McManus, Skinner and Esson at the double in Lympstone Lions U11 Plate victory
PUBLISHED: 19:56 23 February 2020 | UPDATED: 19:56 23 February 2020
Lympstone Lions Under-11s powered their way into the semi-finals of the Exeter & District Youth League Plate competition with a superb all-round team performance that saw them defeat Twyford Spartans 7-0.
Lions made a confident start and it was no surprise when they took a fifth minute lead thanks to a clinical finish from Kai Macmanus. The lead was soon doubled with leading scorer William Esson netting and then, after the Twyford goalkeeper had made a couple of excellent saves, Cameron Rawlings made it 3-0.
Lions continued to dominate and it was no more than they deserved when Jenson Skinner struck to see the team into the break with a handsome four goal advantage.
With the game seemingly won, Lympstone coaches Skinner and Macmanus were able to switch things around. Ruben Lodge took over from Caleb Howard while Jake Gibbs-Clarke replaced Jack Nicks at left back and Will Esson moved from his usual wing raiding berth to play at centre back with the fleet-footed Dillon Bowes given winger duties.
The second half saw more Lions dominance and, after yet more superb saves from the Twyford glovesman - and, it must be said, some shocking misses the Lions' players, McManus netted his second and then Skinner scored his second to make it 6-0.
With the clock ticking down, Nicks and Howard re-joined the action for the hardworking Bowes and the very impressive Arthur Montague (AM6), who was outstanding at right back.
Esson, who looked very comfortable with his central defensive duties completed the scoring with a wonderful 20-yard free-kick.
It was a rare quiet day for Lympstone goal keeper Bill Geis who has, to date, had a terrific campaign.
As for the Plate semi-final, Lympstone Lions will have to travel to North Tawton where a win will return them to the final they reached at Tiverton a year ago when they lifted the trophy!