Under-18s Report: Exeter City 2-1 Luton Town

Young Grecians end March with a win

EXETER CITY’s Under-18s recorded just their second win of Merit League One on Saturday with an excellent 2-1 victory over Luton Town.

Ben Seymour opened the scoring, and despite Town coming back with an equaliser on the hour mark, Frank Rosenwald grabbed the win for the Grecians five minutes from the end in a true test of character.

After ending a run of three straight defeats with a 2-2 draw at Southend United last time out, the City youngsters went into the match in a buoyant mood, optimistic that they could overturn their poor form with a productive performance and positive result.

Despite the testing conditions, both teams exploited the wet weather to move the ball speedily across the surface.

Exeter started with three in attack, and it only took nine minutes for one of them to find the opening goal. Seymour latched onto a loose back-pass from the Hatters defence to pounce and convert the early opportunity and give Lee Skyrme’s team the initiative.

The first half was primarily an even contest. Both teams made opportunities, with Seymour, Rosenwald and Cameron Hargreaves all posing a danger to the Luton defence. The Devon outfit looked effective on the counter-attack, whilst the visitors threatened with long-range efforts that Lewis Williams in the Grecians goal did well to save.

The well-matched teams continued trading blows after half-time. After testing Williams in the first period with plenty of shots from outside of the penalty box, the away side found a leveller through the same method with sixty minutes on the clock. A twenty-five-yard shot skidded off of the damp pitch to beat Williams for a deserved equaliser.

By that point the hosts should have perhaps doubled their advantage, but they spurned their opportunities on a day where it may have looked like the match was slipping away from them.

City continued to create openings despite the setback of the Luton goal, and their persistence and strong character helped them come through an important final 10 minutes.

On eighty-five minutes a quick throw-in from Brandon Green went to Rosenwald, and the forward dribbled towards the opposing defence who were unable to stop the mazy run. Rosenwald converted the chance he created for himself with decisiveness to seal the victory for his team.

City were able to hold on to their advantage in the closing moments and record three points for the first time in five matches to get their Merit League campaign back on course.

Under-18s Coach Lee Skyrme: "It was a very enjoyable game to watch and it was played between two competitive teams. Luton are as good a team as we have faced this season and the lads did really well against them.

“Initially we were wondering what kind of game we were going to get when we saw the weather conditions, however I have to give credit to both sets of players for stepping up.

“I was a little concerned at 1-1, because they had a few chances to score again but Lewis Williams has made some good saves. They showed throughout the game they have a good ability at shooting from long range but I’m happy we dealt with those dangers.

“We were back to creating lots of chances, and our mentality was a big improvement. For 90 minutes we performed to the best our ability, and it’s nice to get back to playing our best. There were certainly lots of positives for us.

Exeter City Under-18s: Lewis Williams, Ethan Ampadu, Nick Grimes, Alex Hartridge, Brandon Green, Mustafa Rehemi, Steve Rodgers, Jamie Harkness, Cameron Hargreaves, Ben Seymour, Frank Rosenwald.
Subs: Will Richards, Archie Collins, Kavanagh Keadell, Max Smallcombe.