Youngsters beat Exeter 1-0BRISTOL ROVERS 1
EXETER CITY 0
A goal from Chad Douglas, ten minutes from time, sealed a narrow win against Exeter for our U-18 side and meant that they finished top of their Youth Alliance Cup Group.
"It was a hard fought win in a game played in horrendous conditions which deteriorated as the game progressed," said Youth Team Manager Alan Walsh, "though the pitch held out well until the final ten minutes when the ball slowed up a bit.
"Exeter are a good footballing side, who pass the ball well and like to play out from the back. Given the conditions it was an entertaining game and it was a surprise there was only one goal scored.
"We started reasonably well, though it was a fairly even first half. I felt we controlled the game a little bit more in the second half though we did have to withstand some pressure in the final ten minutes, just after we had scored, and Matt Macey made a couple of great saves to keep us in it."
The vital goal was scored by Chad Douglas.
"Danny Greenslade's cross from the left found Chad six yards out from goal. He headed the ball down and I think their goalkeeper thought it was going to bounce up into his hands, but it hit the wet surface and rolled under him. It only just crossed the line and, from Exeter's point of view, it was a poor goal to give away at that stage of the game."
Rovers now go through to the knockout stages of the competition and will play Cheltenham Town in January.
Team: Matt Macey, Josh Southway (Pat Keary), Laurent Mondo, Trey Anderson, Danny Greenslade, Connor Finn, Chad Douglas (Laurent Davis-Wilson), Dominic Thomas, Sam Kamara, Jamie Lucas (Aaron Ward-Baptiste), Shaquille Hunter
Substitute: Jay Malpas
FA Youth Cup
Alan's side will take on Coventry City in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup following their 2-0 win against Oldham at Boundary Park last Wednesday.
Having seen that match, Alan feels that Rovers face a stern test in this game, which is scheduled to be played on 12th December.
"Coventry have some decent players and played some good football, so we do face a tough match. They are a good team in possession so we can't afford to give the ball away. However, if we can keep possession ourselves, then there's no reason why we can't give them a good game."
First Team Debut
While their colleagues were winning through against Exeter on Tuesday, Tom Lockyer and Alefe Santos were traveliing with the first team to Port Vale.
Both were included in the squad for that match and Alefe went on to make his senior debut when he replaced Fabian Broghammer in the second half.
"Their inclusion in the squad," said Alan, "gives all of the other players in the youth setup encouragement because they can see a way through to the first team and that the manager is willing to give them a chance if they are good enough.
"Tom has been in the squad on quite a few occasions now, and we were delighted for Alefe, who made his debut and did very well."