City return to the winning trailEXETER CITY'S Under-18s bounced back from their 3-1 league defeat to Bristol Rovers with a 2-0 victory over Oxford United on Saturday.
Toby Down and Jamie Harkness grabbed the goals that sealed an impressive victory against a very good United side.
The Grecians took the momentum they gained from their midweek cup win over Bolton Wanderers into the start of the match at Oxfordshire, as Lee Skyrme's men started well.
Just eleven minutes had been played before they made the breakthrough. Toby Down slipped his marker from a corner, and headed in a well-worked set-piece routine to give the away side the early initiative.
At the back, Exeter looked reasonably solid, with the experienced back four rarely finding themselves in trouble despite the U's pressing for an equaliser.
City looked dangerous on the counter-attack, and were quick to move the ball from the defensive third into an attacking position. Attackers Mustafa Rehemi and Frank Rosenwald began causing problems to the Oxford defence with their energy and off the ball runs. However, the score remained 0-1 as the half-time whistle blew.
It was another bright start from the Devon club which led to one more goal at the beginning of the second period. After some intense pressing in search of the ball, the visitors won possession back in the United half. Despite the hosts clearing the ball from the initial first cross, it came to Harkness on the edge of the penalty area, and the centre-midfielder smashed home a thunderous effort to give the goalkeeper no chance.
The two-goal lead allowed Exeter to remain in control and manage the game. They rarely looked threatened as they limited their opponents to half-chances. In attack they were looking to kill the game off with a third, with substitute Ben Seymour perhaps having the best opening, as the forward found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he was unable to take the chance.
But the missed opportunities didn't matter, because the full-time whistle sounded, with the Grecians recording an excellent victory from a tough away trip.
Exeter City Under-18s Coach Lee Skyrme: "It was a professional away performance, and a nice way to round off a tough week for us.
"After the cup match against Bolton, you can get on such a high you don't focus for the next game, but to go away from home to a tough place and perform was good to see. The boys stepped up, got a clean sheet and two goals in a good win. I'm very pleased with the team's attitude.
"It was a solid team performance. We were good defensively, but Mustafa Rehemi and Frank Rosenwald stood out. Their work-rate and runs were very good, and they looked after the ball well. They always looked a threat."
Exeter City Under-18s: Kavanagh Keadell, Kyle Egan, Toby Down, Nick Grimes, Jordan Storey, Jamie Harkness, Max Smallcombe, Will Richards, Archie Collins, Mustafa Rehemi, Frank Rosenwald.
Subs: Cameron Hargreaves, Ben Seymour, Max Gillard, Lewis Williams, Alex Hartridge.