Watkins tipped to fol­low the star trek

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Good­ing

OL­LIE WATKINS added to his grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion with the win­ning goal as Ex­eter made it three games un­beaten against Cam­bridge.

Watkins found the net with a low shot that de­flected past Will Nor­ris to give the Gre­cians the points in a match of few chances at the Abbey Sta­dium.

Ex­eter first-team coach Danny But­ter­field be­lieves Watkins, 20, has what it takes to fol­low in the foot­steps of Matt Grimes and Tom Ni­chols, both of whom have earned moves to a higher level af­ter start­ing out at St James Park.

“Ol­lie’s got a bright fu­ture as long as he keeps his feet on the ground,” said But­ter­field.“He’s got great nat­u­ral abil­ity and is only go­ing to get bet­ter with age. His work rate and track­ing back were ex­cel­lent, and he was al­ways in the thick of the ac­tion.

“It was a great all­round per­for­mance from him, but I think it was a bril­liant dis­play from the team too.We de­fended res­o­lutely and kept the ball well. Cam­bridge couldn’t put us on the back foot, and we were com­fort­able in our de­fend­ing.

“We con­trolled the game which, as the away team, is pleas­ing to see.”

Ex­eter’s pa­tient pass­ing style saw them en­joy the ma­jor­ity of pos­ses­sion in the first half, but Cam­bridge’s more di­rect ap­proach al­most paid div­i­dends when a sharp one-two be­tween James Dunne and Ben Wil­liamson led to the for­mer fir­ing in a low shot from the edge of the box which Bobby Ole­jnik turned round the post.

Paul Tis­dale’s side came close af­ter the restart when Chris­tian Ribeiro ar­rived to meet a Lee Holmes cor­ner but saw Dar­nell Fur­long bril­liantly clear his header off the line.

Nor­ris had al­ready made a dou­ble stop to deny David Wheeler and Watkins, but the U’s keeper was pow­er­less to stop the mid­fielder’s low ef­fort which took a nick off Ryan Haynes and flew into the bot­tom cor­ner af­ter good ap­proach play from Ryan Har­ley.

Cam­bridge boss Shaun Derry, whose side re­main three points off the play-off places, was irked by crit­i­cism from some U’s fans sit­ting close to the home dugout.

“I can’t ac­cept abuse from one or two in­di­vid­u­als be­hind me, and I don’t stand on the side­lines to take that,” said Derry. “I hope those gen­tle­men have a long think about some of the things they said to me this af­ter­noon be­cause I won’t ac­cept that. But it was a dis­ap­point­ing af­ter­noon. Ex­eter played well, and we never found a way to com­bat that.”

One pos­i­tive for Derry was debu­tant Zeli Is­mail, who he be­lieves pro­duced a “sparkling dis­play” when on.

STAR MAN LEE HOLME

S Ex­eter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.