Peterborough United U18 3 Exeter City U18 1

City youngsters fall to two-goal defeat

Exeter City’s under-18s were unable to get back to winning ways in the Youth Alliance Merit League 1, when they lost 3-1 away to Peterborough United.

Despite taking a lead in the first half, the Posh were able to turn the game around with three goals of their own from their two main goal threats to succumb the Grecians to their third defeat of the new campaign.

It leaves City languishing near the bottom end of the table in the early weeks – but with a tight table after just a few games played, some positive results in coming weeks would see Exeter leapfrog their divisional rivals into a more comfortable mid-table position.

Peterborough themselves had struggled in the early stages of the Merit League 1 fixtures, however they finished a respectable third in the South East division before Christmas meant Exeter knew they were in for a tough fight against a decent side.  City, though, were travelling to the East of England with a hope of bouncing back after their 3-1 defeat away to Stevenage the week before.

And the first 45 minutes went well enough for the visitors, defending stoutly to keep the opposition at bay for the most part.  The Posh had a chance to open the lead from the spot as early as five minutes in when Charlie Madden brought down a home attacker in the box.  However the opportunity was missed from 12 yards, as Liam Marshall clipped the outside of the post with his effort.

Exeter were also good enough in attack to take a lead into half-time, as Cameron Gill netted a free-kick by directing his effort out of the United goalkeeper’s reach, earning themselves an impressive 1-0 lead at the break.  Playing against the wind, it represented a good scoreline at the interval.

And arguably the turning point of the game came early on in the second half, when Lee Skyrme’s men were denied a second goal of the game, and a chance to double their lead.

Twice the Grecians found themselves in one-on-one positions, only for goalkeeper Henrich Ravas to make good saves and deny the Grecians a chance to open a more comfortable margin.

And consequently the hosts were spurred into life and by the time the game was an hour old, the scores had been levelled up.  A quick counter-attack by the Posh saw the Grecians’ defence opened up, and Peterborough levelled through Jack Friend.

If the momentum was with the hosts, they were given an even bigger boost when Exeter were reduced to ten men.  Madden, who had been booked for the tackle that saw a penalty conceded in the first period, was shown a second yellow for a mistimed challenge outside the area.

Consequently the Grecians were playing a man light, and some sloppiness in possession allowed the hosts to turn the game around with a quick-fire couple of goals – Friend adding a second and Jonny Edwards also finding the net, including one that went uncharacteristically under the body of Kavanagh Keadell for the final goal of the game.