A youthful Exeter City side signed off pre-season with a narrow 1-0 defeat against Truro at Bolitho Park on Tuesday night.
Exeter came into the encounter having won three of their previous six pre-season games, and were eager to gain positive forward momentum ahead of the season proper this weekend.
City Manager Matt Taylor made three changes from the 2-0 defeat to Shrewsbury on Saturday afternoon, with Jonathan Grounds joining Tim Dieng and a trialist in a slightly more experienced but still very youthful side gaining more valuable minutes in the game taking place at the home of Plymouth Parkway.
It was a competitive start to the game, with Truro’s trialist getting a couple of efforts off in the opening twenty minutes, and Exeter’s Ben Seymour looking dangerous up top. The latter found the net, but not before the offside flag had gone against him.
But it was Truro who took the lead midway through the first half, Tyler Harvey cutting in and lashing an effort past Harry Lee from 25 yards. Harvey scored three goals last season in Truro’s curtailed league season, after scoring over 20 the season before, and he was on fine form tonight.
The experienced striker looked busy all night long, constantly proving a physical, tough challenge for Exeter’s young defenders.
Exeter came close thereafter, dominating the possession and nearly finding the net through Tim Dieng and James Todd, both seeing efforts sail narrowly off target. Harry Kite then saw a low effort stopped by Truro keeper James Hammon. Truro defender Ed Palmer then lashed a long-ranged effort wide of the mark.
The second half tailed off slightly, but both sides still managed to find gaps in behind, with James Dodd seeing a shot blocked at one end, before Tyler Harvey’s close-ranged effort was charged down by Harry Lee.
Callum Rowe then skinned two Truro defenders, before going for glory, seeing his outside-footed effort going wide.
Toby Neville was later forced to exit the fray shortly after coming on after picking up a knock, while James Dodd took a couple of knocks in both the first and second half, requiring treatment late on as the game began to dry up.
Exeter continued to dominate possession, but ultimately an inexperienced Grecians side narrowly fell short.
Exeter loanee Cheick Diabate enjoyed a fabulous game over the course of the game, competing excellently with Ben Seymour up top and commanding his defence well.
Jake Caprice and James Dodd both put in a marvelous effort, persistently and energetically troubling Truro, passing well and creating a handful of opportunities which, on another more yielding night, might have led to a goal.
Youngster Toby Neville slotted in to a busy Exeter back-five very comfortably before he was forced to come back off, showing more promise from Exeter’s bright youngsters.
He was replaced with a quarter of an hour to go by another academy product – Mitch Beardmore. Though we were unable to glimpse much of the starlet sporting a Foden trim, he displayed his potentially prodigious talent with some silky skill and excellent work rate.
The Grecians begin the long-awaited League Two campaign against Bradford at St James Park on Saturday afternoon in a 3pm kick-off.
Exeter City XI:
Lee; Caprice, Dyer, Grounds, Rowe, Johnson; Kite, Trialist, Dieng, Dodd; Seymour