Exeter City’s under-18s recorded a 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers last weekend to make it four points from the opening three matches of the Youth Alliance South West Division.
After a bright opening, Dan Green’s men took a deserved lead when Josh Key’s centre was converted by the in-form Lucas White.
However, midway through the half, the away side levelled when they capitalised on a Grecians’ mistake.
Despite further more chances for both teams, neither side was able to find another goal meaning the points were shared at the Cliff Hill Training Ground.
City started with the same team that had comprehensively beat Cheltenham Town 12-0 the week before, and they went into the contest full of optimism, with the hope of putting in another ruthless performance.
The early signs were promising, with Exeter moving the ball extremely well amongst the team as they searched for an early breakthrough.
On 10 minutes they broke the deadlock, when Key was slid in down the flank. The winger’s cross was met by the onrushing White, and he buried his chance to make it 1-0, and six goals in three matches for the forward’s own personal tally.
The Devon club continued to create more openings as they looked to double their lead. After spurning a few decent opportunities, arguably the closest the hosts came was when Key struck the crossbar with an unlucky strike.
Green’s boys were then made to pay for their misses when the scores were levelled on 18 minutes. After the Grecians’ defence made a slight error, the Pirates took full advantage and converted the chance to restore parity.
Half-time arrived with the scores level, leaving both sets of players looking to secure the early initiative after the break.
Both teams traded half-chances during a tightly contested second period. However, clear-cut openings were a rarity as both defences stood firm and tight.
Substitutes Ollie Jarrett, Josh Williams, Harry Gardner and James Dodd tried to inject some life and purpose to the Exeter line-up, but they, and their teammates, were unable to inspire the Devon club to find the net again.
With the home defence also keeping a second half clean sheet, it meant the game finished level and the points were shared.
Exeter City under-18s coach, Dan Green, said: “We felt our performance should have been better and we know we need to be better at working out solutions to the problems we faced.
“Credit to Bristol Rovers, they made it very difficult for us to create clear chances after our initial bright start in which we scored the goal.
“We feel we should have got more than the goal we did from our positive start to the game and if we had, potentially the game would have felt very different after. The whole team are working hard to finish our chances and even more so, keep clean sheets in the future.
Exeter City under-18s: Felix Norman, Sam Haynes, Jordan Dyer, Josh Hancock, Joe O’Laughlin, Josh Key, Harry Kite, Mitch Thomas, Joel Randall, Lucas White, Brandon Parsons. Sub not used: Jack Arthur, Ollie Jarrett, Josh Williams, Harry Gardner, James Dodd