The Young Exiles hosted Swindon Town in Saturday’s Merit League 1 Fixture as they looked to extend their winning run to three out of three. They were undoubtedly facing their toughest challenge so far as they matched up against an impressive Swindon Town side who’d already beaten them twice this season.
The game started well for the Young Exiles, however, as they piled the pressure onto a shell-shocked Swindon team. Two good chances fell to regular goal-scorer Rhys Kavanagh in the opening five minutes but it was Owen Taylor who broke the deadlock. The U16 player put the Young Exiles one up inside ten minutes with a fantastic strike into the bottom corner of the net. The first goal of the game and Taylor’s first Youth Team goal.
It was an entertaining opening twenty minutes for the neutral with both sides getting chances. Swindon Town had two excellent opportunities to level the score with two almost identical headers from close range but didn’t manage to get either on target.
Minutes later, County punished the away sides wasted chances with some beautiful link-up play from the unstoppable strike partnership of Rhys Kavanagh and Momodou Touray which saw Kavanagh slot the ball calmly in to the far corner. That was the young strikers 26th goal in 29 games!
The Young Exiles went in 2-0 up at half time but with plenty more football to play, they were anything but comfortable and the second half showed that Swindon were not leaving the game without throwing their all at it.
Within 10 minutes of the restart, Swindon’s striker found himself inside the County box and was picked out by an inch perfect cross which he headed at goals. County ‘keeper Rhys Davies showed great power and agility to get across his goals and tip the shot around the posts. Davies would repeat his heroics moments later as he stretched to tip another wonder-strike over the bar.
After missing their own chances, Swindon all but gifted the Young Exiles their third of the game as the Swindon ‘keeper struggled to collect a cross and could only do enough to drop it at the feet of Joe Hunt. Hunt couldn’t, and didn’t, miss picking up his second goal in as many games. 3-0 to County.
Swindon Town continued to battle brilliantly and on the 78th minute, an excellent low cross found their striker in the middle of the box to tap in. This might have started a bit of a comeback and led to a nervy final few minutes for the Young Exiles but a minute later, 1st year scholar Touray used strength and determination to battle his way past the defence until he was one-on-one with the Swindon ‘keeper. He finished calmly and restored the Exiles three goal lead.
Swindon clawed another one back in the final few minutes of the game, but the Youth Team had already done enough to put the game out of sight and when on to grab their third win in three in the Merit League 1.
The score finished 4-2 and capped off 3 wins from 3 in the merit league 1.
Starting XI: Rhys Davies, Liam Warman, Jay Foulston, Dion Molyneux, Liam Angel, Thomas Hillman, Evan Press, Owen Taylor, Joe Hunt Momodou Touray & Rhys Kavanagh
Used Subs: Jake Clarke (Warman 70), Rendijs Kalnins (Molyneux 82)
Unused Subs: Lucas Murray, Rivel Mardenborough, Alex John
The Youth Team play Swansea City AFC next Sunday 19th March.
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