Exeter City so unfortunate in Under-21 cup tie

07:36 07 March 2014

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There is very much to cheer about for Exeter City fans after Tuesday night’s home game in which over 1200 fans shared and celebrated a superb performance by the Under 21 team who bowed out of the Under-21 Premier League Cup quarter final against Championship side Burnley, writes Gareth Hughes.

It has been a fantastic journey for players and fans alike and whilst the first team now facing a relegation scrap this amazing cup run has been most enjoyable and provides hope for the future.

The winners now go through to the semi-finals and play Manchester City. After the game Rob Edwards said: “The whole club is proud of them. The supporters that came tonight were noisy and were proud of what they have achieved. Tis (City boss Paul Tisdale) and Steve Perryman were up in the stands, as were all the coaches, and they were encouraging them – we’re all proud of how the boys have done in this competition.”

Burnley needed extra time to win the game, certainly one worthy of ‘thriller’ billing.

The young Grecians dominated almost the entire game, but a brace of mistakes by goalkeeper Christy Pym unfortunately aided their downfall. With two Burnley goals in normal time cancelled out by City’s Keohane and Nichols, it was an early goal in extra time that did it for the visiting side.

With 10 of the City players already having first team experience it’s a massive boost and accolade for the youth policy. Comments from fans in the Burnley camp gave an honest view. One said: “Exeter absolutely battered us, they were very impressive and tore us apart down our left side.”

There was also embarrassment amongst Burnley supporters for the blatant time wasting from early in the first half, feigning injury and unnecessary gestures to the crowd, and for not playing in the spirit of the renowned Burnley way!

A point that both sets of fans would agree on is that the best team on the night lost, and Rob Edwards added: “I’m disappointed for the players; they played so well, but that’s football. You don’t always get what you deserve. I told them that I would have a go at them if I caught them feeling sorry for themselves this week in training – they did what they could do, and they were unlucky tonight.”

At the League Two sharp end of football, City suffered a 2-1 defeat at York City with the home side as City’s luck would have it, ending a run of four Bootham Crescent games without a goal.

Scot Bennett grabbed Exeter’s goal in what was their third straight defeat and the team now sit just six points above the relegation zone.

Clearly there is all to play for and this Saturday is a home game with Dagenham and Redbridge followed on Tuesday by another home game against Northampton. With the table so tight, results are needed from both these games.

With many of the first team from the under 21 ranks let’s hope their luck will change. Come on you Reds!

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