26th December 2018

In a cagey West Country affair, chances were at a premium in the opening 45 minutes as both defences remained on top. 

Only a moment of magic from Lee Holmes broke the deadlock, as the lively attacker provided the difference at the halfway stage. 

Coming out after the restart a transformed side, it took Yeovil just eight minutes to level it up thanks to Tom James’ brilliant strike from long range.

Opening up the match into an end-to-end affair the near 6,000 crowd were treated to an exciting clash in the final half-an-hour but it was the home who would head home with a smile. 

Top scorer Jayden Stockley was in the right place at the right time to slam home a late winner to condemn the green and whites to a festive defeat.

Aiming for three points after back-to-back draws, Darren Way opted to name an unchanged starting eleven for the short trip across the border to Devon. 

Yoann Arquin started on the bench despite his stunning equaliser last weekend, with one change to the matchday 18 seeing Bevis Mugabi return from a shoulder injury in place of Omari Patrick who missed out. 

The defender eased some of the injury woes, but Town were still unable to call upon Omar Sowunmi (ankle), James Bailey (knee), Alex Pattison (back), Gabby Rogers (ankle), Wes McDonald (hamstring) and Diallang Jaiyesimi (knee) for the shortest trip of the season.

Having not tasted defeat in Devon since August 2015 the visitors were put on the back foot in the opening 10 minutes by a flurry of Exeter corners.

Holmes’ delivery asked a question of Yeovil’s defence, but Adel Gafaiti and Stuart Nelson in particular ensured there was to be no early setback. 

Growing into the match as the 20-minute mark approached, the Glovers registered their first attempts on goal as Sessi D’Almeida directed a pair of long-range shots off target. 

With those stray efforts continuing the theme of neither goalkeeper being called into meaningful action, it was James who denied the Grecians an opener on 32 minutes. 

Weaving into the box on the right Lee Martin’s strike from the angle was destined for the back of the net only for Town’s right-back to head off the line on the cover in a display of excellent awareness. 

Brought to life by the game’s first genuine opportunity, Matt Taylor’s side remained on the front foot and only had to wait a further two minutes to open the scoring. 

Picking the ball up on the right, Holmes saw a chance to unleash a curling left-footed shot which nestled in the top corner past a hapless Nelson to complete a moment of brilliance in a lacklustre affair. 

Reverting to an unmiraculous match up until the halfway stage the Glovers had to settle for a one-goal deficit to leave a big second 45 minutes ahead. 

The hero last Saturday, Arquin was introduced after just five second-half minutes for Rhys Browne in a bid to get back into the game but it was a defender who was this time to net a stunning equaliser. 

Winning a series of corners, Exeter could only half clear their lines to James 25 yards out and the dead ball specialist showed his skill from open play to curl a strike past a diving Christy Pym in front of the travelling faithful. 

Having sent the 576 Town fans into raptures the visitors continued to press and took control of proceedings across the border in Devon. 

Becoming an end-to-end affair both sides weren’t willing to settle for just a point as attacking substitutes were made by both sides.

Adding further firepower in the form of Olomola, the Scunthorpe loanee almost made an instant impact off the bench. 

Latching on to a loose ball in the box the striker engineered space for a low drive which had to be saved by the legs of a sprawled Pym as the final 10 minutes approached. 

Looking like the game was to end with a point the Grecians rallied one last time and demonstrated why they’re in the promotion race. 

Dean Moxey’s shot from inside the box was well saved by Nelson but Stockley was there on the rebound to find the back of the net with just three minutes of normal time remaining. 

Jordan Green struck the post immediately at the other end as the visitors launched forward in search of a second equaliser but it wasn’t to be as defeat was confirmed on the road. 

Exeter City: Pym; Sweeney, O’Shea, Moxey, Woodman; Martin (Abrahams 76′), Taylor, Collins, Law (Tillson 89′); Holmes (Ogbene 74′); Stockley.
Subs not used: Hamon, Martin, Jay, Forte.

Yeovil Town: Nelson; James, Warren, Gafaiti, Dickinson; Green, Santos, D’Almeida, Browne (Arquin 50′); Fisher, Zoko (Olomola 73′).
Bookings: Green 23′
Subs not used: Baxter, Donnellan, Mugabi, Gray, Arnold.