Exeter manager criticises ‘dangerous’ friendly as his 10-men side lose 4-1 away to Torquay United with tempers flaring throughout.
Grecians boss Gary Caldwell said his side were lucky to come away without any injuries after a number of tough tackles in the early stages, which saw the Gulls go 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes.
City defender Pierce Sweeney was shown a red card after as he reacted to a challenge from a Gulls player, with Torquay going on to score two more goals after the break before Exeter got a consolation goal late on.
“There were a few actions that were really dangerous and could have injured some of our players,” Caldwell told BBC Radio Devon.
“Thankfully we’ve got away with that, and the incident after that, our players try and protect one of their team-mates and he gets punished for it – and then he gets pushed and nothing happens.
Caldwell added: “I thought it was dangerous in the first half in terms of how some of the actions were.
“I think we’ve grown in terms of that and I think in the next two games we’ll be better for this experience.”
The win was a big one regardless if it was a friendly or not for Torquay after they end the week in high spirits having previously, drawn 1-1 with Championship side Plymouth Argyle.
“The one thing we’re not going to be is shrinking violets, we know that and I know that through the personalities that we’ve brought in,” Torquay manager Gary Johnson told BBC Radio Devon.
“Yes it looked like it was getting too feisty, but something had to give and [there were] a couple got bookings and one lad got sent off.”
On the club website, he adds: “Yeah, it was a physical game right from the off, you know Torquay showed their physicality, we weren’t really ready for that. I think we got much better as the game went on in terms of competitiveness.
“Overall, we got lessons from this game that we have to improve in the coming weeks, and I am sure we will do that when the season starts.
“I am all for competitive games and I am all for the start Torquay had, they put us under pressure, they put the ball in our box, they scored two goals from that pressure. I feel some of the challenges were dangerous and could have hurt people. The one on Ryan Trevitt is a tackle where the player is clearly out of control, he’s clearly endangering the opponent, and nothing happens from it.
In regards to positive takeaways, “The corners against were much better, I think we’ve tried to change the set up slightly and it has been a bit of a work in progress, we’ve done a lot of work this week on it and they were far better.”
Torquay boss Gary Johnson said of his side’s performances: “We have got to keep it going because we have got to be spot on ready for Dover away, and then the two home games that I can’t wait for.
“We were 2-0 up when the lad got sent off and we don’t really want anyone sent off because you want to play against 11 men, but we controlled the game for the most part, which I am pleased with.
“But I don’t want to go too over the top because they are a First Division team and their manager will get them sorted out.
“We might have shown some things he needed to see.
“We have got to look at ourselves now that game is over.
“We have to assess our game, assess where we are fitness wise, and Exeter will do the same, and Plymouth will do the same.”
Torquay: Halstead, Lapslie (Jenkins-Davies), Hall ©, Jarvis (Crowe), Collins, Ash (Hanson), McGavin, Craske (Thomas), Donnellan (Marshall), Tomlinson, Stobbs (Martin)
City: Sinisalo, Rankine (Billington), Sweeney, Aimson ©, Hartridge, Mitchell (O’Connor), Trevitt, Cole (Diabate), Aitchison (Harper), Scott (Borges), Nombe (Cox)
Subs: Woods, Cox
Referee: Paul Johnson
Attendance: 3014 (1110 away)
Here’s what fans are saying as the Exeter manager criticises what he called a ‘dangerous’ friendly as his 10-men side lose 4-1 to Torquay…
@KirstJarvis: I can understand that you’re not going to come out and slag your players off. However I’d be seriously concerned with that showing. Three leagues below you and we ran the show. And we weren’t the only ones putting in heavy challenges!
@donttakethepeas: “We weren’t ready for a physical game”…. Is Caldwell’s way of saying we were playing a rough game. Reality is we absolutely played them off the pitch. Quality football, against a poor (apparently) league side.
@fonzoSw: If we aren’t ready for Torquay the rest of the season isn’t looking promising 🤦🏻♂️
@RobbieFox4: Bang bang bang in trouble. Needed 4 or 5 signings that were sure fire ready players for League One not players with unfulfilled potential. Can’t blame lack of money either now can we 😔
@Ted2616: Ref was a joke, But it showed we are lacking experience in midfield and defence and the goalie needs to stay on his line and need game time. Nombe looks like he’s on his way out and Scott is not productive enough. We need 4-5 players of experience in all areas quickly
@tomtom1976: Sour grapes 🍇 🤣
@TuckerCalum: Seems to be playing down the result we were absolutely shite needs to admit it… Keeper is not up to it, inexperienced and keeps coming off his line which it done in the league will result in further hammerings.. Very bad day!
@ArgyleLife1886: Drawing with Torquay isn’t for everyone 💅
@The_bournes: Yes it’s a friendly and yes we are in a terrible league but I would be worried if I were you city fans. One of the worst teams I’ve seen for a long time. No game plan and no fight. My tips for relegation
@bowsade89: If I were an Exeter fan I would be slightly worried about this result, Torquay aren’t even in the football league. So that means this is not a good look. Luckily I’m a Plymouth fan and we’re in the championship
@YNWAmat: Thanks city 😂😂 see u in a few seasons like!!!
@ecfc32: Just remember. We’re playing Derby, Bolton & Portsmouth.. you’re playing Aveley, Chippenham & Slough #ecfc #tufc
@zakw91: Exeter are in trouble
@donttakethepeas: @TUFC1899 I’m fed up with these pushover easy wins every season. Can we get a team to give us a challenge please. Maybe Bideford or Exmouth. Beating @OfficialECFC tells us nothing about being really challenged.
@Chilly1989: #TUFC all the best for the season, hoping and praying you guys get promoted #PAFC 💚🤍