Under-18s through to the second round of the FA Youth Cup
Exeter City’s under-18s produced a deadly display in the first round of the FA Youth Cup with an 8-0 victory over Radstock Town on Tuesday night.
Max Smallcombe, Harry Kite, Ben Seymour, Archie Collins, Jack Sparkes and Josh Key all netted in what was a comprehensive victory for the Devon youngsters, and they sail into round two of the competition with their next opponent yet to be announced.
The Grecians were in control of proceedings throughout the cup tie, and they were helped by a goal inside six minutes, allowing them to play the game at their pace and tempo.
The early strike came from the penalty spot when Sparkes weaved his way into the 18-yard box before being brought down, and captain Smallcombe tucked home the spot-kick to give City the lead that they could build on.
Dan Green’s men kept coming forward and striker Ben Seymour was unlucky to see two efforts in the space of five minutes disallowed for offside.
Despite the setback, the visitors continued to create chances in the first period, which ultimately led to a second goal for Exeter’s skipper, when Kite’s cut back found Smallcombe, who buried his opportunity in decisive fashion.
Seymour and Kite both netted themselves in a dominant first 45 minutes, and when the half-time whistle sounded, the away team felt good with how things were going up to that point.
Three goals in the space of eight minutes during the opening stages of the second period meant the result looked secure with Seymour, Collins and a Sparkes header all finding the back of the net.
The game opened up as players tired and the Grecians kept good possession as they looked composed on the ball.
City finally wrapped things up with an eighth goal in the closing minutes when Key headed home in what was a convincing win in the end.
Exeter City academy manager Simon Hayward, said: “This was a good win. I’m delighted the hard work we have put in has paid off in a match that could have been a real banana skin for us, and I have to give credit to Radstock Town for getting this far.
“Scoring an early goal is always helpful, and it allowed us to play how we wanted. We could have been disappointed with the two disallowed goals, but we kept at it and managed to put the the game to bed in the second half.
“We felt good at half-time, and we were pleased we did things well at 1-0 up. If we had gone into half-time with just a one or two goal lead we may have been worried about the next goal, so it was nice to have a cushion. But we felt the lads weren’t quite putting things altogether so it was a difficult half-time team talk.
“There were aspects of the performance we need to be better at and we will work on them, but this is now five wins on the spin for the Under-18s and I haven challenged the squad to keep that run going. We haven’t quite put in the complete performance recently, but this was the closest to it, and a clean sheet here is just as pleasing as the eight goals.
“If we can keep progressing and take that into Saturday that would be great because ultimately we want to stay at the top of the league. We are about to play our eighth league match away from home, so if we can keep this run going and remain top of the league, we’ll find ourselves in a nice place to be with the amount of home games we have remaining.”
Exeter City under-18s: Lewis Williams, Alex Hartridge, Sam Haynes, Joe O’Loughlin, Harry Kite, Jack Sparkes, Mitch Thomas, Max Smallcombe, Josh Key, Archie Collins, Ben Seymour
Subs: Cameron Hargreaves, Joel Randall, Lucas White