forced to push more men forward in search of a way back into the game. However, despite getting into some good crossing positions the final ball into the box was lacking. Therefore it was still Maxted who was the busier of the two keepers and when he saved a fiercly-struck shot at his near post on 72 minutes George Taft was in the right place to tap home the rebound to make it 3-0.
And City's miserable afternoon was further compounded four minutes from time as Maxted trying to hold onto a looping shot as he back pedalled towards his line spilt the ball into the path of substitute Andrew Dallis who was left with another simple finish to make it 4-0.
Cambridge United: Mitov, Knoyle, Taft, Hannant, Maris, Dunk, Lambe, Smith, Lewis, Roles, Ward. Subs not used: Burton, Dallas, John, Darling, Davies, Richards, Knibbs.
Exeter City: Maxted, Sweeney, Atangana, A Martin, L Martin Law, Williams, Bowman, Parkes, Sparkes, Taylor. Subs not used: Visser, Jay, Fisher, Richardson, Moxey, Collins, Seymour.