Cheltenham U18s 2 Exeter U18s 2
Exeter City’s under-18s came away from their midweek trip to Cheltenham Town with a well-deserved point, after a battling 2-2 draw.
The Grecians found themselves behind on two occasions, but twice replied through Matt Jay, and could have easily won the match in the final moments.
City had started well with a decent opening ten minutes. However, against the run of play, the home side made the breakthrough.
A poor clearance from the Exeter defence led to the Robins converting with just their first shot of the game, with only 12 minutes played.
The Devon outfit then went in search for an equaliser and were rewarded for their persistence on the half-hour mark.
After a foul on the edge of the box, Matt Jay stepped up to take the set-piece – and he fired his shot past the opposition goalkeeper to level the match.
Despite some excellent chances either side of half-time for City – Jason Pope going closest for Exeter – it was Cheltenham who found themselves in front again, albeit in fortunate circumstances, on 65 minutes.
After defender Sam Brown could do nothing about the ball bouncing up and hitting his arm inside the box, the spot-kick was duly converted and the away team had to come from behind once again.
After changes in shape and personnel had taken place, the attacking mentality of the Grecians paid dividend with just 15 minutes to play.
Attacker Ollie Watkins played a reverse pass to strike-partner Jay, who coolly slotted the ball in the corner to restore parity once again.
As the game reached its climax, both sides could have found what would have been a winning goal –Watkins and Jay both going close for the Grecians, before captain Matt Grimes whistled a free-kick just wide. However the match ended all-square in a close and competitive encounter.
Following the fixture, Youth Team Coach, Kevin Nicholson said: “A draw was a fair result. Both sides had good spells during the match and could have won it.
“It was an end-to-end game played by two committed and hard-working teams. The boys deserve a lot of credit. They showed great spirit and battling qualities.”
1 Christy Pym
2 Sam Brown
3 Hussein Heidari
4 James Byrne
5 Kamarl Duncan
6 Irvine Densu
7 Jason Pope
8 Matt Grimes
9 Ollie Watkins
10 Matt Jay
11 Connor Riley-Lowe
12 Charlie Madden
14 Alex Byrne
15 Cameron Gill