This coming Thursday, Exeter City’s under-18s will play under the floodlights at St James Park once again as they compete in round three of this season’s FA Youth Cup against AFC Bournemouth under-18s.
In what is a 7pm kick-off, Thursday’s cup tie will be the second consecutive season that these two clubs have faced one another for a spot in the fourth round, with the Grecians putting in an eye-catching performance last season when they defeated the Cherries 3-1.
Both teams regularly face one another in the Youth Alliance South West division, and it was just back in August when the two sides last met while on league duty, with Bournemouth’s youth side able to put five goals past City in what was a comprehensive 5-1 victory at the Cliff Hill Training Ground.
The Cherries have in fact kept up that free-scoring nature throughout this season, as they sit top of the current standings having secured 24 points from 12 matches. The Devonians on the other hand are placed fourth having amassed 18 points from a possible 30.
But on FA Youth Cup duty, Exeter’s youngsters have shown plenty of promise having already knocked out Bristol Rovers under-18s and Chelmsford City under-18s to reach this stage of the competition. Alan Connell’s young Bournemouth team though enter the cup for the first time here.
The Grecians come into the tie in relatively good form, and put in a strong performance at the weekend when they defeated Cheltenham Town under-18s 2-1. City under-18s Head Coach, Chad Gribble, came away from Saturday’s contest relatively happy with his players’ performance, and he’ll be hoping that it has provided the group with the perfect preparation ahead of what will be an extremely competitive midweek fixture against the Dorset club.
Tickets for this game are now on sale from the club shop and online. The IP Office Stand only is open, with seating unreserved. Prices are as follows:
- Adults: £5
- Seniors/18-23: £3
- Under-18s: £1
Head down to the Park and support our future stars.
How to Follow
Can't make it to SJP for the match? We will be streaming LIVE on our YouTube channel with commentary from Jed Penberthy.
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We will have live coverage on the night on our social media accounts and reaction from Chad after the match.
Chad Gribble's thoughts
Ahead of Thursday’s crunch match, Gribble admitted that it should be another close encounter against a talented Bournemouth side.
“Saturday’s match with Cheltenham and Thursday’s cup tie with Bournemouth will be two completely different games. They’ll be different types of matches, and different occasions. But any game beforehand is good preparation as it helps keep a rhythm going, and we are in a bit of a positive one at the moment, and we’ll be looking to carry that into Thursday night.
“We are very aware that Bournemouth are a fantastic side. We’ve played them already this season and they were excellent on the day. We played them in the FA Youth Cup last season as well. It is never an easy game against them, and one we will have to take very seriously.
“Both sides have an identity about how they want to play football, and we know a lot about one another. There should be no real surprises on show, so it may come down to who can carry out their game plan the better on the night, and ultimately who can gain control.
“We have two rounds worth of experience in the competition so far this season, which I think is important, while they only enter the cup in this third round. That means we have played the occasion twice already, and that always helps. This is certainly one of the toughest tests we could have got, as they are a Championship club, with large amounts of resources, and lots of options around their squad, and they'll be looking to perhaps put right what happened last season in the competition. I expect it will be a really good game for anyone who comes and watches it on Thursday night!”
How they reached R3
R1 | Bristol Rovers 0 City 4 | 26/10/21 | Memorial Stadium
Exeter City’s Under-18s advanced into round two of the FA Youth Cup following a 4-0 victory over Bristol Rovers on a cold night at the Memorial Stadium.
R2 | Chelmsford City 0 City 4 | 15/11/21 | Melbourne Stadium
A brace from George Spencer alongside an Ed James header and Eli Collins' penalty saw the Grecians progress to round two.
City u18s 3 AFC Bournemouth u18s 1 (2/12/21)
Exeter City’s under-18s secured an impressive 3-1 victory over AFC Bournemouth under-18s in the third round of the FA Youth Cup thanks to goals from