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REPORT: Exeter City 2-0 Cheltenham Town

29 November 2016

Exeter 2-0 Cheltenham

Cheltenham Town returned to Central League action this afternoon with a match at Exeter City's Cliff Hill Training Ground.

It was a relatively young Cheltenham team on duty with six Scholars and one first year professional in the starting line-up but they competed well against a more experienced home side.

Cheltenham played with a very young back line of Taylor Cordell, Matt Bower and Jamie Kilkenny with Joe Hance and Jordan Lymn in the wide positions. Josh Thomas and George Lloyd were joined by Danny Whitehead in midfield with Koby Arthur and Amari Morgan-Smith up front.

Both Arthur and Morgan-Smith went close for Cheltenham during an even first half but the best chance fell to Exeter first team player Ryan Harley, who hit the bar after a strong run.

Half-time: Exeter 0-0 Cheltenham

After the break Cheltenham had the better of the early chances with Whitehead shooting just wide from distance then placing an effort wide after being sent clear by Arthur.

Exeter took control in the last 15 minutes when Joel Grant ran onto a through ball from Jack Stacey and scored with a low finish. Four minutes later Grant scored again from a tap-in after Matt Jay had found him with a driven cross from the right.

In the closing stages Cheltenham goalkeeper Calum Kitscha saved well from Kyle Egan but overall youth team coach Ashleigh Hopkins, who took charge on the day, was pleased with the performance. 

Full-time: Exeter 2-0 Cheltenham

"We had some young kids playing against experienced pros and they did pretty well," said Hopkins, before adding, "It was just in the last 15 to 20 minutes they dipped a bit but before that we created some good chances and were a bit unlucky.

"It was good for some of the first team lads that haven't played lately to get a full game in as well and that can help them stay ready for when they are needed."

CHELTENHAM TOWN: Kitscha; Cordell, Bower, Kilkenny; Hance, Lloyd, Whitehead, Thomas, Lymn; Arthur, Morgan-Smith. Subs not used: Llewellyn, Hancocks, Davis

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