Exeter City’s Under-18s secured their first points since the opening weekend of the season with a 1-1 draw away at Cheltenham Town U18s at the weekend.
Despite dominating for long periods, the Grecians went into the break scoreless, however, they opened the scoring through an own goal.
Town upped the ante in the closing stages however, and they bagged themselves a late leveller to take a share of the spoils.
The draw puts an end to a minor dip in form from Exeter’s youngsters, and they now sit in eighth position in the Youth Alliance South West division, with four points from their opening five league games.
ECFC Under-18s Lead Coach, Tom Donati, took his young squad up the M5 in the hope that the three-game losing streak that had built up in the league would come to an end.
Joe O’Connor, Pedro Borges and Jake Richards came into the starting XI for City, while Sam Joce and Scott Simmons dropped down to a relatively strong looking bench.
And those personnel changes looked to have the desired effect as the away team started brightly and looked to get on the front foot early on.
The Devon outfit, however, were unable to make the most of the openings they created for their forward line, which was led by Kieran Wilson in Theo Cutler’s absence.
The Robins created opportunities themselves, however, Dylan Shanahan in the Grecians’ goal looked relatively comfortable, and was equal to everything Cheltenham threw at him.
The teams went in level at the interval however as neither side could find the cutting edge in the final third. After half-time though, Exeter looked to step things up after some words of wisdom from Donati at half-time.
The City pressure told after 68 minutes when some bright play meant one home defender could only turn the ball past his own goalkeeper to break the deadlock.
The visitors looked in control for the majority of the second period, however, their opponents did try and muster a response when they did fall a goal behind.
It looked as if the Devonians might have been able to hold on for a much-needed victory, however, the Robins were able to score from an attack in the dying minutes to level the scores, meaning the points were shared when the referee blew for full-time not long after.
Exeter City’s Under-18s Lead Coach, Tom Donati: “We started the game again really well. We controlled the game much better than in previous games, and it was probably the best we've been throughout the season in terms of the controlling possession element to be honest.
“We still gave up a couple of chances where we needed to be better, but as time went on, we were mostly in control and we looked less vulnerable, which is good to see. It looks like we're moving in the right direction.
“Some players played particularly well, while there were also a couple of good performances, or better performances from some individuals. It was good to have Kieran Wilson and George Birch back in the team as well.
“We conceded another late goal, which has become a common theme unfortunately, and conceding goals has become a common theme so we need to put a stop to this run really, but it is a point away from home, arguably, that is a positive. But from being in the lead, you feel a bit gutted about losing that.”
Exeter City Under-18s: Dylan Shanahan, Tom Dean, Max Edgecombe, Jack Anthony, Liam Cartwright, Liam Oakes, Guilio Marroni, Joe O’Connor, Jake Richards, Pedro Borges, Kieran Wilson
Subs: Sam Joce, Scott Simmons, Aamir Stanford-Daniels, Alfie Cunningham, George Birch