Exeter City U18s 6 Yeovil Town U18s 0Exeter City’s under-18s retuned to league action on Tuesday and triumphed over Yeovil Town in comprehensive style by winning 6-0.
An Ollie Watkins hat-trick, as well as goals from Matt Jay, Connor Riley-Lowe and Matt Grimes, helped the Grecians record back-to-back wins and consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season.
It moves Exeter up to joint-fourth in the league table, and now the New Year cannot come any sooner for a side who have just hit form as they enter their Christmas break.
For the majority of the match, City were in complete control of the game. However they had started the game on the back-foot, with Yeovil Town starting in a bright fashion as they sought out to avenge the 5-0 defeat they suffered against the Devonians last time out.
The Grecians weathered the Glovers’ early onslaught and started to create a few chances of their own as the game went past the 10 minute mark.
And despite only creating a few half-chances for the striking duo of Jay and Watkins to feed off, with their first real opening they broke the deadlock midway through the first half through the latter.
The goal seemed to be coming, and as the Grimes swung in a sumptuous ball from a corner, Watkins rose highest and powered in an unstoppable header into the opposition’s net.
It confirmed the shift in momentum, as Exeter started to control the tempo of the game. Grimes and his centre midfield partner James Byrne were on top in the midfield battle, and helped provide a strong spine to the City side.
And their dominance was rewarded 10 minutes later. In a telepathic understanding, the two forwards combined in devastating style with Watkins chipping the ball over the opposing defence for Matt Jay to control superbly and finish with aplomb past the Yeovil goalkeeper.
The half-time whistle sounded with Exeter full of confidence and starting to create numerous chances, and from each of which they looked as if they could add to their goal tally.
The second period started in similar fashion, as Town put under constant waves of pressure from the home side. During a strong 10-minute spell, the Grecians saw a shot cannon off the crossbar and a chance cleared off the line as they looked for the third goal to kill the game off.
And on the hour mark, their efforts were rewarded. With a menacing solo run, Watkins eased his way past the Yeovil defenders that stood in front of him, before he unleashed a shot from 25 yards into the bottom corner giving the goalkeeper no chance.
The goal trigger a goal-rush, as Exeter started creating more clear-cut openings and became more clinical with their finishing.
Right-winger Jason Pope and Jay combined extremely well to send the attacker free of all opponents. Jay slid a through pass to his strike-partner Watkins who completed his hat-trick – and scored City’s fourth – by slipping the ball beneath the goalkeeper to make it six goals in three games.
Whilst Pope helped engineer moves down the City right, Connor Riley-Lowe provided energy from the left, and the full-back netted his first goal of the season with 15 minutes to play.
Another marauding run from the defender saw him link up with the strikers, and when he received the ball back he found himself inside the penalty area. With his weaker right foot, the left-back curled a delicious finish inside the far post in a way his attacking teammates would have been pleased with.
Exeter continued to press and search for more goals, and as the match was drawing to a close, Grimes wrapped up the festive win with a free-kick to seal all three points.
Youth Team Coach Kevin Nicholson said: “The boys produced a strong, confident and efficient team performance. Every player out there carried out their jobs well, and they displayed the correct attitude, work rate and competitiveness throughout the game.
“It’s hard to single out any star individual as every player deserves credit for their efforts and performance.
“Defensively, we were extremely organised and we reacted well in the transitions of play during the 90 minutes.
“Some of the attacking play was a joy to watch, we needed to gain control in the first half, which we did, which then in turn meant we could dominate the second period.
“This result and performance is a fantastic way to finish the calendar year as a group, and we are now very much looking forward to 2013.
1 Christy Pym
2 Sam Brown
3 Connor Riley-Lowe
4 James Byrne
5 Kamarl Duncan
6 Irvine Densu
7 Jason Pope
8 Matt Grimes
9 Ollie Watkins
10 Matt Jay
11 Toby Gostling
12 Charlie Madden
14 Josh Wadham
15 Dean Billingsly