Oxford United's Under 18s secured an impressive 3-2 win away at top of the table Portsmouth this morning.
Looking to bounce back after a disappointing reverse last time out, Leon Blackmore-Such and Chris Hackett's young Yellows were quick out of the blocks, creating a number of early chances against a powerful Portsmouth side.
Despite their early pressure, the Yellows found themselves one-nil down when goalkeeper Max Evans should have done better coming for a cross only to see the Portsmouth forward tap in at the far post.
The introduction of 15-year-old striker Adam Smith on 30 minutes galvanised the Yellows and it was Smith who scored his first-ever goal for the U18s on 34 minutes to bring the sides level.
Oxford's midfield three of Fabio Sole, Leon Chambers-Parillon and Fabio Lopes were full of pace and power throughout and were too dynamic for the home side, who included a number of players with recent first-team experience.
The sides went into the break level, but it was Portsmouth who took the lead on 51 minutes after the Yellows didn't deal with a quick switch of play. The lead lasted less than 15 minutes, however, when newly signed first-year Connor Ferguson, who had looked bright throughout the game, powered home a near-post header on 64 minutes to set up a grandstand finish to the game.
Goalkeeper Max Evans made up for his earlier error with an excellent penalty save on 75 minutes to keep the sides level and, with five minutes to go, it was Smith who secured the three points for the young Yellows which sees them climb up to third in the table.
An impressive statement win against a strong Portsmouth side, attention now turns to Tuesday where a number of the young scholars will hope to feature in the U23s game at home to Premier League Bournemouth.