Exmouth Town Under-14s - a review of the 2019/20 season

PUBLISHED: 10:12 11 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:12 11 April 2020

The Exmouth Town Under-14s from the 2019/20 season. Picture: ETFC

The Exmouth Town Under-14s from the 2019/20 season. Picture: ETFC

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Exmouth Town Under-14s had something of a ‘mixed bag’ in terms of their fortunes during a 2019/20 football season that was brought to a premature halt by the Covid-19 crisis.

Following a number of departures after the team had come up from the Under-13 age group, there was some pre-season recruitment with Ned Mills, Josh Evans, Billie Rowsell and Mac Haywood-Newlands, the latter pair playing a year up, while, during the season, the team also welcomed newcomers, Olli Bennett, Bradley Cameron and Dan Goodman.

The season began with a home defeat to Westexe, though Town did score the ‘goal of the game’ with a slick team passing move ending with a Sam Quine cross that was headed home by Will Lucas. Cup defeat away at Seaton followed, but this was a game that saw Town enjoy the better of the second half when they scored two unanswered goals. In this game, Ned Mills, Scott Boddy and a penalty from Mac Haywood Newlands accounted for the Town goals and this was also a game in which Cody Lester impressed at right back.

Town banked their first league points in a home win over Millwey Rise thanks to goals from Billie Rowsell (3), Sam Quine and Mac Newlands.

Next up was a 2-1 Plate success over St Martins with the Town goals scored by Mills and Rowsell. The final game before the festive break saw Town well beaten on their visit to Mid Devon to meet Twyford Spartans.

The start of 2020 saw Town visit bottom of the table Copplestone Vipers where hat-tricks from Lucas and Rowsell along with doubles from Oli Bennett and Mills saw Town run out 10-2 winners. In their next outing, Town exited the Plate competition in a meeting with a physical Honiton outfit.

A visit to table-topping Colyton followed and Town were beaten 3-1 with their goal scored by then ‘new signing’ Bradley Cameron. The home side did enjoy large slices of good fortune with two of their goals so Town were left to reflect on ‘what might have been’!

Rain then struck the season and, when they returned to action, Town ventured across to Millwey Rise where, trailing 1-0 at half-time, Town hit back with goals from Lucas and Cameron only for the home side to level late in with a ‘fortuitous’ penalty!

It was to be another four week rain enforced break before Town were back in action with a home meeting against St Martins, and, despite the visitors winning 4-0 , Town dominated the closing quarter, but could not find the net! In this game, Dan Goodman made his debut in the team’s defence.

Town Under-14 manager Mark Upcott, who is helped with the team by Town head of youth football Nick James, said: “The breaks between games owing to the wet weather did the team no favours.

“However, we can take plenty of positives from the season. Both Rowsell and Newlands have not looked out of place playing up a year while the arrival of Cameron has given the team an extra edge from dead ball situations.

“Defender Brad Upcott has been the model of consistency in terms of his performance. Indeed, we were honoured that the performances of Upcott, Newlands and Charlie James led to each one of them being invited to join the Plymouth Argyle Centre of Excellence that is run in Exeter .

“Lucas had another strong season as did Boddy and Quine with more to come from both players.

“Joe Atherton discovered that he’s a more than happy between the sticks as understudy to Issac Firth and it was young Atherton who served up a Man of the Match performance away to Millwey, in what his first ever game!

“Niel Christensen had a solid second season at left back while Oli Bennett and Josh Evans showed glimpse’s of their ability on the ball and Ned Mills, in his first ever season, will no doubt remember for all time his first ever goal, scored in the meeting with Seaton.

“Fred Robinson put his right foot to good use and chipped in with three assists and both Kai Smith and Cody Lester put in good shifts, covering a number of different positions for the team, often at short notice.”

He rounded things off saying: “Yes, as an Under-14 team we did well and now it’s a case of onwards and upward s to the Under-15 age group.”


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