Young Gulls ship five to rampant Grecians
Exeter City’s under-18s made it back-to-back 5-0 victories as they defeated Torquay United by the same margin as they had defeated Swindon Town the two weeks prior at the Cat & Fiddle.
Ollie Watkins scored twice whilst fellow striker, Matt Jay bagged a hat trick, helping him earn his first call-up to the first team for Tuesday night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash with Wycombe Wanderers.
With rivals Plymouth Argyle next up for the Grecians, the victory puts them in good form going into the Devon Derby.
The match started in lively spirits, with Exeter creating many opportunities early on, whilst in defence, Toby Down, making his under-18s debut after being called up from the under-16s, was looking solid.
Linking up well was the devastating duo from last season. Watkins and Jay helped rip open the visiting defence numerous times, whilst captain, Connor Riley-Lowe was also showing his all-round qualities from left-back.
The trio have begun training with Paul Tisdale and the first-team more often in recent times, and it was evident here as all were putting in decent performances in once again.
In an attacking line-up, with arguably the Grecians starting XI containing four attackers on the pitch, they opened the scoring eventually on 28 minutes through Watkins.
Playing from an unfamiliar left-hand side, he met a back-post cross with a header across goal to put the home side deservedly 1-0 up.
The goal had summed up Exeter’s first half, working the ball well across the pitch, before converting the chance. Half-time came at the right moment for the Gulls.
With a change of system, and a high-pressing game implemented from United, it gave City a new problem to solve. However the keep-ball mentality from Lee Skyrme’s side meant they found a solution.
The Grecians started counter-attacking well too, and the next goal looked imminent.
With 25 minutes to play, Exeter’s pressure finally told as they were awarded a penalty, with Watkins again converting the chance and doubling their lead.
As Torquay tired chasing the ball, the Grecians went in search of more goals, as the visitors became lambs to the slaughter.
Jason Pope was brought on and lifted City again, helping create chances from all areas of the pitch.
And it was Jay who profited from Pope’s introduction the most, scoring three times in a matter moments as the result became inevitable.
Much like Exeter’s first, the goals came from good combinations, resulting in some deadly finishing from Jay.
The number 10 now has four goals in two games for the under-18s, whilst he made his first team debut at St James Park on Tuesday evening, coming on for Tommy Doherty on 69 minutes.
However as the final whistle sounded at the Cat & Fiddle on Saturday, another convincing win was in the bag, which moved the Grecians up to third in the Youth Alliance South West table, and ready for the big clash this coming weekend.
Under-18 coach Lee Skyrme said: “I’m really pleased with the way the lads played our style of football on a difficult pitch.
“We had large spells of possession, which meant scoring in the second half became easier as they became tired with the way we kept the ball.
“I was over the moon with some of our goals. The link up play was fantastic and the way some of our players combined was excellent.”
Exeter City under-18s
1 James Mitchinson
2 Hussein Heidari
3 Connor Riley-Lowe
4 James Byrne
5 Charles Madden
6 Toby Down
7 Alex Byrne
8 Dean Billingsley
9 Ollie Watkins
10 Matt Jay
11 Cameron Gill
12 Scott Townsend
14 Jason Pope
16 Brandon Green
Exeter City U16 3 Torquay U16 2
This was a patchy team performance against a physical Torquay side on a bumpy pitch at the Cat & Fiddle. All of Exeter’s players performed well individually and showed progress from previous games; however this did not turn into a coherent team performance. After going a goal down, Exeter equalized from a Scott Merritt free-kick that was deftly turned in on the valley by Liam Carey. Torquay again took the lead but City responded well, and equalised with a well-taken striker’s finish from Lewis Williams. City deservedly got the winner in a game they edged when Mustafa Rehemi was slid in down the right hand side and finished with aplomb into the far bottom left hand corner.
Man of the Match: Brandon Akerman
Exeter City U14 1 Plymouth Argyle U14 4
Exeter started the game slowly against a physically strong Plymouth team. Through sloppy Exeter passing ,Plymouth scored a quick-fire double to lead 2-0 halfway into the game. Despite a Harry Kite penalty Exeter couldn't get their passing game going. The final score reflected Plymouth’s extra competitive edge.
Plymouth Argyle U13 0 Exeter City U13 7
The young Grecians started their first game of the season brightly, working hard in units without the ball and dominated possession with slick, controlled passing. Goals for Theo Simpson (3), Jack Sparks (2), Ethan Ampadu and Patrick O’Halloran meant a controlled and dominant display on the opening game of their competitive season.
Men of the Match: Ethan Ampadu and Jack Sparkes
Exeter City U12 1 Plymouth Argyle U12 4
Exeter started brightly but indecisiveness in defence enabled Plymouth to score a simple tap-in after six minutes. An excellent second period followed in which City kept the ball well but could not convert their chances. An own-goal helped the home team in the third period but Argyle still scored twice after basic mistakes. A penalty in the last period gave argyle a comfortable win, although the Exeter boys never gave up.
Man of the Match: Louis Morison
Plymouth Argyle U11 2 Exeter City U11 2
Exeter started slowly but worked hard to get themselves back into the game with some spells of good passing football. Goals were scored by Finely Rooke and Max Clark and there were impressive performances from Jack Arthur and Alfie Pond.
Exeter City U10 v Plymouth Argyle U10
The boys had two 5v5 games. One team improved throughout as their defensive shape got better. The other team done well when they started to compete and work hard. There were good performances from Matt Rutter, Joe Wragg, Josh Leaman-Bissett and Callum Bolton.
Plymouth Argyle U9 v Exeter City U9
Exeter dominated possession and produced some excellent football, scoring 30 goals while only conceding 7 during two 80-minute 5v5 small-sided games. Tyler Dibbling scored the goal of the day with Ed James and Joe O'Connor in fine form.