Town’s Development Side slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat to Exeter City in the Central League earlier today.
Jordan Stewart’s penalty had cancelled out Jordan Tilson’s opener, but Liam McAlinden’s strike right on the stroke of half-time proved to be enough to hand the Grecians all three points.
The Reds opted to go for a mix of youth and experience with the likes of Conor Thomas, Dion Conroy and Jordan Stewart handed starts alongside Scholars Will Christopher, Louis Spalding, Tom Ouldridge and Scott Twine.
It was Town who threatened first as Dion Conroy sent a free-kick over the bar, a miss which was punished after Jordan Tilson converted from close-range at the other end to give Exeter the lead.
Will Henry then did well to get down low and smother Matt Jay’s drive, before Town hauled themselves level.
After Jordan Stewart had warmed the gloves of James Hamon, Scott Twine attempted to poke home the rebound but was brought down by the Exeter goalkeeper with the referee pointing to the spot.
And Stewart made no mistake from twelve-yards, confidently stroking his spot-kick into the back of the net to restore parity for his side.
Town went on to dominate proceedings from that point on and they carved out a flurry of clear-cut chances.
Jordan Young sent Twine clean through on goal with a sublime pass but the young striker was unable to beat Hamon, before Stewart dragged a shot wide.
It was then Young’s chance to try his luck after he latched onto Ellis Iandolo’s pinpoint through ball but, despite beating the keeper, his shot was hacked off the line.
Twine curled just wide as the first-half came to an end but there was still time for one more goal, although it went the way of the visitors with Liam McAlinden tucking home from close-range.
Chances were few and far between after the interval although Henry did well to keep out Jay’s effort, before McAlinden blasted a shot way over the bar.
McAlinden then fired wide before Henry produced a superb stop to thwart Jay, and that proved to be the final action of the game with Town unable to claw their way back into the contest.
TOWN STARTING XI:
Henry; Christopher (Jack Stanley 61), Thomas, Conroy, Spalding; Ouldridge (James Georgaklis 61), Starkey (Jordan Simpson 79), Iandolo, Young (Seb Martinez 75); Stewart, Twine.