Exeter City picked up their first win of their pre-season campaign after a 2-1 victory over Tiverton Town at Ladysmead.
Matt Jay and Will Dean were on target for the Grecians as they came from a goal behind to secure the win. They had fallen behind to a first half penalty but turned the game on its head in the second period, securing the victory with six minutes to spare.
It was a special evening as fans were allowed into the stadium for first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, with 300 supporters turning out to get behind their respective teams – from a social distance, of course.
City fans were the first to make noise as Joel Randall came close to opening the scoring, but he scuffed his volley into the arms of the Tiverton goalkeeper. As the wind and rain swirled around Ladysmead, the Grecians were in control of the match against their Southern League opponents, although Neil Martin did force Lewis Ward into a save before the drinks break.
Randall was the stand out man for Matt Taylor’s men and was terrorising the Town defence, this time playing a low ball into the area that was just inches from a Ben Seymour toe. Seymour was just a matter of centimeters away from getting his head on Randall’s whipped cross to the back post just a matter of minutes later, where an a run a second later would have had City 1-0 up.
Tiverton were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half time after Josh Key was penalised for a handball, and it was from this that the home side took the lead as Jared Lewington slotted past Ward.
Despite the deficit City began the second half strong again and levelled through Jay as he latched onto a long throw to get behind the home defence and smash it in from a tight angle. Randell Williams then had the chance to put City ahead from a dangerous free kick position, but his strike flew just inches over the bar.
A defensive mistake allowed Tiverton the opportunity to regain their lead, but when given the chance to be through one on one, Andy Watkins blasted his effort well over the bar.
Home keeper Lewis Williams then did his best to prevent Jay from doubling his and City’s tally as he pushed a bending free kick around his left hand post. It was end-to-end action, as Levi Landricombe scuffed a chance wide at the other end.
Nicky Ajose then missed a glorious chance to put the Grecians ahead when he could only fire the ball over the bar from an excellent position inside the area.
Taylor made several changes during the game, including bringing on Noah Smerdon and Louis Morison as the boss opted for a younger line up to finish the game. While none of those substitutes played a part in the second goal that came moments later, it was half time change Dean that would fire City ahead with a sensational free kick that found the very top corner of the net. He got the power and angle just right to give the goalkeeper absolutely no chance.
City are next in action on Friday when they host Truro City at Cliff Hill, kick off 6pm.
Starting XI: Ward, Key, Dyer, Hartridge, Trialist, Kite, Taylor, Jay, Williams, Randall, Seymour.