Swindon Town were defeated 1-0 by Exeter City in their final Bristol Street Motors Trophy group stage match in front of their lowest home crowd for 113 years.

The visitors lead against the youthful Swindon side at the break as Yanic Wildschut stretched to turn home a cross early on, but there was little other excitement to be had.

The second 45 minutes passed without any real action, as both sides meandered through to the end of the match and Exeter took home the win.

Defeat means that Town have now failed to win any of their last 11 across the three domestic cup competitions and finish bottom of their Bristol Street Motors Trophy group, having picked up just one point.

Michael Flynn retained three players from the weekend draw against Harrogate Town, with Williams Kokolo, Liam Kinsella, and Harrison Minturn retaining their places. Joel McGregor was handed his first start in professional football, with Archie Milne and Kian Larkins involved for the first time.

Swindon Advertiser: Swindon players look to try and win the ball backSwindon players look to try and win the ball back (Image: Callum Knowles)

Exeter took the lead after just six minutes when James Scott was allowed space on the right and he drilled a low cross into the six-yard box. Yanic Wildschut did well to stretch his leg around Kinsella to prod the ball beyond Lewis Ward.

Exeter were all over Swindon in the early stages with Ward called into action on a number of occasions, first after Kokolo lost the ball about 25 yards out, James Scott won possession and shot low through the legs of Minturn, but close enough to the ‘keeper for the save to be routine.

Then Kyle Taylor wriggled his way beyond a few pairs of red socks to the edge of the area and got his shot away, but Ward was on hand to palm the ball away from his near post.

Swindon Advertiser: Hubbard challenges for a headerHubbard challenges for a header (Image: Callum Knowles)

The Grecians won a number of early corners and after 26 minutes managed to find the head of Will Aimson in the middle of the box with one, but he was unable to make a solid contact and the ball bounced limply wide.

The first half saw minimal action at both ends after the early flurry and Swindon had their first real moment of any danger after 37 minutes when Brooklyn Genesini charged into space and played the ball into McGregor outside him. The youngster tried to play the ball back to Genesini, but Hartridge managed to stretch out and block the ball behind for a corner.

McGregor again caused trouble when he peeled off into space on the right, with plenty of white shirts back he lifted his cross toward Fletcher Hubbard at the far post. The winger let the ball come down and volleyed at goal, but an Exeter defender got back to block it.

Swindon Advertiser: Kokolo on the ballKokolo on the ball (Image: Callum Knowles)

After 40 minutes, the Swindon team got even younger as Kokolo and George McEachran were both replaced by Harvey Fox and Jaxon Brown.

With the first half winding to a close, Vincent Harper made a good run down the right channel toward the by-line. He looked to cross low towards Scott, but the ball was just behind the run of the striker and could be cleared.

The referee blew for half-time after a first half which had been played firmly in first gear by both sides. You could tell the additional experience and quality which the Grecians possessed, but as the half went on some of the younger Swindon players were able to display touches of quality.

Swindon Advertiser: Hubbard looking to win the ball backHubbard looking to win the ball back (Image: Callum Knowles)

There was excitement to be had at half-time as Gary Caldwell chose to bring on Cheick Diabate, who is normally a central defender but would be used as a striker for the second half.

After 65 minutes, Diabate showed some aptitude for the position as he used some close control to create room on the edge of the box and he looked to shoot low, but Minturn got down quickly to block his effort.

Exeter nearly shot themselves in the foot after 80 minutes when Jack Aitchinson badly mishit a back pass towards Shaun MacDonald and the ball was rolling towards the goal, but the goalkeeper was able to scramble back and avert any danger.

Swindon Advertiser: Kinsella wins a header in midfieldKinsella wins a header in midfield (Image: Callum Knowles)

In spite of having a vastly more experienced line-up on the pitch, Exeter were unable to show any real authority in the second half. Chances were at a premium like oil in 1973, but several Swindon academy players were able to demonstrate their comfort on the ball, even if they could not fashion anything against a rigid Grecians rear guard.

The match saw an attendance of just 644 fans, which is the lowest number to have attended a first-team match at the County Ground since 26th October 1910, when Swindon beat Bristol Rovers 6-2 in the second round of the Southern Charity Cup. A match which was likely vastly more entertaining than this one.

Swindon Advertiser: Hubbard and Obodo closing down a defenderHubbard and Obodo closing down a defender (Image: Callum Knowles)

STFC starting XI: L. Ward, McEachran, Genesini, Kokolo, Kinsella, Dworzak, Minturn, McGregor, Hart, Obodo, Hubbard.

STFC substitutes: Milne, Brown, Fox, Larkins, Keyes, Adams, Evans.

ECFC starting XI: MacDonald, Aimson, Hartridge, Carroll, Scott, Wildschut, Kite, Rankine, Taylor, Sweeney, Richards.

ECFC substitutes: Jules, Trevitt, Niskanen, Aitchinson, Harper, O’Connor, Diabate.

Attendance: 644 (78 away)