Exeter City coach Matt Taylor praised the work-ethic of his players as they recorded a 2-0 win over Hull City in the opening game of their Premier League Cup campaign.
The competition, for under-23 teams, has seen City drawn in a group H along with Hull, Sunderland and Brighton & Hove Albion.
And they got off to a flyer in the East Riding of Yorkshire on Tuesday night as goals from Liam McAlinden and Matt Jay gave them a memorable win. McAlinden netted after just 15 minutes when Kyle Edwards played in him with a good reverse slide pass. Jay then netted early in the second half when he converted a pacey cross from Edwards.
City posed a real threat all game with Edwards, McAlinden, Jay and Jack Sparkes posing a real threat as a front four. However, it was the work rate of the whole team that impressed Taylor the most.
“I am absolutely delighted,” he said. “Both me and Mel spoke to the players after the game and we said that it was a performance based on hard work.
"They put in an absolute shift every single one them. There were some tired bodies at the end of the game but getting a result like that makes it all worthwhile.”
Many of the players who featured last night will be looking to push for a regular first-team spot. And Taylor admits they have done their chances no harm with the commitment they showed on Tuesday night.
“In terms of their development, their games have got to be based on how hard they work,” he said. “They have all got the ability to play – we know that as a club - but they will get their opportunities based on hard work and that was what I was the most delighted with. If they can take something from that game, it is about developing their game on top of that real work ethic that they had last night because they got their rewards from it.”
Taylor was also delighted to see a small contingent of away fans turn up at North Ferriby United’s ground to support them.
“The Yorkshire or York Grecians turned up and they stayed behind after the match to clap the lads and we went over and showed our appreciation,” said Taylor.
“We didn’t expect anybody to be there supporting us and for them to turn up was fantastic.
“There was half a dozen to a dozen of them. There weren’t too many people, overall, at the game but you could hear our support which for an under-23 match at North Ferriby United was strange but we were delighted with that. I know the players and the staff were really appreciative of it.”
City under-23s: Hamon, Archibald-Henville, McAlinden, Jay, Wilson, Byrne, Collins, Edwards, Sparkes, Hartridge, Storey. Subs: Williams, Kite, Seymour, Egan, Down.