Ortiz hat-trick, but Town Under-13s are beaten in Exeter
PUBLISHED: 10:46 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:46 01 March 2019
Exmouth Town Under-13s battled bravely as their depleted side went down 6-3 to a powerful Pinhoe Spartans outfit.
Facing the divisional leaders with a depleted side was always going to be a big ask for the Town youngsters, but they gave a good account of themselves with Joe Atherton, a player who has had limited game time so far this season, the stand-out contributor and richly deserving of the Town Man of the Match award.
Spartans started with the confidence of a table-topping outfit and wasted a gilt-edged early chance when their striker fired straight at a relived Town glovesman Mat Burke.
Then, after another chance went begging, Burke made a wonderful double save to deny the hosts the opening goal.
At the other end of the pitch, Town were creating chances of their own. Makeshift striker Joe Atherton went close after the Pinhoe goalkeeper fumbled a Jamie Howick free-kick and, moments later, the fleet-footed Tyler Cunningham Ortiz raced away, but, under pressure, blazed his shot over the bar!
Pinhoe eventually took the lead in the 25th minute and doubled their lead minutes later with a dipping shot. However, Town hit straight back and, after Atherton made a nuisance of himself in the Pinhoe area, the ball broke to Ortiz, who rifled it home.
Just before the break the home side scored a third, despite an initial splendid goal line clearance by Brad Upcott and Pinhoe trooped off with a two goal half-time advantage.
Minutes into the second half Ortiz reduced the deficit with his second of the game and this sparked a concerted Town effort to net a third. They went close – mighty close – and had both Ortiz or Atherton shown greater composure the equaliser would surely have arrived.
Pinhoe, realising they had to a degree ‘got away with it’, then stepped up a gear and scored two more to make it 5-2. Ortiz, who has been in fine form of late, scored a third to complete his hat-trick, but Pinhoe had the final say with their sixth goal of the game.