Exmouth Town Youth 3 – 1 YMCA All Saints
Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 25/04/19
A clinical first half display from the Exmouth team, topped off with goals from Morgan Cullen, Oliver Evans and Oliver Cox, ensured that they went into the half-time interval with one hand on the trophy, albeit that they had conceded a penalty to the Saints.
Exmouth kicked off and immediately lost the ball as the All Saints pressed high up the pitch in the early minutes. Nevertheless, it was Exmouth who took an early lead as, in the 3rd minute, Morgan Cullen flashed home a near post header from a corner. Josh Gresham had the next real opportunity of the game for Exmouth in the 12th minute when he fired off a 25-yard shot that whistled past the post. A minute later All Saints were level, Bailey Gamble slotting home a penalty after he had been brought down in the box by Tom Bray. In the 21st minute Marley Gibson had a good chance to put the Saints ahead, his left foot shot from the edge of the box just wide.
From then on it was all Exmouth as they forced the Saints back towards their own goal. In the 22nd minute they should have gone further ahead as Morgan Cullen’s fierce cross shot was pushed out by the Saints goalkeeper, Jenson Manning, straight to Bray six yards out, who inexplicably put his shot over bar. Manning was starting to have a busy time, dealing well with shots from Evans and Bray in quick succession but, in the 30th minute, he elected to punch rather than catch a corner from the left, Evans giving him no chance from 15 yards. The All Saints were struggling to keep pace with game and, in the 35th minute, they found themselves three one down, Exmouth’s Lucas Covoney racing down the left wing to pull back a cross that landed at the feet of Cox who gleefully stroked his shot past Manning.
In the 44th minute All Saints Ben Wyatt had a good chance to halve the deficit. Dan Cullen was slow to clear, and Wyatt took the ball, raced into the box, and drove in a fierce right foot shot which Exmouth keeper William Whitlock, having had little to do previously, did well to palm for a corner which game to nothing. Half-time came with Exmouth leading by three goals to one.
Both teams made use of the rolling substitutes at the start of the second half, but a series of niggling fouls meant that neither team was able to get into any sort of rhythm. The first chance of the half fell to Morgan Cullen whose shot from inside the box drew a brilliant save from Whitlock diving to push the ball out for a corner. But in the 60th minute Exmouth had the chance to secure the result, Morgan Cullen floating an excellent cross in from the right which Bray fired over the bar from eight yards. The game had lost a lot of its early pace and both teams were reduced to long range efforts as the numerous stoppages for injury disrupted the flow of the game such that, even with six minutes of time added on, there was no way back for the All Saints and Exmouth Town Youth ran out worthy winners.
Star Player - Morgan Cullen (Exmouth Town Youth)