Exmouth Town host Newquay on Saturday

PUBLISHED: 13:51 19 October 2017

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9126. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9126. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

It’s back to league action this week for Town with two home games at Southern Road, writes John Dibsdall.

This Saturday (October 21), Newquay are the visitors (3pm) and on Wednesday evening, Witheridge provide the opposition (7.45pm).

Town’s faithful will be hoping that Town can extend their league-winning run, although Newquay have always proved difficult to beat here and are enjoying a successful season with seven victories from twelve games. Witheridge will be looking to complete the double over Town having won the reverse fixture 3-2 four weeks ago.

Town will certainly need to improve on their latest performance when they were knocked out of the Walter C Parsons Funeral Directors Cup by Cullompton Rangers 2-1, the winning goal coming with two minutes of extra time remaining.

For long periods it seemed as if neither side were capable of winning this match, with goalmouth incidents at a premium.

In the first half, Joe Moore made a superb save to deny Ash Donahue while Town’s best chances fell to Kai Fisher, who twice had clear headers from Ben Steer corners, but failed to hit the target.

The visitors opened the scoring on 55 minutes. Following a calamity of errors in Town’s six yard box the ball finally fell to ex-Town player James Ansell to tap the ball home.

The equaliser came on 80 minutes when Scott Merritt received the ball 25-yards from goal and struck a firm volley that was deflected past a stranded ‘keeper.

Extra-time continued in a similar vein with both sides guilty of giving the ball away far too cheaply and neither capable of building an attack. The match seemed destined for a penalty shoot-out when there was one moment of quality with a goal that deserved to win the game.

Brad Kelly won the ball in midfield and played a 30-yard pass to Tom Beddow to hit a first-time volley into the far corner of the goal.

After the previous two league wins, this defeat, and the manner of the performance, highlights just how hard is the task for the management team if Town are to avoid a relegation dog-fight, although they will be boosted by the return to the club of Karl Rickard on a permanent basis.

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