After recording an open day victory, we face our first away game with a mid-week League Cup game against League 2 opposition.
Date: Wednesday 10th August
Opposition: Newport County
Venue: Newport Stadium
Odds: Newport County=4/1, Draw=N/A, Exeter City=4/7(favourites)
Weather: Wet, 10C
Referee: Mr Howard Webb
It’s a completely changed side, with debuts for Lasse Karlsen, Loic Fournier and Florian Koch, whilst Alain Besse is named on the bench. We start well and in the 13th minute, an inswinging Fournier corner is met by Will Keane at the near post and he heads home his first goal of the season from 6 yards to give us an early lead as he picks up where he left off in pre-season. It spurs Newport into action and in the 18th minute, Bengtsson beats the offside trap and shoots from 16 yards, but his shot goes just wide. Nine minutes later, Barbara has a chance from a similar difference and he lobs an onrushing Metodi Spasov to level the scores. It’s our turn to take inspiration and in the 34th minute, Michel cuts the ball back from the right and Keane’s on hand to bundle home his and our second from 4 yards to restore our lead. With 3 minutes to go until half-time, Scott Malone puts in a cross from the left and Hoppe pushes it away. Luckily for us, Michel picks up the rebound and slots home his first goal of the season from 14 yards to give us a good lead going in to half-time.
Two minutes into the first half, Fournier marks his debut with a booking. Fournier takes another inswinging corner in the 54th minute and Keane’s head meets it at the near post and he completes his hat-trick with a header from 6 yards. There’s a striker called Will who is on fire, but it’s not Will Grigg! With the game surely secure, I make a triple substitution in the 68th minute – Besse makes his debut coming on for Michel, Philipp Langer replaces the hat-trick hero Will Keane and I ensure that Fournier will not get sent off by replacing him with Pavel Cizek. With a commanding lead, the final 20 minutes are a non-event, with the exception of the 87th minute when Gay shoots from 16 yards and hits the post. We pick up on the rebound and clear to safety.
Result: Newport County 1-4 Exeter City
Man of the Match: Will Keane
Ratings: GK-Spasov (6.9); DR-Judge (7.2); DCR-King (8.0), DCL-Karlsen (7.0); DL-Malone (7.6, A); MCR-Spearing (6.9); MCL-Fournier (7.5, A, off 68); AMR-Koch (7.2); AMC-Michel (8.4, G, A, off 68); AML-Makris (6.9); ST-Keane (9.6, 3G, off 68). Subs-Cizek (6.5, on 68); Besse (6.5, on 68); Langer (6.5, on 68). Unused-Bond, Berger, Riccardi, Gavilan.
Immediately after our victory, the draw is made for the second round and we gain a home tie against West Ham United in an all-Championship clash.