Coventry City reached the 2nd Round of the Carabao Cup after a comfortable 4-1 win against Exeter City.
The two sides, who last met in the 2017/18 League Two Play Off Final, were split by a division this time around, and the Sky Blues made this felt in a strong first half display.
City got off to a flyer inside 90 seconds. Fantaky Dabo broke from inside his own half, and found Jordy Hiwula in acres of space. The winger’s first time finish found the far corner to give the Sky Blues the lead.
Exeter had the next chance on the 10 minute mark. Alex Fisher got on the end of a long ball and headed the ball through to young striker Ben Seymour. The Exeter man’s shot beat Ben Wilson in the City goal but also evaded the far post.
Down the other end, a quick break culminated in Matt Godden volleying a Hiwula through ball straight at Jonny Maxted in the Exeter goal.
Godden didn’t have to wait long for his next chance, and he made sure this one counted; a whipped free kick in the 22nd minute evaded the Exeter defence, and Godden rose highest to head it in.
The Sky Blues couldn’t find an opening on Saturday, but were catching up for lost time tonight. A brilliant touch down the right by debutant Matt Godden left a 4 on 4 situation on 28 minutes. A brilliant run followed, and his square ball found Zain Westbrooke on the edge of the area. His effort was blocked, but the ball fell to Jordy Hiwula who made no mistake from a tight angle to make it two for him and three for City.
Some brilliant interplay down the left between Jordy Hiwula and Sam McCallum led to the latter pulling a pass across the goal on 37 minutes; an excellent interception from Exeter centre back Gary Warren prevented Matt Godden from making it four.
A whipped Exeter City cross late in the first half was flicked on by Alex Fisher, but unfortunately for the Grecians it was right back Pierce Sweeney who found himself on the end of it. He fluffed his lines with just the keeper to beat, and the Sky Blues clean sheet remained intact.
The final chance of the half fell to City. A lofted through ball found Jordan Shipley, who laid off Matt Godden to roll the ball into an empty net. Unfortunately, the linesman had his flag up, and the goal was ruled offside.
Half Time: Coventry City 3-0 Exeter City
Coventry started the brighter of the two sides in the second half, but it was Exeter who had the first clear cut chance. A wonderful ball from Archie Collins evaded Michael Rose but Alex Fisher was unable to connect and the ball sailed wide.
The second half was a much cagier affair, with both sides struggling to create any clear chances. Ben Wilson wasn’t called into action until the 68th minute, when Jack Sparkes whistled a low shot from the right towards the bottom corner. Wilson was equal to it, turning it round the post and preventing any sniff of a comeback.
However, with 80 minutes on the clock, Exeter got one back. A free kick was crossed in dangerously by Jack Sparkes, and defender Pierce Sweeney was able to meet it and lift it over goalkeeper Ben Wilson into the net.
Exeter threatened the comeback, but it was all over in the 88th minute. A deep free kick was headed back across by Michael Rose, and Amadou Bakayoko made no mistake from close range.
Exeter City youngster Ben Chrisene made history for the south coast club by becoming their youngest ever player when he replaced Archie Collins late in the second half.
Full Time: Coventry City 4-1 Exeter City
Coventry XI: Wilson; Dabo, Hyam, Rose, McCallum; Shipley (Eccles, 75’), Kelly (C), Westbrooke; Jobello (Kastaneer, 82’), Godden (Bakayoko, 63’), Hiwula
Subs: Marosi, McFazdean, Mason, Bapaga
Exeter XI: Maxted; Sweeney, Warren, Moxey (Martin, 57’), Sparkes; Tillson, Collins (Chrisene, 86’), Jay; Martin; Fisher (Woodman, 57’), Seymour
Subs: Ward, Bowman, Ajose, Cundy
Coventry: Hiwula (2’, 28’), Godden (22’), Bakayoko (88’)
Exeter: Sweeney (80’)
Coventry: Kelly (86’), Kastaneer (90')
Exeter: Tillson (85’)
Attendance: 1555 (374 Exeter)