By Alfie Marlborough
Report from St. James Park as a lacklustre Dons side are beaten by Exeter.
Exeter City – Blackman, Key, Sweeney Diabate, Grounds, Sparkes, Dieng, Collins, Kite, Brown, Nombe
The Dons -Cumming, Lewington, Tucker, O’Hora, Grigg, Johnson, Grant, Burns, Harvie, Lawrence, Devoy
The First chance of the game went to the hosts. The ball was swung in and met by Dieng’s header which goes wide and leaves Jamie Cumming untroubled.
It was a cagey start from the Dons and Exeter piled on the pressure well and looked dangerous coming forward.
Will Grigg had the first real chance of the game for the Dons when he rounded Blackman but was off balance and unable to keep his effort on target from a tight angle.
Shortly after, The Dons won a free kick in a dangerous position, but Devoy’s cross was unable to connect with a Dons player.
A good ball crossed in from the right-hand side reaches Dieng who was left open, but his headed effort sailed wide.
The Dons were fragile in possession through the first half and lost the ball several times in the middle of the park. Once to Nombe who linked up well with Kite, but his final ball ran through to Cumming.
Exeter played a brilliant ball is played in from the right-hand side but Jevani Brown just misses the ball and its cleared.
Dons went close to taking the lead when Conor Grant played a ball across the face of goal which missed Grigg but landed at Burns’ feet. However, Blackman saves his powerful effort from point blank range.
Nombe went close to scoring, but Cumming parried it out for a corner from close range before making a wonderful double save to deny Exeter a goal.
HALF-TIME: Exeter have been much the better side so far. The Dons have looked weak in possession and a gear behind the Grecians. Matthew Dennis came on at the interval for Will Grigg who was kept rather quiet in the first half.
Exeter restarted the game well with a penalty shout when Nombe went down under pressure. More pressure from Exeter lead to a corner which came to nothing.
Exeter then had another big chance to go ahead but Cumming produces a stunning save to deny Sparkes. The Dons are awarded a free kick following the corner.
Conor Grant and Darragh Burns were replaced by Matt Smith and Josh Kayode who makes his league debut for the Dons!
Tucker denied former Don Sam Nombe an effort on goal after throwing himself at the ball. The corner was played short but caused no problems for the Dons.
The Grecians were relentless in the opening parts of the second half creating plenty of chances going forward. The Dons were looking the complete opposite and created no chances whatsoever.
Exeter got what they deserved just after the hour mark as Cheik Diabate was in the right spot to head home to give the hosts the lead. 1-0 Exeter.
Dan Harvie was the first player to go in the book for the Dons after bad tackle which halted the host’s attack.
Sam Nombe dragged his shot wide after being played through by Kite after the ball was lost in the middle of the park. Moments later, Nombe comes off for Stansfield.
Dons finally have a shot a few minutes from time, but it doesn’t trouble Blackman who claims with ease.
Stansfield drags wide after being left open and was able to run through on goal. The fourth official shows the board for a minimum of three additional minutes.
Full Time: A shocking performance from the Dons means they travel home empty handed. Exeter weren’t anything special but were miles better than the Dons who looked well off the pace.