Yeovil Town U18s 0 Exeter City U18s 5
Exeter City Under-18s ended their Youth Alliance Cup campaign in emphatic style with a 5-0 away win at Yeovil Town.
Having been unable to accumulate enough points to progress in the competition, they spoilt the home side’s chances of qualifying too, with an excellent and convincing victory.
Matt Jay set the ball rolling with the opening goal, whilst further goals from Toby Gostling, Kamarl Duncan and a double from Ollie Watkins rounded off the performance with the win they thoroughly deserved.
Things had started brilliantly for the visitors, and their attacking philosophy was evident within the first 30 minutes of the game.
City kept possession well and attacked at the right times with quick movement and productive creativity to keep on top, and their dominance was rewarded with an early opening goal.
With Jay and Watkins starting alongside each other in attack, the two combined impressively, and the latter picked out his strike partner with a superb reverse pass behind the opposition defence.
Jay latched onto the through ball and rounded the keeper in a cool manner before tucking the ball away into the empty net.
The goal defined the strikers’ deadly partnership and it kick-started a lethal combination all afternoon.
On 15 minutes, the duo were at it again and doubled the Grecians’ lead. Whilst on the break, the forwards swept Exeter forward, and in a reversal of roles, Jay picked out Watkins, who took the ball past the goalkeeper and finished.
Youth Team Coach Kevin Nicholson identified how impressed he was with his team’s strikers all afternoon. Post-match he stated, “The forwards aren’t just scoring, but creating for one another.”
However on the half hour mark, the third goal came from a different source. After Jay saw his shot hit the post, the ball found its way back to Toby Gostling on the edge of the box. Cutting in from his left wing, he struck a sweet curling effort into the top corner giving the ‘keeper no chance.
It was a lead City had merited, and the players continued to work hard, fighting for every ball and winning their individual battles as the half-time whistle blew.
However the interval did not seem to halt the attacking momentum that Exeter had, and after seeing several attempts narrowly miss, the Grecians found a fourth just before an hour was played.
Just in case the Glovers had forgotten about the potent partnership City possessed in attack, Jay found Watkins with a cross, and Watkins made himself enough space to finish low into the corner.
The away side continued to press, in search of more goals, with captain Matt Grimes and fellow centre-midfielder, James Byrne covering a lot of ground in the middle of the park.
The left hand side in particular sparked more chances, with Gostling up and down the wing, whilst Connor Riley-Lowe behind him at full-back provided good use of the ball and was a solid performer throughout the game.
However it was a fellow defender who took the plaudits for the final goal at the end. Following an in-swinging corner, it took Kamarl Duncan two bites of the cherry to divert the ball into the home side’s goal, and add the gloss to a very good performance.
Youth Team Coach Kevin Nicholson said: “Before the game, we had a game plan, and the way we wanted to play was evident in the first 30 minutes. We kept possession of the ball well, and combined with good attacking movement, we scored some well worked goals.
“Matt Jay and Ollie Watkins were impressive, and the way the team are going forward, it feels as if we are capable of scoring in every game now.
“Whilst defensively we were solid and well organised, and it is pleasing to see the hard work rewarded with a clean sheet.
“In the second half, we would have liked to keep the ball better, and for longer periods, and as a team we probably could’ve been a little bit better in all departments.
“Our mental discipline does still need improving, as we can’t let little things distract us from the game when we are in command of the match.
“However overall I’m delighted with the away win, and the hard working performance.”
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 Josh Wadham
14 Charlie Madden
15 Joe Charles