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Kick off 18:30 (UK)

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30 April 2019 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 18:30 (UK)

Exeter City U18
0 - 0
Wigan Athletic U18
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Match Previews

💬 Chad Gribble: "There is a lot of excitement. These are the games you put in the hard work for."

Exeter City's under-18s coach looks ahead to Tuesday's match against Wigan Athletic Academy in the Youth Alliance League National Final

23 April 2019

Exeter City’s under-18s will aim to challenge for the Youth Alliance Cup in front of home support when they face Wigan Athletic in the competition’s final on Tuesday, April 30.


The contest will kick off at 6.30pm at St James Park, in what is potentially the young Grecians’ most important match of the season.

City’s youngsters have recorded some impressive results and put in some eye-catching performances in the competition so far, with their 2-1 victory over Northampton Town a particular highlight on their journey towards Tuesday’s showpiece final. 

In the previous round, the Southern Section final, Exeter travelled to Southend United and, despite going a goal behind, celebrated a 2-1 victory courtesy of goals from Theo Simpson and James Dodd.

With City able to take confidence and inspiration from that match in particular, they will now meet a talented Wigan Athletic side in the final. The Latics comfortably won the Youth Alliance North West division, losing just the one game in the process, while their only other defeat this season came in the FA Youth Cup when they bowed out to Liverpool’s youth side.

However, with plenty of excitement around Exeter City's Academy, they’ll be hoping to use that positivity to help them secure a trophy from their biggest game of the year. 

Exeter City under-18s coach, Chad Gribble, said: “There is a lot of excitement. For the coaching staff, and the group of players, these are the games you put in the hard work for. It is another opportunity for the boys to play at our stadium, and with the fans being so supportive towards the under-23s, and under-18s in previous games at St James Park, it an occasion we always look forward too. 

“The Wigan Athletic Academy does an excellent job, and they seem to always do well every year. They are going to be a professional outfit, we have to expect a confident opponent, and be respectful of them and their success.

“Our players shouldn’t feel any pressure. They play a side who won their league, won the Lancashire cup, and have lost just twice all season. The pressure is certainly off for our players, and they should go out there and just enjoy the occasion. These matches are all about opportunity, and for the players to be able to really showcase themselves at St James Park.

“We can take a lot of confidence into the game. In the previous rounds, we performed well and defeated Northampton Town, a side won the South East division, and, visited another tough place when knocked out Southend United.

"In each of these games, we’ve been able to grow and develop as individuals and as a collective, and we’ve got this far in the competition for a reason. We deserve to be in the final just like Wigan and the players are all full of belief and confidence in the lead up to it.

“In the recent Merit League fixtures, we have played with a really young team. But that has only made our squad stronger. With the young players developing through the merit league games and our older players going out on loan and developing their games with their respective clubs. As a collective this has certainly helped us and puts us in a good place ahead of the game.”

Tuesday’s match is a 6.30pm kick-off at the Park with admission prices as follows:

Adults: £5
Seniors and students: £3
Under-18s: £1

The IP Office Main Stand will be open on the night, with Individual match tickets available on the night, cash-only. Turnstiles will open at 5.45pm.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online, or you can get them in person from the club shop at St James Park.


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Match Reports

📝 Under-18s: City 0 Wigan Athletic 2

Grecians defeated in Youth Alliance Cup final despite strong second half display

1 May 2019

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Exeter City under-18s suffered a 2-0 loss in the Youth Alliance Cup final at St James Park despite a battling second-half performance.

The Grecians, who had beaten Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers, Northampton Town and Southend United to get to the final, were up against a Wigan Athletic side going for the treble having won their league and the Lancashire Cup before reaching Monday’s final. 

And in front of a crowd of more than 300, it was the visitors who started the better and took the lead in the third minute when Charlie Jolley latched onto a through ball from Victor Maffeo to round keeper Felix Norman and put the ball into an unguarded net. 

However, City responded well to the early set back as Charlie Lawrence created a few problems down the left and Jack Stafford had a low cross cleared at the near post.

Back came Wigan though, and when Jolley battled hard to win the ball back in the City penalty area he was bundled over in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Jolley took the penalty but this time though Felix Norman was equal to his effort, diving to his right and pushing his effort to safety. 

A sliced clearance from the Wigan keeper then gave Lewis Wilson a sight of goal but he couldn’t direct his effort, from the touchline, on target.  

Then, with two minutes to go in the first half, Wigan extended their lead as a corner to the near post found the untracked run of Jolley and he side foot the ball into the net. 

City were much better after the break though, and had the majority of possession and territory.  

The best chance fell for Cheick Diabate in the 70th-minute when a free-kick was whipped into the six-yard box. The defender connected with the cross but couldn’t keep his effort down and it went over the crossbar.  

However, apart from that chance, the Grecians failed to find the cutting edge in the final third to really trouble Wigan and the Lancashire side held on for the victory. 

Exeter City: Norman, Belsten, Stafford (Iseguan, 45), Morgan, Dyer, Diabate, Lawrence, Dean, Simpson, Wilson (Stansfield, 67), Clark. Subs not used: Veale, Arthur, Moyse.  

Wigan Athletic: Jones, H Jolley, Robinson, Obi, Long, Smith, Culshaw, Maffeo, C Jolley, Joseph, O’Neill. Subs not used: Tickle, Galvin (O’Neill, 86), Broe, Isherwood, McGee. 

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