Exeter 3-0 Fleetwood
Fleetwood Town suffered a 3-0 defeat away at Exeter on a disappointing afternoon in Devon.
Exeter went ahead midway through the first half, when Danny Butterfield’s free kick was turned in by Town striker Jon Parkin at the back post.
Eliot Richards doubled his side’s advantage in the 61st minute with a back post header, and made it three for the Grecians minutes later, capitalizing on Chris Maxwell’s spill from a Tom Nichols free kick.
The eleven that convincingly defeated Portsmouth on the Fylde coast last weekend kept their places at St James’ Park, while new signing Iain Hume started on the bench alongside David Ball, who returned from a spell on the sidelines.
The attacking pair’s presence amongst the substitutes meant there was no place for Mikael Mandron, while winger Matty Hughes missed out through illness.
A Tom Nichols cross from the right very nearly found the outstretched boot of Matt Oakley on six minutes, but Conor McLaughlin did enough to deny the former Leicester City midfielder.
Eliot Richards and Tom Nichols both had shots blocked well by Town captain Mark Roberts, as Exeter begun the better of the two teams.
A neat free kick from Conor McLaughlin was flicked on by Antoni Sarcevic into the path of Jamille Matt, who was unable to pounce.
The Grecians took the lead on 25 minutes when Danny Butterfield’s dangerous set-piece from the right hand side went in off Jon Parkin.
Paul Tisdale’s men continued to impress, with Tom Nichols forcing Chris Maxwell into a fine save after some neat interplay with Matt Oakley.
It was a frustrating 45 for the Cod Army, and Jamille Matt’s wayward effort a minute before the break summed up their first half efforts.
Manager Graham Alexander opted for a change of formation at the start of the second period, and introduced Iain Hume to the fray at the expense of midfielder Stewart Murdoch.
Town started lively, and the game opened up; Antoni Sarcevic threaded a through ball into the path of Jamille Matt, but home keeper Artur Krysiak reacted well.
In response, Tom Nichols sent a tame shot at Chris Maxwell, before Charlie Taylor denied Liam Sercombe with a fine last ditch tackle.
Matt continued to be a nuisance to the Grecians backline, and Pole, Krysiak, was on hand to deny the former Kidderminster Harriers man.
Despite Town’s best attempts to get themselves back into the game, Exeter doubled their lead on the hour mark through Eliot Richards.
Danny Butterfield’s corner was flicked on to the back post by Danny Coles, and Eliot Richards rose highest to head past Maxwell.
It was soon three, though, as Richards got his second of the game as he capitalized on Maxwell’s error from a Tom Nichols free kick, to fire home from close range.
Substitute Matty Blair linked up well with Hume in the 76th minute, and struck a low effort at Krysiak, in which he did well to save.
Blair impressed on the right, and skimmed his opponent with four minutes to go, before finding Josh Morris on the edge of the box, but his goalbound strike was headed away off the line by Danny Butterfield.
Town couldn't find a way to get a goal and will be looking for a response on Tuesday against Bristol Rovers.