Under-18s: Newport County 0 City 4

Exeter City’s under-18s continued their unbeaten run in the Youth Alliance South West Division with a comprehensive 4-0 win against Newport County last Saturday.

The Grecians took the lead in South Wales on 17 minutes through Jordan Dyer, before Jack Sparkes doubled his team’s lead with a thunderous shot five minutes later.

Nine minutes into the second half saw Brandon Parsons make it 3-0, before Josh Williams rounded off the emphatic win in the 71st minute with a fantastic strike.

The victory keeps City top of the Youth Alliance South West division table. The early exchanges lacked some quality as it took the visitors a little while to settle down into the match. Dan Green’s men were unable to get any rhythm going in their play and creating any clearcut chances was proving to be a difficult task.

Newport proved to be dangerous from set pieces, and although they applied some attacking pressure on the away team’s goal, the Devon youngsters managed to deal with their defensive duties well enough to keep the scoreline goalless. 

With arguably their first decent opening of the game, the Grecians took the lead in the 17th minute. With a set-piece routine of their own, Williams’ corner found Dyer in the centre of the goal, who buried his chance well to give his team the advantage.

The goal gave City an extra gear, and they quickly made it 2-0 midway through the first period. After a free-kick had been awarded, Will Dean’s quick thinking saw him play Sparkes in behind the Exiles’ defence. The attacker finished emphatically to put Exeter well in command in terms of the scoreline. 

Green tweaked his team’s tactics at half-time, and in the second half, his side became more dominant in the game.

The away team’s ascendency led to them grabbing a third goal on 54 minutes following some neat build-up play. Some intricate passing led to Joel Randall getting down the left wing, before crossing for Lucas White. His mishit bicycle kick fell to Parsons, whose shot on the turn beat the Welsh side’s goalkeeper giving the Grecians a three-goal cushion.

City continued to assert their authority on the game, and they completed the scoring after 71 minutes. After playing the ball out of defence, Parsons slid Williams through on goal, before the midfielder showed great composure to bury his shot into the top corner to make it 4-0, and a good day for the Devon club.

Exeter City under-18s coach, Dan Green, said: “It was a good performance. We scored some good goals at one end, and we kept a clean sheet at the other, and credit for that has to go to Felix Norman who made some crucial saves at important times. 

“It was a good team performance overall. Will Dean showed excellent composure whilst Jordan Dyer was excellent on the front foot. Josh Williams and Mitch Thomas gave us good control in midfield.

“It wasn’t perfect. We spoke at half-time about our control, and implemented our plan in the second half well. We were good and solid, and again we found ourselves in a good place to be to get the win here."  

Exeter City under-18s: Felix Norman, Sam Haynes, Jordan Dyer, Joe Belston, Will Dean, Mitch Thomas, Joel Randall, Josh Williams, Jack Sparkes, Lucas White, Brandon Parsons. Subs: Lewis Williams, Harry Gardner, James Dodd, Josh Hancock, Joe O’Loughlin