Stitch2Print Devon & Exeter League Division One: Uni of Exeter 3rds 2, Wellington Reserves 3

Character and game management proved the key to our Reserves taking their unbeaten run to double figures against very capable opposition who are challenging for honours nationally and regionally.

Man-of-the-match was Connor Noble who is pictured being congratulated by assistant manager Adam Watson.

Opening exchanges started well for the Tangerines with striker Rohan Poulsom getting behind the hosts back line to be foiled by the keeper, followed by a snatched shot with the goal at his mercy.

The well drilled hosts who built a period of pressure with neat and tidy football which resulted in them taking the lead on 18 minutes.

This was doubled eight minutes later with a ball across the box converted at the far post.

It now required all in a tangerine shirt to react with strong resolve and this they did with Poulsom converting from the spot on 33 minutes after being fouled.

The all-important equaliser arrived on 43 minutes, from a Luke Perry delivered free kick which was met by Jordan Sellick’s well-timed header. It bounced back off the bar for striker Logan Sellick to react first and half volley emphatically into the net.

A revised formation was briefed at half time to 4-3-3, which meant Dylan Groves went into a revised back four with the injured Logan departing – this match up nullified the hosts’ earlier successful play with the Reserves being more comfortable out of possession.

In possession, they began to create strong passages of play with central midfielders Dom Healey, Olivier Nott and Connor Noble influencing play over their counterparts.

Poulsom had a strong appeal for another penalty award turned down with Perry and Jordan Sellick linking well in a three-pronged attack.

On 71 minutes an excellent delivered corner to the front post by Poulsom was met by the leaping Perry who headed home from close range to break the deadlock and give the Tangerines a deserved lead.

The repost by the hosts was kept at bay with some solid defensive play, led by captain Mark Owen although losing central defender Tom Davies to the sin bin on 80 minutes, set up a tough period to the final whistle.

Noble moved to central defence to partner Will Armstrong and Ned Ogilvie replaced Nott in central midfield, resulting in a 4-4-1 formation.

As expected, the hosts pushed for parity, knocking on the door with a succession of attacks on keeper Tom Hyams’ goal.

Discipline and commitment were excellent with Armstrong in particular making two outstanding blocks aided by all in tangerine to the final whistle and an all-important result which maintains their impetus since November with six home and two away games to come.

Man of the match: Connor Noble

Team: Tom Hyam, Mark Owen (cpt) Tom Davies, Will Armstrong, Connor Noble, Olivier Nott, Dominic Healey, Jordan Sellick, Luke Perry, Logan Sellick, Rohan Poulsom. Substitutes: Dylan Groves and Ned Ogilvie (used); Josh Sibanda (not used).

Next up is a trip to unbeaten leaders Upottery on Saturday – the home fixture in January was a creditable 2-2 draw.