Exeter City Ladies put up brave performance at Elburton Villa
Exeter City Ladies put up a brave performance against their Plymouth Argyle on Thursday night at Elburton Villa.
The game started evenly with Exeter creating two good chances both by Sarah Hill, but she was denied by Michael Phillips in the Argyle goal.
Plymouth took the lead on 17 minutes when Kayleigh Brown shot from edge of area into corner of net. That seemed to knock Exeter’s confidence as the visitors started to dominate the game.
On half an hour Exeter had to make a change bringing on Lauryn Proctor for the injured Paige Longworth-Wakeham who took a nasty knock to her ankle.
Argyle with their experience and ability controlled the game, but Exeter competed well and made it far from easy for them.
On 49 minutes former Exeter player Tash Knapman scored with a turn and shot from inside the area.
However, Exeter replied immediately as straight from the kick-off Kate Finch scored after a mix up in the Argyle defence to make it 2-1.
On 57 minutes Plymouth were awarded a free-kick on the edge of area to which their captain Kate Middleton stepped up to curl it into top corner to make it 3-1
After 65 minutes City brought Phoebe Licence onto replace Molly Booth.
Five minutes later Argyle increased their lead when a good cross was met by the head of Knapman to make it 4-1.
In the 80th minute the referee awarded a penalty to Argyle which former Exeter player Dani Barr took but home keeper Nicola Lipscombe, who had a very good night, saved spectacularly.
The game ended 4-1 to Plymouth but there are a lot of positives to take away from the game for manager Adam Grove.
"Exeter showed some real positive energy in the first half, however it was clear that our players were nervous," he said. "They're a young group with the average age lower than any other team in our league and maybe we showed a little bit too much respect to Argyle.
“Exeter had numerous chances on goal in the first 20 minutes, but we just lacked a little bit of confidence. Confidence is something that grows naturally, along with team chemistry, through doing the right things in training and bonding socially so I'm not worried about that.
“Overall we showed good composure when we won the ball back in our half and constantly looked to play into space and support each other off the ball.
“Football under the floodlights is always magical and it was a great turnout so it's another experience the players can learn from and take on board the positives. I'm confident that we are going in the right direction."