Academy staff speak following FA Youth Cup progressionSIMON HAYWARD AND LEE SKYRME have sung the praises of the City academy players as they look forward to an FA Youth Cup Fourth Round tie at home against Preston North End.
Toby Down, Scott Merritt, Ben Seymour and Mustafa Rehemi all scored in a great attacking display from City, and academy manager Hayward recognised the potent threat the team posed.
"Going forward, it was very pleasing to see the team score four times, in a display which definitely showed off our attacking capabilities," he said. "It was a fairly good first half; we created good chances and Ben and Frank had some good attacking opportunities.
"I felt we deserved the win," said Under-18s coach Skyrme. "I thought we created more of the clear-cut chances and thought we looked a threat from all areas of the pitch. We started really well, and got into the game brilliantly. We were pleased at half-time but disappointed we didn't take our chances, but I always believed we were going to score.
"I'm pleased with how the team responded when Bolton got back into it. The first goal didn't rock us, and we started creating more chances and got a third goal."
Despite chances in the first half, the teams went into half-time goalless. Four minutes into the second period Down started the scoring. Merritt doubled the lead with lobbed effort before Wanderers replied with a goal of their own.
However, striker Seymour restored the two-goal margin by converting a penalty which he had won himself. It was a response that pleased the City coaching team, as the Devon club remained focused on the task in hand and stayed strong and united in their efforts.
"We were under pressure at a stage and had to defend a number of corners," Hayward said. "When defending them you really need players to attack the ball, and we couldn't find a way to solve their corners. It's a touch disappointing, but fingers-crossed the guys will learn from that because from open play, defensively they were very good."
With the game at 3-3, substitute Mustafa Rehemi settled the game and booked Exeter's place in the Fourth Round with a cool finish.
"When you're playing a team like Bolton, it's important to create chances, and we managed to find a few routes to goal," Skyrme said. "Bolton's second and third goals were disappointing as we identified the their threat from corners, but the manner in which we scored the first and fourth goals was very pleasing.
Hayward, meanwhile, thought City were well worth the win.
"I thought the team did well in dealing with Bolton's threatening players, but we didn't do well with the threat from corners," he said. "Despite that, I thought we were good to win the game."
The Grecians now await Preston North End in the Fourth Round, with the Lilywhites needing extra-time to beat Carlisle United in the Third.
All Fourth Round ties are to be played by Saturday 16th January 2016, and the Grecians will be confirming a date for the fixture in due course.