Noah Dougherty
Tuesday 10 December 2019

Forest Green Rovers Under 18s fell to a 1-0 defeat on Saturday, as they lost out to Exeter City.

Cheik Diabate’s strike was the difference, as, despite good chances, Rovers couldn’t cancel out his first-half effort as he volleyed home after a corner.

“We started well,” said U18s boss Chris Barker.

“We lost a goal to a corner, but the overall performance was okay.

“Sometimes in football you don’t get what you deserve, and that was one of those days.”

“The play out from the back was good and so was the movement, we just lacked quality in the final ball.”

Rovers fashioned some good chances throughout, seeing an effort cleared off the line and a penalty saved.

“We missed a penalty, and put a couple of headers wide from close range,” explained Barker.

“We missed a one-on-one from seven yards out and it just wouldn’t go in for us.

“The boys need to carry on creating these chances and things will go in for us, and we hope to start that against Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

“We’re training day-to-day, getting used to the routines, and getting used to good habits. If you keep doing the right things then the results will kick in, and we saw that at Dulwich Hamlet with a 9-1 win.”

The FGR Academy make the trip north tomorrow, as they face Middlesbrough in the FA Youth Cup third round, and Barker insists his side is ready for the test.

“We watched their videos last week in preparation,” he said.

“We’re injury free, and it’s a great place to go and play a game. Hopefully we do well and it would be nice to come back with a win.

“It’s a one game scenario, so we’ll see how we do.”