📝 Under-18s: Exeter City 5 Yeovil Town 2

Exeter City's under-18s bounced back from recent league and cup defeats in style as they picked up a 5-2 victory over Yeovil Town.

Three early goals courtesy of Cheick Diabate, Lewis Wilson and Nelson Iseguan got the Grecians off to the perfect start, but Town pulled a goal back on 26 minutes.

Chad Gribble’s men regained the upper hand after the break, and they scored twice in four minutes around the hour mark with Wilson and Jack Stafford netting for the hosts.

Despite the away side grabbing a late consolation goal six minutes before the end, a controlling performance from Exeter meant they secured a deserved three points, to lift themselves back up to third place in the Youth Alliance South West division standings.

From kick-off, the Grecians won themselves a corner from a surge down the left flank. Charlie Lawrence swung in a delivery, and centre back Diabate reached the ball first to send the ball goalwards. His first effort was saved, but the defender put the ball in from the rebound to hand the early initiative to City.

With a platform to build from, Chad Gribble’s men continued to move the ball around nicely. In the 10th minute they doubled their lead, fully capitalising on a defensive mistake.

With the Glovers struggling to play out of their defensive third, a missed flick allowed Ben Chrisene to steal the ball. The midfielder dribbled into the penalty area, before his low shot cannoned off the foot of the post, and Wilson smashed in the loose ball.

Stafford’s superb diagonal pass then located Lawrence, and the wide man crossed brilliantly towards the far post. Fellow winger, Iseguan, met the ball on the half-volley, and he caressed the ball home from close range to give his team a three-goal cushion.

A clever flick in midfield allowed a Yeovil attacker a run at the Exeter goal. A lofted effort beat goalkeeper Jack Arthur, but came back off the woodwork, allowing another Yeovil player to force the ball home to pull a goal back for his team.

In the second half, replacement Harry Ford saw a low shot kept out, but in the 59th minute, City did bag their fourth of the afternoon when Wilson grabbed his second.

Diabate’s crossfield pass found Ford, who in turn produced a sublime touch to get around his opposite number. The substitute then powered a low effort goalwards to make the score 4-1.

The Grecians were well on top, and they managed to score a fifth moments later. After winning a free kick on the right-wing, Chrisene sent a beautifully whipped ball in towards goal. Stafford then glanced a header just inside the far post, in what was a perfectly executed set-piece routine for 5-1.

A near post smashed effort was a consolation for the visitors as the score became 5-2, as tYeovil succumbed to their first defeat in four games, whilst Exeter secured their fourth victory of the season.

Exeter City under-18s coach, Chad Gribble, said: “Our start was important, and the early goals we got were important. I was pleased with our productivity and pleased with the response our players gave after conceding.

“Their first goal didn’t rattle us, and we remained solid and well organised and managed the ball well. We realised we didn’t need to score every time we got the ball, and we ended up drawing them out of shape and taking advantage of that in a more open second half.

“The boys have been excellent. We’ve been working hard and chipping away at things. This performance here was a week we managed to get things right. We solved the majority of the problems. Our performance was no different to the previous few weeks, and scoring goals hasn’t been our issue, but I would put the win down to how much we showed a togetherness and being there for one another when we did make mistakes.

“It was a good team performance, where none of our players played badly. There was a clear understanding of what we wanted from them and the way we wanted to approach the game, and I thought Alex Moyse epitomised the spirit of our team, with the way he picked up the right positions and covered for his teammates.

“We are away to Forest Green Rovers next. It is going to be a tougher game, and it is a difficult place to go as they pick up most of their points at home. We are disappointed with the goals we have conceded against Yeovil, so we have got to be more solid. As much as we have scored four or five goals per game recently, this won’t be the case across the whole season. One or two goals might be enough against Forest Green.”

Exeter City Under-18s: Jack Arthur, Cheick Diabate, Jack Stafford, Alfie Pond, Max Clark, Louis Morison, Ben Chrisene, Alex Moyse, Nelson Iseguan, Charlie Lawrence, Lewis Wilson

Subs: Jack Veale, Harry Lee, Frank Lovett, Harry Ford, Zeph Collins