Under-18s Report: Exeter City 1-1 Barnet

Grecians draw with the Bees

EXETER CITY’s Under-18s recorded a 1-1 draw with Barnet last weekend in their final home match of their Merit League One campaign.

Despite having the majority of the play, the Grecians went 1-0 down not long after half-time, but responded well and grabbed a deserved equaliser through Mustafa Rehemi.

However they weren’t able to turn their dominance into any more goals, with the match ending with the scores level despite the number of opportunities the hosts created.

In a complete contrast to last week’s 3-0 defeat to AFC Wimbledon, Exeter got on the front foot early and enjoyed long spells of possession.

Coach Lee Skyrme selected a midfield trio of Steve Rogers, Max Smallcombe and Ethan Ampadu, and the threesome dictated the tempo of the game.

However despite the numerous chances that the midfield created, the forward line of Rehemi, Will Richards and Cameron Hargreaves were unable to take the opportunities that came their way.

The City staff were much more pleased with their team at both ends of the pitch however, and if it wasn’t for some glaring misses, they would have taken a lead into half-time.

Despite this, after the break and against the run of play, the visitors took the lead with their first shot on goal. A rejuvenated Bees side created a bit of magic in the middle of the park, with a shot eventually beating Kavanagh Keadell in the Grecians goal.

It was perhaps a heart-sinking moment for the home supporters who looked on, but it sparked the Devon club into life, and the response was positive.

In spite of spurning earlier opportunities, Rehemi’s persistence in finding a goal paid off when the attacker converted to get his team back onto level terms.

Although Barnet hit the crossbar in their response to the Exeter leveller, the hosts continued to enjoy large amounts of the ball, and bombarded the away side’s goal with endless waves of attacks.

Skyrme brought on Under-16 Lucas White for his Under-18s debut to help in the search of a winning goal, and despite White impressing in his small cameo, the south west side carried on wasting good chances.

It meant the visitors held on to the draw, despite being second-best throughout the match, and the Grecians left a little disappointed they didn’t grab the win they merited in front of the Exeter fans for the last time this season.

Exeter City Under-18s coach Lee Skyrme: "This was a much better game for us compared to last week because we dominated it throughout. I feel we should have won it comfortably because we created far more chances than Barnet.

“The three midfielders were excellent, and because the pitch was better than last week, that helped facilitate our play. We had around 65% of the possession, but we just didn’t stick away our chances.

“It was a little concerning going into half-time without a lead, however we spoke about making sure we wouldn’t head back out and get stung like we did. We had to match their levels of performance, which they were always going to lift.

“But we responded well to their goal, and we upped our game again. It is just a shame we weren’t able to go on and get the win we deserved. All aspects of our game were good, and that is why we played the majority of the game in their half. Despite the scoreline, I’m pleased with our performance.

Exeter City Under-18s: Kavanagh Keadell, Alex Hartridge, Toby Down, Nick Grimes, Brandon Green, Steve Rogers, Ethan Ampadu, Max Smallcombe, Cameron Hargreaves, Will Richards, Mustafa Rehemi.
Subs: Lucas White, Lewis Williams, Scott Merritt, Jamie Harkness.