Newport County AFC U18 0 Exeter City U18 2

City youngsters gain victory in Wales

Exeter City’s under-18s got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Newport County AFC in South Wales.

County, who had knocked the City youngsters out of the FA Youth Cup just 11 days previous, were no match for a stronger looking Exeter side, who dictated most of the play throughout the match.

Alex Byrne’s spot-kick and Joe Charles’ neat finish were enough to bring three points back to Devon, as they try and claw back the deficit in the league to leaders AFC Bournemouth.

The Grecians started the game in a strong fashion, limiting the opposition to very little.  The visitors saw a lot of the ball and created numerous goalscoring chances, however wasteful finishing meant it remained goalless in the opening exchanges.

Coach Lee Skyrme adopted new tactics by playing a new formation, and the system seemed to be working as their control continued throughout the first half.

Defensively the team pressed high, trying to win the ball in dangerous areas, and the ploy resulted in goal on 38 minutes.

The Exiles, trying to play their way out of defence were caught, as the away side regained possession in Welsh club’s 18-yard box.  Joe Charles used his pace and neat footwork to run away from the opposition, who brought him down resulting in the referee awarding a penalty.  Byrne converted the kick, giving his side a deserved lead.

Half-time arrived with the Devon outfit relatively happy with their first half showing, and they continued their high levels of performance in the second period.

The game was starting to even out, however once again the hosts created very little as Josh Read and Charlie Madden, playing in the heart of the Exeter defence proved to be solid and well organised.

City started showing more control of the game, and they doubled their lead midway through the second half.

Once again the Grecians showed their desire and hunger in trying to win the ball back deep inside the Newport half, and once on the ball again, substitute, Frank Rosenwald coolly turned his defender and supplied a neat pass to Charles, who finished clinically.

From there, the Westcountry side dictated proceedings, and should shave scored a third, however they couldn’t find a way through once more as the game headed to a close.

However despite just two goals, it was three precious points for Skyrme’s men, with a tricky match against Swindon Town next up for them.

Under-18s coach Skyrme said: “It was a very pleasing performance and the right response after last week’s match.  I believe the difference between this game and the cup match we played against them was that the guys showed no signs of nervousness, which has resulted in a much better performance from the team.

“Both Josh Read and Charlie Madden were very good, and Alex Byrne stood out.  Joe Charles was a constant threat and he showed that by contributing to both goals.  The three substitutes also made a good impact when they came on.

“Both Archie Collins and Ben Seymour applied themselves well, stepping up from the under-16s squad.  I feel this was a good experience for them and if they continue improving then they shall receive more game time for the under-18s at some point this year.

“We’ve had a really good week, both on and off the field, and now we have to try and achieve that once again.  The challenge now for us is to achieve those kinds of levels of performance on a more consistent basis, starting with Swindon on Saturday.”

Exeter City U18s: Keadell, Down, Madden, Read, Egan, Collins, Byrne, Merritt, Charles, Richards, Seymour.
Subs: Hayfield, Rosenwald, Harkness.