EXETER University 7th were the latest visitors to Venlake.
Unbeaten so far – and playing Uplyme 1sts on the back of an impressive win over current league leaders last week – they started confidently and passed the ball around brightly.
However, Uplyme were more than a match for this style of play and, over the first 20mins, slowly gained control of the midfield with a mix of quick passing and a strong possession game.
Midway through the half, Cody Bowditch swept forward from centre back, skipped past three players and struck a 25-yard daisy cutter past the despairing dive of the Uni keeper and into the bottom corner.
The breakthrough signalled 20 more minutes of great possession and movement from Uplyme, which led to Fin McLean working a space for himself outside the box and hitting a wonderful left-foot strike that smashed the underside of the bar and went in, giving the talented keeper no chance.
The second half saw Exeter Uni try to pick up the pace and drive at Uplyme, but they had no answer to the work rate and organisation of Wes Holmes and his team.
The killer blow came around 75 minutes when Bowditch paused on the ball out near the touchline well inside his own half. He looked up and hit a laser-straight strike that didn’t touch the ground until it was over the goal-line.
The team – and crowd – erupted after witnessing a real wonder strike.
The game ended 3-0 and manager Steve Gillan was delighted.
“We knew we could expect an opposition team full of confidence, youth and pace and that’s exactly what we got,” he said.
“They started very well but we proved we were more than a match in every area of the pitch. All we needed was to finish our chances and didn’t we just!
“Our three goals were progressively better in quality and our third from Cody was, perhaps, the best strike of a ball I’ve seen in grassroots football.
“All over the pitch, the quality is great and flexibility is incredible. Jonnie Harris went from right back to left wing seamlessly and he’s a great example of the flexibility and adaptability in this 11.
“We now say goodbye to Lorcan Hankin which will be a real loss and next week will be a real test.”
This coming Saturday Uplyme are away to Kenn Valley who are in second position in Division Six of the Devon and Exeter League. Uplyme are in fourth place.