City youngsters remain undefeated in the Merit League
Exeter City under-18s are still undefeated in the Merit League following a hard fought 2-2 draw away to Swindon Town.
After dominating the opening 30 minutes, it was City who took a deserved lead through Archie Collins. Cameron Hargreaves picked him out perfectly with a cross from the right-hand side and he finished well.
The strong wind made a dramatic impact on the first-half as the City players had to battle against the conditions. Swindon got on top of the match towards end of the first half and managed to score two quick-fire goals.
The first came from a corner. As the ball was curled into the City box, it was flicked on at the front post and kindly landed at the feet of a Swindon forward and he finished calmly to level the score.
Minutes later, some individual skill from a Swindon winger put the home side into the lead. He cut inside the defence and fired a shot across the keeper into the top corner. A good strike that didn’t give Matt Crowther in the City goal much chance of stopping.
In the second half, with the wind in favour of the Grecians, City peppered the goal bringing out three good saves from the Swindon keeper. City finally found an equalising goal through Hargreaves. He reacted well as he saw Collins’ shot saved and then pounced on the loose ball to level the scores.
With the momentum behind them, City pushed for a winner but, unfortunately, couldn’t manage to find a way past the resilient Swindon keeper.
City forward Jack Sparkes dribbled his through the defence but had his shot saved from close range. Then, moments later, the keeper made another great save after City won a free-kick on the edge of the box.
City under-18s coach Dan Green, said: “I thought it was a really positive performance overall. I thought the biggest thing the players have to learn from was; when you’re having one of those 10-minute spells in the first half when the wind is against you, you need to find ways to manage those situations
“Our intensity in the second half was great. We played 45 minutes like it was the last five minutes of the game, we were right on top of them. I thought that was really positive, we were desperate to win the game and that’s what it looked like from the first minute in that second half.”
Exeter City under 18s: Matt Crowther, Alex Hartridge, Josh Hancock, Ethan Ampadu, Sam Haynes, Jack Sparkes, Mitch Thomas, Max Smallcombe, Archie Collins, Cameron Hargreaves. Substitutes: Harry Kite, Lucas White, Will Dean, Brandon Parsons