Grecians player-coach reacts to St. Austell winPLAYER-COACH Danny Butterfield congratulated a young Grecians side for giving City a chance to start the new season on a high after they saw off AFC St. Austell 5-0 in their final pre-season fixture of the summer.
Braces from Ollie Watkins and Jamie Reid, in addition to a fine Manny Oyeleke strike, handed the Grecians the second-half control at Poltair Park, and Butterfield's young charges are on somewhat of a roll now after last week's success at Bodmin Town.
"It's another big positive for the under-21 group," Danny said. "It was a very competitive game in a similar vein to Bodmin - perhaps I'd even say that it was more competitive than at Bodmin. I think the lads certainly dealt with the physicality of the first half, and then their ability and clinical finishing in front of goal was a big factor towards the end.
"I think the fact that we matched them for that first hour in terms of that physicality was the key factor today. Our fitness levels and technical ability shone through in the end. It's alright creating those chances, but in front of goal, especially in those last thirty-five minutes of the second half, we were exceptional in front of goal. We converted almost every chance that we created."
Jamie Reid's introduction seemed to coincide with the Grecians taking control by getting the first few goals, and Danny was pleased with the contribution and overall summer output of the frontman.
"Jamie came on and certainly made an impact by being great in front of goal, but in fairness, Cameron Gill put in a massive shift for us across the first hour," Danny added. "He took the brunt of the physicality which was aimed at the frontline. Cameron settled in very well, and had a couple of chances himself to get a few goals tonight, but tonight it was Jamie that came on and got those goals for us. That's a big positive for Jamie - it's good to see him back after a long-term injury, and it's good to see him back to his best."
Captain for the night Jordan Tillson went off in the latter stages of the St Austell victory, but Danny insisted it was nothing serious, adding that it provided a good opportunity to give young Jordan Storey some invaluable experience.
"Jordan just landed awkwardly on his foot - it was just a minor thing, but it gave us a chance to bring Jordan Storey on and give him a run-out. We didn't want to take any unnecessary risks with him.
"Tonight was a big positive for us against what was a physical men's team. There will obviously be different challenges throughout the season, but we can only go into the start of the season now with plenty of confidence. These boys are up to speed fitness and match minutes-wise, enough to be knocking on the first-team door. We have a chance now to start the season on a high, and fill everyone with confidence."