Match Report: Tiverton Town 1 Exeter City 2

Match report for Tiverton Town

Goals from Caleb Watts and Sonny Cox saw the Grecians come away from their first pre-season friendly at Tiverton Town victorious.

Gary Caldwell began pre-season by naming two separate lineups for each half at the Ian Moorcroft Stadium, with Pierce Sweeney leading out the first team and Josh Magennis taking the armband after the break.

Despite City dominating early possession, the first chance of the evening fell Tivvy’s way. Leighton Thomas broke through one-on-one with the goalkeeper after a slip in the middle, but his low effort was narrowly wide of Shaun MacDonald’s post.

The Grecian’s early intention was clear: get the ball to Millenic Alli upfront. However, after being picked out by a Jack McMillan cross in the 13th minute, he couldn’t get it out of his feet. He managed to find space in the box moments later though, but that shot was blocked.  

20 minutes in, Sweeney was the first player to test Tivvy’s keeper, as his cross-cum-shot from 35 yards had to be palmed out for a corner, which the yellow backline cleared. Shortly after MacDonald too made his first save, catching Dylan Jone’s effort from range.

Yet the Grecian goalkeeper had no chance of reaching the home side’s next effort on target. Joe Parker opened the scoring with a pinpoint header into the bottom corner after being found unmarked at the back post by a precise cross.

City almost had an instant response when Caleb Watts ran at the Town defence, laying the ball off to Theo Cutler who shot wide.

It didn’t take long for the scores to level though, and it came from that man Watt once again running at the defence with the ball, finding space on the edge of the box and shooting through the Tiverton keeper in front of a packed red and white end behind the goal.

The final chance of the half came minutes before the whistle, when substitute Santino Ohanaka played Watts down the right, but his cross was smashed over by Alli.

Caleb Watts celebrates


Wearing the captain’s armband, Josh Magennis was the first to test the Tivvy goalkeeper after the interval. His shot was saved following a smart turn and pass by Sonny Cox, who was playing just behind the Northern Irishman.

City’s early attacks in the second half primarily came down Yanic Wildschut’s left wing, with a low cross in the 52nd minute evading everyone in the penalty area. Five minutes later he had a shot of his own, which hit the advertising boards above the stand behind the goal.

Wildschut once again sparked another chance just past the hour mark when his ball into the box was held up by Magennis, who fed Charlie Cummins arriving late into the area. His shot though fell only into the arms of a grateful keeper.

At the opposite end, Harry Lee had to be alert as former Torquay captain Asa Hall headed just over his bar. From the resulting goal kick, City drove down the left once again, with Wildschut’s ball finding Cox whose low effort was parried by the keeper.
Wildshcut was then brought down while attempting to cut in 25 yards from goal, winning a freekick. However, Magennis’ curling shot went just narrowly over.

Despite dominating the left, it was actually from the right that City’s breakthrough came ten minutes from fulltime. A low corner was fizzed into the box and reached Cox, who fired into the back of the net from close range to give the Grecians the lead.

Moments later, Tom Dean fizzed another effort at goal that was pushed away by the keeper as City sought a third, before 16-year-old Louie Cayless came off the bench for his first involvement in an Exeter first team match.

The penultimate chance of the game fell to Pedro Borges, whose shot was blocked by several yellow bodies after yet another good run down the wing by Wildschut. The Suriname international had the final shot himself, narrowly edging the ball wide before the referee blew for full-time.

With a victory now under their belts, Gary Caldwell’s Grecians turn their attention towards Weston-Super-Mare in the second pre-season friendly this Friday.

City First Half Team: MacDonald, McMillan, Sweeney ©, Fitzwater, James, Beardmore, A. Trialist, Richards, Cutler (Ohanaka), Watts, Alli

City Second Half Team: Lee, Niskanen, Oakes (Cayless), Aimson, Purrington, Wildschut, Dean, Cummins, Borges, Cox, Magennis ©

Tiverton: Manning, Thompson (B. Trialist), D. Jones, J. Jones, A. Trialist, Britton ©, Carter, Hall (Gleeson), Parker (Wright), Murray, Thomas (Jeremy)