After a closely fought encounter between Weston and Exeter City, it was the visitors who came out on top with a 3-2 win.
Pedro Borges drove a shot wide of goal from 18 yards after playing a one-two with Joe O’Connor, before he drove over the bar from 25 yards when allowed space to shoot. Reece Cole then fired wide of the target from 30 yards following a neat Sam Nombe pass inside.
The hosts were to take the lead midway through the half when Demetri Mitchell tussled with Jason Pope inside the area and won the ball, the Weston man tripping him in the process. Referee Ross Martin pointed to the spot and up stepped Nombe, dispatching his penalty into the corner despite Purnell going the right way.
The Seagulls hit back quickly when they earnt a corner down the right, substitute Jordan Bastin swinging it into the area. Exeter forward O’Connor tried to clear away under pressure from Sam Avery, but could only poke past his own keeper Gary Woods for an own goal.
The young forward was to quickly make amends down the other end however when a Mitchell cross from the left hit the body of Nombe, and the ball dropped kindly for O’Connor six yards out to poke past Purnell for 2-1.
Weston looked to hit back quickly when Bastin cut inside, shrugging two defenders off in the process, before firing just past the post on his left foot before he almost converted with a chip moments later when latching onto a long Lloyd Humphries pass but could only see his 20-yard attempt drop the wrong side of the post. Cole also came close for the visitors when he drove a 25-yard free-kick wide of the target.
In the final action of the half, Purnell made a great save to deny Nombe from a Mitchell cross when the striker met the delivery with his head from point-blank range but Weston’s No.1 clawed the attempt away from his goal.
Cole drove wide of the target 10 minutes into the second half when lining up from 25 yards, before Rex Mannings drove wide of the target from a similar angle of the pitch up the other end when playing a one-two with substitute Reuben Reid.
The Seagulls were to level when a loose pass in midfield was intercepted by James Dodd on the slide. Reid picked up the loose ball and drove deep into Exeter territory, finding Bastin on his outside. The winger’s pull-back came to Dodd on the edge of the area, and he swept in on his left foot first-time for 2-2.
Weston came close to going ahead when a Bastin corner dropped for Avery, whose left-footed volley was headed off the line by Cheick Diabate. The ball came back out to Bastin, whose low effort was parried by Woods and Jacob Jagger Cane’s follow-up struck the top of the bar. Reid then had a shot from 25 yards gathered by Woods as Weston looked to ramp up the pressure.
It would be the visitors who would get the winning goal however when Mitchell got into the left side of the area and crossed low into the centre. Nombe dummied the cross for Tom Dean, free at the back post, to fire into the roof of the net from close range past goalkeeper Harry Lee, on loan from the opposition.
FT: Weston 2-3 Exeter (O’Connor OG 26, Dodd 59 – Nombe pen 24, O’Connor 29, Dean 84)
Weston XI: Purnell (Lee HT), Pope, Trialist A (Watts 80), Jagger Cane (Thomas 67), Humphries, Avery (Trialist D 67), Trialist B (Reid 54), Dodd, Mannings (Murray 67), Grubb (C), (Bastin 19) Trialist C.
MOTM: Lloyd Humphries.