Exeter City’s under-18s extended their fantastic unbeaten run with a 3-0 victory over Portsmouth in Saturday’s Youth Alliance league fixture.
The Grecians took the lead after just 10 minutes when Charlie Lawrence slid in Lewis Wilson for a one-on-one opportunity with the visiting goalkeeper. The visiting shot-stopper managed to make a save, but the in-form Jay Stansfield arrived at the rebound first to shoot home.
As the game approached the halfway point of the first period, City were able to score once again to give themselves a two-goal cushion.
Lawrence saw a shot tipped away for a corner and, from following set-play, James Dodd swung in a cross that Jordan Dyer headed goalwards. He saw his effort blocked but Nelson Iseguan reacted the quickest and hammered the loose ball high into the net.
It was a well-deserved advantage for Exeter, but they were unable to create many more clear-cut openings during a competitive end to the half.
At the other end, Felix Norman displayed good awareness on two occasions by blocking the ball when Portsmouth got in behind the hosts' defence.
The beginning of the second 45 minutes saw the Devon club pinned back by a determined away team.
In a bright 15-minute period, Portsmouth used the ball well as they knew a quick-fire goal may give them a chance of getting something from the game.
However, off the back of some resolute defending, the home team then had their spell. And, with the increase in possession, Gribble’s men managed to get the ball down and put together a number of eye-catching moves.
It was not until injury-time though that the gloss on a good performance was added with a late goal.
From another Dodd corner, Dyer’s header was again unfortunate not to cross the line, but Cheick Diabate smashed in the follow up extend the hosts’ winning run to six across all competitions.
Exeter City under-18s coach, Chad Gribble, said: “Credit has to go to the boys. They had to show both sides of the game. Portsmouth are mature in the way they play, so we showed good character and habits once again.
“It was certainly a good overall team performance. Everyone’s effort and application were outstanding. To go again with that much intensity after the recent games was excellent. Jordan Dyer won some important headers from set pieces and crosses, and certainly helped us get the result.
“We thrive off the number of matches we’ve had in such a short period. We had a group discussion and the players were actually looking forward to it as it gives us a chance to continue our momentum. We see it as a good thing and we hope we can keep the good form going.”
Exeter City under-18s: Felix Norman, Jordan Dyer, Cheick Diabate, Louis Morison, Joe Belsten, Alex Moyse, Nelson Iseguan, Charlie Lawrence, James Dodd, Jay Stansfield, Lewis Wilson. Subs: Jack Arthur, Frank Lovett, Jack Veale, Max Clark, A Trialist