Jackson opens account but Town go out on penalties
Kayden Jackson scored his first goal for the Club but Town went out of the Carabao Cup on penalties.
The striker put Blues in front eight minutes before the break from a sharp angle but former Town defender Troy Brown took the game to a shoot-out with a header midway through the second-half.
It was left to another ex Blue, Lee Martin, to provide the decisive penalty and end Town’s cup run at the first hurdle.
Jackson and Tayo Edun made their first starts for Town while Freddie Sears returned to the side as Paul Hurst made three changes to the team that went down at Rotherham at the weekend.
Teddy Bishop and Danny Rowe were named on the Town bench after recovering from injury while former Blues, Lee Martin and Brown, were included in the Exeter line-up.
Lee Martin was immediately in the action, finding space down the right from kick-off but his cross was gathered by Bart Bialkowski.
Jon Nolan threatened for Town after good possession and a Jonas Knudsen cross, Edun then showing good feet around the Exeter box, while at the other end Toto Nsiala hacked clear from Lee Martin’s shot.
Trevoh Chalobah sent an acrobatic 25 yard volley just wide after Knudsen had crossed from the left again, Jackson then whipping in a fierce cross that was held by Christy Pym in the home goal.
Aaron Martin forced the ball away from danger after Chalobah’s pass had opened up the Exeter defence, then Matt Jay at full stretch just failed to convert Lee Martin’s cross from six yards out.
Town got the breakthrough on 37 minutes, Edun the architect with a surging run that released Jackson and his effort from a tight angle found its way into the net off Pym.
Another Knudsen cross set up Nolan but his shot was deflected wide, with Aaron Martin heading wide from Lee Martin’s corner in the final action of the first-half.
Jordan Spence replaced Janoi Donacien at the break in Town’s first change, Grant Ward forcing an early opening but Brown cleared the danger.
Chalobah did well to head clear from Jayden Stockley at the far post, substitute Archie Collins then having a shot deflected behind after a weaving run, Aaron Martin heading wide from the corner.
Tristan Abrahams couldn’t get anything on Hiram Boateng’s delivery as Exeter pressed for an equaliser, Nolan firing well wide from distance as Town responded.
Exeter were level on 64 minutes, Brown heading in from close range after Blues failed to deal with a free-kick, Bishop immediately introduced for his first outing since December following injury with Freddie Sears making way.
The substitute was inches away from getting in on goal soon after his introduction, Pym palming away Ward’s long range effort, then Nolan fired over after a quick counter.
Rowe replaced Ward for the closing stage before Bishop threatened to get on the end of a cross at the far post with no success.
Bart Bialkowski held on comfortably from Jack Sparkes’ free-kick, Edun then smashing a vicious shot straight at Pym as both sides searched for a winner.
Bialkowski denied Abrahams with a strong left arm, then Pym doing the same at the other end when Nolan’s shot looked set for the bottom corner deep into added on time.
So to penalties, Bialkowski saved from Taylor in the first kick, Bishop seeing his effort saved by Pym. Pierce Sweeney, Luke Chambers, Abrahams, Jackson, Collins all scored for Chalobah blasted well wide to leave Martin to convert the winning spot-kick.
Exeter: Pym, Sweeney, Woodman, Martin, Tillson, Martin, Stockley (Abrahams 52), Jay (Collins 52), Taylor, Brown, Boateng (Sparkes 62). Subs not used: Hamon, Forte, Oates, Croll, Collins. Booked: Taylor.
Town: Bialkowski, Donacien (Spence 46), Chambers, Nsiala, Knudsen, Ward (Rowe 78), Chalobah, Nolan, Edun, Sears (Bishop 66), Jackson. Subs not used: Gerken, Skuse, Kenlock, Harrison. Booked: Knudsen, Nsiala.