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Exeter City U18 7 Portsmouth U18 0

8 April 2015

Grecians in seventh heaven against Pompey

Exeter City’s Under-18s recorded an emphatic 7-0 victory over Portsmouth in the Youth Alliance South Merit League 1.

The Grecians were too strong for a younger and inexperienced Pompey side, and scored two first-half goals courtesy of Joe Charles and Dean Billingsley.  After the break, strikes from Cameron Gill and Alex Byrne made it 4-0, before Charles, Billingsley and substitute Frank Rosenwald wrapped up proceedings.

City, who hadn’t beaten their opponents in three previous meetings this season, came into the match off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Luton Town, however memories of the defeats by Portsmouth and Luton were quickly banished as the Devon club started the game brightly.

Exeter’s attacking players offered good movement, and were a constant threat as they looked to find an early breakthrough, however they had to be patient, as the first goal arrived on 26 minutes.

Gill was slipped in down the right hand side, before he was sent tumbling inside the penalty area by the Portsmouth captain.  Charles stepped up, and although saw his spot-kick saved, he tapped home the rebound to give his side a deserved lead.

The lead was then doubled 12 minutes later, when Billingsley coolly finished low into the bottom corner after he was played in down the right once again.

A disallowed goal, and a few more unconverted chances meant it remained 2-0 at half-time, however there still seemed a sense of control from the hosts.

Momentum remained with the Westcountry outfit with Gill scoring one of his own 16 minutes after the interval to ensure all the strikers found the net in a good day for attacking football.

In quick succession, Skyrme’s men scored twice more midway through the second period to wrap up the result.

The first of the quick-fire double came from the boot of Alex Byrne, after receiving the ball in the middle of the park, he unleashed an unstoppable strike from 30 yards out and received a round of applause for his effort.

Byrne turned provider minutes later, when his header sent Joe Charles through, allowing the forward to round the goalkeeper and finish.

Chances kept coming for the Grecians, with Billingsley, Charles, and substitute Rosenwald all spurning opportunities for more goals.

And it wasn’t until the 89th minute when they did manage to scored again with Billingsley scoring his second.  The attacker cut in from the left onto his right foot and curled his shot over the Pompey shot-stopper in spectacular style to make it six.

There was just enough time for substitute Rosenwald to get in on the act as he scrambled in a seventh just before the full-time whistle sounded, earning City another important three points.

Under-18 coach Lee Skyrme said: “I am happy with the result, and very pleased with the way we did things.  I believe that is probably one of the best performances we have produced all season.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better response to the Luton game.  Things didn’t go to plan there, but this time we had a good tempo to our play, with good explosiveness where everyone performed their roles well.

“Performances in the new system have been building, and I thought we were very good from front to back.  The defence was solid and well marshalled, which gave us a good platform to attack. It was a good performance all round.

“The majority of our goals were a product of our good play, and it is nice to see we scored a variety of different goals too.  We now have to build on this performance and hope to beat Swindon in our next game.”

Exeter City U18s: Keadell, Egan, Down, Read, Madden, Richards, Byrne, Hayfield, Charles, Billingsley, Gill.
Subs: Merritt, Harkness, Rehemi, Rosenwald.

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