Academy team stretch their unbeaten start to the season to three gamesExeter City’s under-18s produced their most accomplished performance of the season so far with a 3-0 victory over Swindon Town on Saturday.
A first-half strike from Ben Seymour, plus efforts from Max Smallcombe and Harry Kite gave City the thoroughly deserved victory at the Cliff Hill training ground.
The win was the perfect response to last week’s defeat to Portsmouth in the first round of the Youth Alliance Cup, and means that they continue their unbeaten start to their league campaign.
In an even start to the game, the two teams looked to get hold of the ball and carve out openings with some flowing football. The Robins may have looked the more threatening going forward, but both sides remained tight at the back as they traded blows.
However just nine minutes in, Kite, hugging the right hand touchline, delivered the ball from his wing in towards Seymour. The striker saw his initial shot blocked, however he reacted the quickest to the second ball to convert the rebound and give the hosts an early lead.
The forward has had a bright start to the season, and finding the net now in consecutive matches means he takes his tally to two for the campaign.
Seymour’s opener gave the Grecians something to build on, as confidence grew into their game after. Dan Green’s men took control of the match with a good intensity, as they created more openings for Seymour and his fellow attackers.
However the Devon club failed to add to their tally before the break, which was something they were punished for in their previous game against Rovers when they drew 3-3.
But this time they continued to assert their authority, and continued to dominate in certain areas in the second period. The half was just 12 minutes old when the home team deservedly doubled their lead.
After breaking out from midfield, captain Smallcombe shot from the right hand side of the penalty area and found the bottom corner to make it 2-0.
Not long after the result was wrapped up with Exeter’s third. Kite drifted in from his flank and his arrowing shot flew past the Town goalkeeper into the back of the net. The scoreline looked one-sided, and it was City who were rewarded for their fine play who rightly earned it.
Green changed personnel with Lucas White, Arnie Kingman, Sam Haynes, Joe O’Loughlin and Josh Key all appearing off the bench to add energy and secure the three points for the team.
They, along with the remaining players on the pitch helped the hosts keep control of the match and close out the game before the full-time whistle sounded.
It means the Devon outfit are three matches unbeaten into their league campaign, with two wins and a draw, resulting in the club sitting towards the right end of the table. They go to Premier League side, AFC Bournemouth for their next fixture, in what will be another test that hopefully they can pass once again.
Exeter City under-18 coach, Dan Green said: “I felt this was the most composed performance from us so far this season. It was a really good response to the defeat to Portsmouth in the Youth Alliance Cup, but there are always going to be ups and downs, and we had two really good days training which put us in a good position coming into the game.
“We concentrated heavily on our processes in our performance. We wanted to make sure we were defending in accordance to our strategy and kept possession of the ball well. We knew if we all performed our roles properly, then that would lead to a good performance, which in turn would lead to a good result.
“I thought the defence were fantastic, and Joel Randell and Max Smallcombe were very good. We score enough goals in matches, but its also about keeping clean sheets too, and I thought we did well in securing our first one this season.
“I feel the team still have a lot more to give. Right now we are interested in good performances, because we know the results will be a bi-product of the performances if we play well. We will see how we respond to this win with our match against Bournemouth on Saturday.”
Exeter City Under 18s: Lewis Williams, Alex Hartridge, Max Gillard, Mitch Thomas, Harry Kite, Cameron Hargreaves, Joel Randell, Max Smallcombe, Archie Collins, Brandon Parsons, Ben Seymour
Subs: Lucas White, Arnie Kingman, Josh Key, Sam Haynes, Joe O’Loughlin