EXETER PANTHERS v WEST EXE YOUTH U13’s
Tuesday 7th May 2019 K.O. 6.30pm
The penultimate game of the season was against this years champions Exeter Panthers, who had only lost one league match.
Panthers came out the blocks running with good early possession and a shot that hit the cross bar. West Exe had a chance after eight minutes following a good spell of passing that resulted in Gracian taking a shot that is blocked by a defender, the ball rebounds to James whose shot has the sting taken out of it by a deflection enabling the keeper to save. Shortly after Panthers have a corner kick. Panthers header the ball at goal and as West Exe attempt to clear the it, the ball is kicked at a Panthers player and rebounds into our own net. 1-0. Conceding this unfortunate goal makes West Exe up the tempo and a couple of minutes later, James tries a speculative shot from just inside the Panthers half. The ball is high and begins to dip but just a little too late as it goes over the cross bar. On fifteen minutes West Exe have a throw in. A great pass by James to Gracian allows him to run past his defender and slot the ball past the keeper. 1-1. From the restart West Exe gain possession and push forward. James hits a belter of a shot with his left foot into the back of the net. 1-2. Again from the restart Seb has a shot at goal but with little power and the ball goes wide. Panthers try a long range shot which Thomas saves. West Exe also try their luck with a long range shot from Mickie, the keeper spills and Seb taps in for our third. 1-3. We are now in complete control and looking dominant. Gracian controls a high ball, beats the keeper takes a shot with his left foot but the ball hits the left hand post and goes out for a goal kick. Twenty five minutes on the clock and James fires another left footed shot that sails past the keeper for yet another goal. 1-4. This is unbelievable football. On the half hour Panthers take a shot. The ball deflects off defender Thomas sending goal keeper Thomas the wrong way. With a quick adjustment and a desperate dive he just about gets a finger tip to the ball. The ball is now slowly heading towards the right hand side of the goal but as it hits the inside of the post the long grass stops the ball before it completely crosses the line. Panthers are now getting frustrated and results in a booking. Just before half time Panthers cross from the left wing, our defence doesn’t clear and they score. 2-4. The half ends with a corner for Panthers, the ball is floated into the box for an unchallenged header that fortunately goes wide.
West Exe start the second half in fine form. We have an early throw in. Mickie crosses to Gracian who can’t get the ball out from under his feet and the under powered shot is saved. Gracian tries again soon after from a through ball from Archie. He beats two defenders but the shot goes wide. A couple of minutes later James passes to Gracian who is in the penalty box but his attempt is saved by the keeper. After nine minutes and the majority of play by West Exe, Panthers have a run down the right wing. The cross comes in, our defence is struggling to get back in time and Panthers shoot past our keeper. 3-4. A few minutes later and Panthers try a similar move. This time the shot is saved by Thomas. Panthers are starting to take control and force a corner. The ball comes in and they have an unchallenged header to make the score level. 4-4. Surely we can’t lose this now. We almost do in the twenty third minute from another Panthers corner. Their shot is stopped by a great save of an outstretched leg from our keeper. From Thomas’s goal kick high up the pitch, James shoots but it goes across the face of the goal and out. Approaching full time, James has a go from far out on the left wing. The ball rattles the cross bar and falls at Levi’s feet who reacts to get a quick shot off. The keeper gets a finger tip on the ball enabling a defender to clear. We’re into the thirty fifth minute and it’s looking like a draw. We continue battling and force a corner. Seb fires the ball into the penalty area where an unmarked Gracian leaps up and scores with a thunderous bullet header. Amazing scenes. 4-5. West Exe play out time and the game finishes after Levi’s shot is deflected wide.
FULL TIME 4-5
This was an outstanding match from start to finish. The intensity of play didn’t let up throughout the entire seventy minutes and the way West Exe took hold of the game, especially in the first half was top class. You deserved to win that match and perhaps by a bigger margin. Every single player contributed to a historic victory. Well done.