Exeter City Women continued their impressive pre-season form as they beat Adran South Welsh Champions Briton Ferry Llansawel Ladies 6-0 at the Exwick Sports Hub on Sunday afternoon.
On a drizzly afternoon, the Grecians would not have to wait long to open the scoring. Sarah Stacey took a loose goal kick under her control before finding the top corner from distance with a driven strike after only a minute of play.
Manfy Sharpe had two attempts at converting a Phoebe Baker corner, but the Ferrys defence blocked both goal bound efforts. Zoe Cunningham was then denied a shot on goal following a slick City counterattack, another strong challenge denying the effort as the Grecians started brightly.
The home side’s summer additions were combining well, and it was that vision that created a classy second goal. Beth Ireland’s deft flick was an invitation for Amber Pollock to stride into the Ferrys penalty area and her cut back was fired home by Stacey.
Ireland was now controlling the play in midfield, her clipped pass found Jenna Markham who saw her low cross blocked to deny Stacey a chance at goal, before the midfielder raced on to a Jaydee Seaman pass only to be refuted in the one on one by the increasingly busy Ferry’s Goalkeeper.
Ireland was the beneficiary of more effective wing play from Pollock, this time mishitting an effort at goal, before Stacey came close to a hat trick with the final effort of the half, the visitors Goalkeeper clawing away her attempt. Half time and one in which the Grecians had been the dominant side.
If there was any frustration in the home changing room at half time it may well have focused around being more clinical with the chances that were arriving, if so, City were certainly clinical with their first effort of the half. Stacey turned provider as she hooked a pass over the Ferry’s defence, Cunningham striding into the penalty area before calmly slotting home the third goal of the afternoon.
Phoebe Baker had two fizzing efforts at goal, one flying over the crossbar and the other palmed away from goal at the second attempt, as City looked to build their lead. Sharpe’s latest cross into the penalty area was hooked back into the danger area by Katie Grigg, Stacey’s drilled effort was well saved, with Markham in the right place to tap in a fourth goal as the Grecians dominated.
More cohesive City play soon produced a fifth, Grigg, Cunningham and Ireland all with neat interplay before the latter crossed perfectly for Markham to tap in from close range. Markham was denied a hat trick with another good save, whilst Pollock was brilliantly released by a Baker pass only to be denied by the impressive Ferry’s Goalkeeper once again.
Jess Sandland had a fierce effort clip the crossbar, before Sharpe was again denied by a fine low save as the Grecians finished strongly against the tiring visitors. The final goal of the afternoon followed more slick play, Sharpe again in space out wide as she squared for Pollock to calmly slot home a goal her outstanding display deserved.
A confident performance from Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side, with several players getting ninety minutes for the first time in pre-season. The slick, stylish football on show was surely a guide of what is to come this season. A City squad without Ishbel Zuurmond, Becky Dandridge, Zoe Watkins, Mollie Taylor, Emily Toogood, Ellen Dixon, Matilda Franchi and Tash Knapman performing at this level further underlines the undoubted potential of the Grecians heading into 2023/24.
Next up it is more Welsh opposition as Welsh Premier League Champions Cardiff City FC head to Devon on Wednesday evening (7.45 KO.)