Bevan Youl
Monday 30 September 2019

Forest Green Rovers U18s secured all three points in the Youth Alliance League with a thrilling 2-1 win against Exeter City thanks to a late penalty.

Rovers took the lead through captain Isaiah Jones’ header in the first half, before the visitors levelled the game in the second, only for Dan Jones to step up and convert from the spot to hand the Nailsworth side a second win on the bounce.

Both teams started off trading possession at the Royal Agricultural University, creating chances in front of goal.

FGR’s Dan Ogunleye was denied the opening goal after his strike from the left side of the box was saved 25 minutes in.

Better possession, and good defending from attacks off Exeter’s left side, paid off five minutes before half time as Rovers earned a free-kick inside their opponent’s half.

Played out wide to Archie Thaver on the right with plenty of space, a brilliant high, lofted cross into the box followed, met in the air by Isaiah Jones who nodded into the net to break the deadlock.

FGR started the second half as they ended the first, keeping possession and constantly pressing the visitors into their half, with Ogunleye and Dan Jones both having opportunities.

Momentum switched after a while, and, in the 69th minute, Exeter’s Lewis Wilson slotted past keeper Louis Owens to make it 1-1.

Rovers withstood persistent attacks until 10 minutes from time, the referee blowing up for a penalty in the Exeter box for a late challenge.

After much debate between the referee and linesman, Dan Jones smoothly slotted home from the spot to regain the hosts' lead.

A late push from the visitors was a futile one, the Forest Green backline holding firm for the final 10 minutes.

Next time out: Portsmouth, Saturday, October 12, 11am at The Royal Agricultural University