Young Grecians side beat Buckland to progress in the Devon St Luke’s BowlA youthful Exeter City side progressed to the second round of the Devon St Luke’s Bowl after beating Buckland Athletic on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Homers Heath.
It was an even contest for much of the match with the home side providing a physical test to the young Grecians, as well as forcing James Hamon into a string of impressive saves.
In a first half of little chances, the Grecians struggled to make their dominant possession count, as Athletic defended doggedly and restricted Danny Butterfield's side.
With City improving in the second period, and creating more chances, they looked as if they may nick the tie right at the death, as Archie Collins went through on goal but was unable to convert with Athletic goalkeeper Grant Fisher saving well.
With no extra time to be played City then took the tie to a penalties.
The young Grecians kept their nerve, with special thanks to Hamon, who pulled off two penalty saves, to put City into the hat for the next round.
Following the victory Butterfield said: “Penalties was a great experience for the boys and fortunately we came out on top. It was a pretty even contest, I think we lacked a bit of quality in possession some of the time, but we opened them up well on occasions with their goalkeeper making some good saves.
“In the second half we tightened up our passing and had a chance with Archie Collins, who probably had the best opportunity of the game, but wasn’t able to beat the keeper.”
Butterfield also credited the efforts of the home side, who threatened well throughout: “They provided a good physical test and they created some good chances against us and made a real contest of it.”
With City now looking to the next round, which will be against the winners of the tie between Barnstaple and Willand Rovers, Butterfield also warned that his side will need to raise their performance level even more if they wish to keep on progressing in the competition.
He continued: “We need to sharpen up a little bit if we are going to progress with a young team in this competition- regarding taking care of the ball and taking our opportunities to score.”
Hamon, Egan, Gillard, Hartridge, Storey, Down, Hargreaves, Smallcombe, Randall, Collins, Seymour. Subs: Williams (GK), White, Parsons, Thomas, KiteExeter City starting XI: