9 Jan 2016

Liverpool held by lowly Exeter

4:46 pm on 9 January 2016

Defender Brad Smith's second-half goal rescued a 2-2 draw as injury-hit Liverpool denied fourth tier Exeter City a notable scalp in their FA Cup third round clash at St James Park in Devon.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Premier League club, playing their third match in less than a week and without 11 injured first-teamers, fielded a barely recognisable second-string side and nearly slipped up against Exeter who are languishing in the bottom half of League Two.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp made 11 changes from the team that beat Stoke City in the opening leg of the League Cup semi-finals on Wednesday with Christian Benteke and forgotten man Jose Enrique, featuring for the first time in nearly a year, the only two with more than four senior appearances.

Exeter, sensing the opportunity to cause a huge upset, went ahead after nine minutes when a low cross from Jamie Reid was poked home by top scorer Tom Nichols.

Liverpool were level three minutes later when teenage striker Jerome Sinclair took advantage of hesitant defending to fire the ball home.

The hosts went back in front on the stroke of half-time when Lee Holmes caught out Liverpool keeper Adam Bogdan direct from a corner, his swirling delivery creeping under the crossbar, but Smith's equaliser on 73 minutes earned a replay at Liverpool's home ground Anfield.