Rose 60, Cordner 88


Jay 4, J Brown 16, Nombe 51

WEYMOUTH nearly produced a comeback from 3-0 down as the Terras lost 3-2 to League Two side Exeter City in their fourth pre-season friendly.

Exeter’s quality was on full display in a strong first 20 minutes, Matt Jay and Jevani Brown burying clinical finishes.

Sam Nombe added a third after half-time but Weymouth replied with a calm finish by sub Ahkeem Rose.

Tyler Cordner set up a nervy final minute for the visitors with his second goal in pre-season but the Grecians held on for victory.

Weymouth had drawn 1-1 with Exeter in their pre-season friendly last season but City made sure there was to be no repeat with an electric start.

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Exeter were ahead as early as the fourth minute, when a quickly-taken free-kick put Sam Nombe through, forcing goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons to make a sharp block.

Weymouth did not clear the danger though and the recycled ball in picked out the diminutive Matt Jay to guide a header into the far corner for 1-0.

Another intricate move then cut through Weymouth’s defence in the eighth minute, Nombe curling his attempt against the top of the bar.

With Exeter swarming all over the Terras, it was no surprise when the Grecians doubled their lead.

Jack Sparkes’ delicious ball over the top for Brown allowed the striker to run through and lob the advancing Fitzsimons in the 16th minute.

Dorset Echo: Jevani Brown, centre, put Exeter 2-0 up Picture: MARK PROBINJevani Brown, centre, put Exeter 2-0 up Picture: MARK PROBIN

Weymouth began to grow into the game through the skill of striker Brad Ash, whose naughty nutmeg on George Ray bought a free-kick from which Andreas Robinson headed over.

Ash’s fleet of foot earned him a chance in the 24th minute when he skipped past a challenge and saw a shot blocked before Robinson’s curler was beaten clear by keeper Scott Brown.

Weymouth’s best moment of the half followed when Tom Bearwish’s delightful lofted through ball set Brandon Goodship free, only for the forward to hesitate and allow Scott Brown to smother the effort.

Dorset Echo: Brandon Goodship saw this good opportunity go begging Picture: MARK PROBINBrandon Goodship saw this good opportunity go begging Picture: MARK PROBIN

Ash was involved again in Weymouth’s next move, playing a deft one-two with Josh Leslie-Smith before the left-back picked out Sean Shields.

Shields faked to shoot and dragged back in the same motion before seeing his effort blocked.

Weymouth boss Brian Stock made three changes after the break, bringing the two triallists and Goodship off for Ben Morgan, Rose and Josh McQuoid.

But it was Exeter who scored next when Nombe grabbed a deserved goal, calmly slotting home inside the far post from Jay’s pinpoint pass.

Weymouth then picked up where they left off in the opening period, pressuring the Grecians, and pulled a goal back on the hour.

Moments after Cordner skimmed a header wide, a booming clearance from the centre-back set Shields away on the left.

He checked back and played in sub Rose, who used his body to ride a challenge and scamper in on goal, sliding an assured finish past Scott Brown.

Weymouth made four changes immediately afterwards, Stock bringing on Gerard Benfield, Ollie Harfield, Cameron Murray and a trialist.

Five minutes after his introduction, Harfield was at his creative best, winning a corner and then supplying a delivery for Morgan to head downward at keeper Brown.

Weymouth continued to press and a break presented a chance for Bearwish to shoot at the second time of asking, although his effort was tame.

Dorset Echo: Tom Bearwish, left, saw this effort blocked Picture: MARK PROBINTom Bearwish, left, saw this effort blocked Picture: MARK PROBIN

Weymouth set up a tense finale as Cordner bundled home in the 88th minute but the referee blew for full-time as soon as Leslie-Smith’s long-throw was cleared.

Terras: Fitzsimons (Benfield 61), Cordner, Trialist (Morgan 46), Brooks (Harfield 61), Leslie-Smith, Robinson (Trialist 61), Bearwish, Trialist (McQuoid 46), Shields (Murray 61), Ash (Trialist 67), Goodship (Rose 46).

Exeter: S Brown, Key (Caprice 73), Sweeney (Veale 80), Ray (Dyer 67), Hartridge, Sparkes (Rowe 73), Atangana (Kite 52), Collins, J Brown (Dodd 34), Jay (Diabate 80), Nombe (Hanson 67). Sub not used: Arthur