City U18 3 Exeter City U18 1

Sam Tillen.

Sam Tillen was pleased with his team’s performance on Tuesday as his young Imps won their first pre-season game against Exeter City.

Goals from Noah Simmons, Carter Ford and 15-year-old Josh Kennealey secured a 3-1 victory against the Grecians to kick off City’s pre-season tour in Bath.

He said: “It was a very positive performance. We had focus areas and objectives alongside our ultimate aim of getting the players minutes without picking up injuries, which we fulfilled.”

Tillen was pleased with how the players replicated what they’ve been working on throughout pre-season training so far.

“We looked to implement the work we have done in our build-up and attacking play along with an effective counter-press. The boys really tried to replicate some of the good work on the training pitch which was great to see.

“Out of possession we focused on being compact and effectively executing our defensive triggers. This will continue to be a work in progress but we saw some very good work and this will remain our focus over pre-season.”

Tillen took time to praise both Blake Henwood and Kennealey, who both made big impacts on City’s first win of pre-season at Bath University.

“It was great to see the HNC lads integrating into the group - Blake picking up two assists will help his confidence and transition. We looked very threatening in attack and 15-year-old Josh Kennealey’s goal was a reward for his threat and work rate.”

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