Young Grecians prepare for St. Luke's Cup with victory over the RobinsEXETER CITY'S UNDER-18S recorded an impressive 3-1 victory over Swindon Town at the Cliff Hill Training Ground last Saturday.
Ben Seymour, Frank Rosenwald and Archie Collins all scored in an exciting attacking display to give the hosts a victory they thoroughly deserved.
Under-18s coach Lee Skyrme believed it was almost the complete performance from his side. "That was one of our better performances over the course of the season so far," he said. "We've played well in some areas of our play in previous matches, but across all aspects, that was certainly one of the best performances."
City enjoyed a lot of early possession in the opposition half, but despite their early dominance they could only muster one opportunity; Steve Rogers feeding striker Rosenwald on the edge of the penalty box, but the forward could only curl a shot wide of the post.
Town worked their way into the match, and after a long-range effort struck the Grecians' crossbar, the Robins burst into life as they looked threatening on the counter-attack. The away side continued to create more chances, but they failed to test Kavanagh Keadell in the Exeter goal, meaning both sides went into half-time on level terms.
Just moments after the interval, Skyrme's men started to control proceedings and Collins seemed to be at the heart of the City attacks. The forward was unlucky to strike the upright on fifty-one minutes after good work from full-back Kyle Egan.
Collins and fellow striker Seymour continued to bombard the Swindon goal, but it was perhaps Rosenwald who should have broken the deadlock half-way through the second period. Seymour's cross found Rosenwald all alone in the centre, but the attacker could only divert his shot over the bar when it looked easier to score.
However, any Exeter nerves were eased just moments later when they deservedly took the lead. After winning the ball back deep into the Swindon half, Collins fed Seymour, and he finished emphatically to make it 1-0. The lead was doubled just six minutes later. Rosenwald latched onto Brandon Green's direct ball, and the striker coolly rounded the visiting keeper and slotted home to put Exeter firmly in the driving seat.
The home side continued to create chances and almost added a third when Rosenwald saw his shot turned onto the woodwork. But with ten minutes left, Collins bagged the goal his performance merited. After winning the ball himself, he casually lobbed the goalkeeper to make it 3-0.
City were aways in control, but their second half display was slightly tainted as Swindon scored a goal themselves with just two minutes left. However, as full-time sounded the commanding performance from the Grecians rewarded them with three valuable points as they continue their quest toward finishing as high as they can in the Youth Alliance South West Division table.
"I thought we controlled the first half, but it was tough because they had everyone behind the ball so we had to be patient," Skyrme said. "We came out in the second half straight back into our stride, and ten minutes into the second half, we got right on top of the game, so it was just a matter of whether we were going to score. I'm really pleased with the strikers. In the last couple of weeks we have seen them take their opportunities, and that is nice to see.
"It's really disappointing that we have conceded, and the frustrating thing was it came from our own doing. It certainly would have been nice to keep a clean sheet, but we were pleased with our first-half display, and that allowed us to score the goals to win the game in the second half. It was a good victory."
Exeter City Under-18s: Kavanagh Keadell, Toby Down, Brandon Green, Nick Grimes, Kyle Egan, Mustafa Rehemi, Jamie Harkness, Steve Rogers, Frank Rosenwald, Ben Seymour, Archie Collins.
Subs: Jordan Storey, Cameron Hargreaves, Alex Hartridge, Max Smallcombe, Scott Merritt.
A large number of the Under-18s will be in action this evening when City host Plymouth Parkway at St James Park in the first round of this season's St. Luke's Cup. Come along and support the boys - entry prices are £3 for adults and £1 for everyone else.