City player-coach lauds impressive Grecians performance
EXETER CITY player-coach Danny Butterfield reflected on a night of positives for the Grecians after City ran out 3-1 winners over Bodmin Town in a pre-season friendly at Priory Park.
A young City eleven bested senior opposition from the South West Peninsula League Premier Division on Tuesday evening as the City players continued to progress in the build-up to the new campaign.
“Tonight’s team was similar to the one that faced Fluminense last week, but against a men’s team in Bodmin that was a very positive result,” Danny explained. “It was a tough challenge to face tonight, taking on a men’s team as opposed to an under-19 team.
“We were trying to encourage the players to be positive in the final third, and we created numerous chances. I felt they were lucky for it to have been 0-0 at half-time, to be honest. I felt that we created enough chances to get two or three goals at least in the first half. In the second half we got the breakthrough that I felt our play had deserved fairly quickly.”
Matt Jay helped himself to two quick-fire goals shortly after the restart at Priory Park, but Danny was keen to share the praise amongst the players in what had been a strong night all round as far as the Grecians were concerned.
“Matt Jay did very well, but that front three of Ollie Watkins, Jamie Reid and Cameron Gill were all looking strong in the first half, as was Joe Charles when he came on. That front three, with Matt Jay in behind them, were a constant threat all night.
“Although MJ was the one who got himself onto the scoresheet, I felt that all four of them, along with the midfield two, were positive all night. I felt they all played well and stood out individually, so the reason for the win tonight was a combination of all of them.”
One of the main talking points of the evening was the injury to former Exeter City goalkeeper Kevin Miller, which meant that, with no ready-made replacement on the Bodmin bench, young City stopper Kavanagh Keadell came on to play against his team-mates in-between the sticks for the Black & Ambers.
“It was a good opportunity for Kav to get minutes, albeit on the opposing side,” Danny explained of the decision to allow the seventeen-year-old to feature for the opposition. “It was a strange one, but one that was only beneficial to all parties. Kav did do well despite the three goals, so I did think he made the most of that opportunity. It was a good night for our goalkeepers tonight, as James Hamon was another positive for us; he commanded his area well.”
There are two games for the Grecians to tackle on Friday, with the first-team heading over to Plainmoor to face Torquay while the youngsters face a trip to Forest Green Rovers. Danny revealed that tonight’s squad would most likely split into two groups for those fixtures, saying, “I imagine the likes of Tom McCready and Manny Oyeleke will be involved in that first-team game – the match at the New Lawn will probably be more of an under-18s game.”