Exeter City’s under-18s produced a wonderful victory on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Newport County in their latest round of Youth Alliance league fixtures.
Goals from Joel Randall, Josh Hancock, James Dodd really put the Devon club in command during a dominant first half, before County tried to mount a comeback in the second period with a goal of their own just after half-time.
However, the Grecian youngsters continued to press forward, and they sealed the win late on when Josh Williams fired in from outside of the penalty area to wrap up a near-perfect day.
The result now means they are four league matches unbeaten, before they face another stern test this weekend with an away trip to Portsmouth.
And it was that sort of confidence oozing through Green’s side that led to a bright start from them. City’s passing and movement provided the away team with plenty of problems in the early exchanges as they began to get on the front-foot early.
The game was only five minutes old when the deadlock was broken. Josh Key was sent down his wing, and his deep cross was met by Randall at the far post, who sent a volley past the County goalkeeper to give his team the early initiative.
Plenty of possession saw the Exeter midfield engineer more chances, and just before the half-hour mark, the lead was doubled with a goal from a set-piece.
The hosts sent a long corner into the Exiles’ penalty area, where the ball was kept alive by Jordan Dyer. The defender’s initial header was met by fellow centre-back Hancock, who tapped home from close range to make it 2-0.
Five minutes before the interval, the scoreline became 3-0 when James Dodd fed Parsons with a neat pass. The striker skipped past the opposing defender and fired the ball past the Newport goalkeeper to send Green’s men into the break with a cushion of three goals.
A second-half response came from the visitors in the shape of a goal on 50 minutes. An error from Randall led to the Welsh side taking full advantage and pulling one back, with a hope they may kick on from it.
However the home side failed to let the conceded effort bother them, and they continued to come forward, looking for ways to score their fourth of the match.
Parsons and Randall both came close to doubling their own personal tallies, whilst substitutes Williams and Harry Gardner both made real positive impressions off the bench.
With five minutes remaining, it was Williams who restored the three-goal lead. The lively Mitch Thomas squared the ball for the substitute, and he sent a long-range strike past into the back of the net to seal the impressive victory in style.
Exeter City under-18s coach, Dan Green: “It was a good performance and a good win, and I’m very pleased. We dominated from the start and apart from a small error, it was a good day.
“Jordan Dyer and Josh Hancock were solid once again, and Mitch Thomas was excellent. Harry Gardner and Josh Williams did well off the bench which has given me a very nice selection headache for the next game.
“We haven’t been too down when we have lost, and we aren’t going to get too high after this result. We earned a real battling draw against Bournemouth and we are hoping this victory will give us a good foundation to build from.
“We face different challenges every week and it’s our job to be ready for those in each game. We play Portsmouth in our next league match, and we have got to be looking at asserting ourselves onto the game at every opportunity. After that, hopefully, after trying our best, we can get the win we are after.”
Exeter City under-18s: Felix Norman, Sam Haynes, Jordan Dyer, Josh Hancock, Joe O’Laughlin, Josh Key, Harry Kite, Mitch Thomas, Joel Randall, James Dodd, Brandon Parsons. Subs: Ollie Jarrett, Harry Gardner, Joe Belston, Josh Williams