Exeter City’s under-18s got back to winning ways in the Merit League with a 3-0 victory over Oxford United on Tuesday.
After a slow start and goalless first 45 minutes, the Grecians took the lead early on in the second period courtesy of Lucas White.
Will Dean set up James Dodd moments later which quickly doubled the home side’s advantage, before Dodd claimed his second goal, and his team’s third, later on in the half to seal the victory.
Tuesday’s outing proved to be just the performance Dan Green and his squad were looking for following the draw at Portsmouth on Saturday.
However, it wasn’t plain sailing for City’s youngsters. When the game kicked off, it was actually Oxford who carried the greater threat as they saw more of the ball and territory.
In spite of starting on the back foot, the Devon club adjusted themselves defensively and remained solid enough in their work without the ball to not let the away side take full advantage in the shape of an away goal.
Encouraging signs whilst in possession came from the hosts towards the end of the first period but when the half-time whistle blew the score remained goalless.
Minutes after the interval, the game sprung into life thanks to City breaking the deadlock.
Harry Kite charged down the right wing before whipping in a dangerous cross into the box. White stole in at the front post ahead of his marker to get on the end of the pass and divert the ball into the net to give his team the vital breakthrough.
That kickstarted an eventful period of play, as not long after, the Grecians scored once again.
Dean combined nicely with Dodd in some neat build-up play, before the latter found himself through on goal. The attacker kept his cool as his rounded the United goalkeeper and slotted home to make it 2-0.
The visitors looked for ways to get back into the contest by making substitutions and tactical tweaks, but for all of their efforts, it was City that grabbed the game’s third goal.
Joe O’Loughlin located Dodd with a through ball, before the forward doubled his personal tally by making his own space and firing the ball beyond the reach of the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Exeter City under-18s coach, Dan Green, said: “I’m pleased we have managed to win the game. We have put in a good performance after what was a slow start.
“When we managed to sort our defensive structure right, then everything started to fall into place. We were largely dominant for 60 minutes of the game.
“Lucas White and James Dodd were outstanding from the front. They scored our goals and gave us an excellent first line of defence.
“Our next match is a home match against Bristol Rovers this Saturday, which will be another good test for the boys.”
Exeter City under-18s: Lewis Williams, Joe Belston, Cheick Diabate, Jordan Dyer, Joe O’Loughlin, Will Dean, Harry Kite, Harry Gardner, Joel Randall, James Dodd, Lucas White. Subs: Jack Arthur, Josh Hancock, Jack Stafford, Louis Morison