Exeter City under-18s through to second round of FA Youth Cup

Coach Dan Green delighted that players' hard work is being rewarded

Exeter City’s under-18s are through to the second round of the FA Youth Cup after an 8-0 win over Radstock Town on Tuesday night.

The Grecians were 4-0 up at half-time, despite having two goals ruled out for offside, and comfortably won the tie to record their fifth straight win in all competitions.

Under-18s coach Dan Green believes his side are getting their rewards for the hard work they put in during training.

“It is a good run we are now on,” said Dan. “The boys are working really, really hard in training every day and I think we are seeing the rewards from that in the results.”

Dan admitted the performance against Radstock was not perfect though and had to go through a few things with his team at the half-time despite City being four goals to the good.

“Overall I thought it was a very professional performance,” he said. “We got them (Radstock) down after five minutes and we kept them down for the rest of the game and didn’t really allow them any opportunities.

“However, it wasn’t the most fluent, perfect performance. At half-time we felt we had two or three tweaks and improvements that we had to go through to make the game more comfortable. We covered those things and used that time to make the second half slightly more comfortable. 

“I think their hard work will show in the performances soon. I don’t think we have quite seen that come to fruition just yet, but they are working hard and that is the main thing.”

The Grecians took the lead in the fifth minute when Jack Sparkes was brought down in the box to allow Max Smallcome to fire the ball into the left-hand side of the Radstock net. 

Sam Haynes then had a goal ruled out for offside before the linesman’s flag came to Radstock’s aid again moments later.

Goals from Ben Seymour, Harry Kite and Smallcombe put the Grecians in a commanding position at the break though. 

And despite a slow start to the second half goals from Archie Collins, Sparkes and Seymour put Dan Green’s side 7-0 up by the hour before Josh Key headed home late on to complete the scoring. 

Academy manager Simon Hayward, said: “We were pleased that a couple of dubious offside decisions didn’t leave the game in the balance at half-time. The lads did well to respond to that and get back on the front foot and score goals that meant by half-time we were in good shape

“Our attacking play and our work in the final third in the first half was good because we scored the four goals and had two more ruled out, but our general play was actually a bit loose. There were some very basic things that we have spent a lot of time working on in training that were boys were not quite getting.

“I think we were a little bit loose as well for the first five minutes of the second half, but the last half hour of the game was our best period. The boys tightened up and followed the plan a lot better and got the basics right far more often.

“So overall, I’m extremely pleased. They have been working very, very hard and they are getting the rewards that they deserve. That is five wins on the bounce now. They are sat top of the league and through to the next round of the FA Youth Cup and long may it continue.”

Exeter City: Lewis Williams, Harry Kite, Jack Sparkes, Alex Hartridge, Sam Hayes, Joe O’Loughlin, Mitch Thomas, Max Smallcombe, Ben Seymour, Archie Collins, Josh Key. Subs: Lucas White, Charlie Phillips, Cam Hargreaves, Josh Hancock, Joel Randall.