City go down in last-gasp defeat to RobinsEXETER CITY'S UNDER-18s suffered a last-minute defeat to the hands of Swindon Town last Saturday, to lose their first match since last month's 4-1 reverse against Plymouth Argyle.
In blustery conditions, City were unable to dominate possession and territory, and despite going a goal behind in the first period, they brought the match back level with a Frank Rosenwald equaliser with just five minutes to go.
However, a second yellow card for defender Toby Down made circumstances more difficult for Lee Skyrme's men, and as the match approached the finale, an innocuous free kick found its way into the Exeter net to gift the home side all three points.
Skyrme made six changes to the side that defeated Oxford United in the FA Youth Cup, giving players an opportunity to win back their places in the team.
The first half saw both teams attempt to play a quick, passing game, but the swirling winds and boggy pitch made swift attacking moves a difficult task.
Conditions favoured the Devon club in the first period, but they failed to capitalise on them as it was the Robins that took a one-goal lead into half-time.
Town continued to pin the away side in their own half during the second period, but the Grecians managed to weather the Swindon storms before striking with a lightning-bolt of their own with only five minutes remaining.
Substitute Rosenwald, brought on to add power to the front line, forced his way through and struck the ball home to set up an exciting finish.
City continued to advance, but without the ball they had to defend the final moments with just ten men, as Down received a second bookable offence and was sent off.
Exeter continued to fight for every ball, and as they conceded a free-kick in injury-time, the resulting set-piece managed to evade everyone and break City hearts as it crept in.
The full-time whistle sounded, and a devastated City side left the pitch knowing they were close to earning a hard-fought draw at a tough away fixture.
Lee Skyrme: "It is very disappointing. We lacked the work-ethic in the first half, and we didn't manage the conditions or referee very well.
“I'm disappointed with both of the goals we have conceded. To concede from two set-pieces isn't good, but with the way the match had gone, both teams missed good opportunities and scored scrappy goals.
"We can't just forget about the match. If the players can learn from this experience, and come off the pitch as better players than that is the aim. Hopefully they can take what they learnt from here and take it into the next match. It's a good lesson for us."
Exeter City Under-18s: Kavanagh Keadell, Max Gillard, Toby Down, Nick Grimes, Jordan Storey, Jamie Harkness, Steve Rodgers, Cameron Hargreaves, Max Smallcombe, Ben Seymour, Mustafa Rehemi
Subs: Frank Rosenwald, Will Richards, Ethan Ampadu.