Harry Kite ‘ticks a lot of boxes’ after impressive defense outing

Exeter City youngster Harry Kite said the Greeks hope to build on their “great performance” at Forest Green Rovers for Friday night’s Papa John’s Trophy match with Portsmouth.

City were by far the best team at New Lawn and created the best chances, but failed to get past Luke McGee and had to settle for a 0-0 draw.

The Green Devils extended their lead at the top of the table to eight points, as the draw ended City’s losing streak to four, but that probably should have been the three points they came back with on the M5. .

Read more – ‘Top quality’ Exeter City can gain confidence in the Forest Green Rovers draw

Considering Exeter’s injury and Covid-19 issues, a pre-match point would have been celebrated, but considering the balance of the game, the chances created and how they canceled out the best League Two scores, Kite said it was disappointing not to have taken all three. points.

“It was a great performance,” said the 21-year-old. “If you look at the other chances in the game, we’re disappointed that we didn’t come away with three points. But we got here at the top of the league squad, so a big bonus and a lot of momentum for Friday and the next league game.

“I hope we can bring that to the next games. We created a lot of chances but unfortunately we didn’t grab them but a clean sheet and a dominant performance against the top of the league so we can get a lot out of it. of confidence.

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While it was City’s first clear round in nine and only second in 21, it was the first time in 15 that Rob Edwards’ men failed to score, and the defensive performance was even more impressive considering the composition of the last three.

Jonathan Grounds arrived to the left of the three having coached only once in the past fortnight, alongside 19-year-old Cheick Diabate in the middle, while midfielder Kite, who has never played in central defense, was deployed on the right.

It was the first time the trio had been on the pitch at the same time, let alone as a unit, but you wouldn’t have known it, and Kite fitted in perfectly with the defense, adding another string. to its impressive arch. as he continued into his breakthrough season.

“I’ve never played center before,” he said. “But I discussed the form with the manager yesterday, and I thank Cameron Dawson, Josh Key and Cheick for guiding me, and then I felt a little more comfortable as the game went on. was going, and we’re happy to keep a clean sheet.

“We know what we can do in the future, so being strong defensively is important so it was really positive to keep a clean sheet tonight.”

Harry Kite of Exeter City during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Forest Green Rovers and Exeter City on the fully loaded new pitch on January 4, 2022 in Nailsworth, England (Photo by Tom Sandberg / PPAUK)

With injuries to Pierce Sweeney and Alex Hartridge, George Ray won’t come out of Covid-19 isolation until Tuesday, with Sam Stubbs having completed the first 90 minutes in 14 months on Saturday, and manager Matt Taylor wanting to match wingers, Kite was pushed into the unknown role, but excelled in it, and once again impressing the boss.

“He’s as honest as he gets, he’s quick, he’s mobile and he can defend one-on-one,” Taylor said. “I felt like I could trust Kitey’s body to play 90 minutes and it’s been a good night for Kitey and there are certain ways to be selectable and he’s ticking a lot of boxes right now.”

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