Exmouth Town slump to new low with defeat to 9-man Newquay

PUBLISHED: 13:11 22 October 2017 | UPDATED: 13:11 22 October 2017

Exmouth Town striker Ace High in action against Cullompton Rangers Picture GERRY HUNT

Exmouth Town striker Ace High in action against Cullompton Rangers Picture GERRY HUNT

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Exmouth Town’s troubles deepened this week when they failed to achieve a result against a Newquay side that played the last 45 minutes with only nine players, writes John Dibsdall.

A non-existent defence allowed the visitors to open the scoring on eight minutes, but Town responded well with Martin Finneron having a shot tipped onto the crossbar.

The first talking point came on 19 minutes when, after consulting his assistant, the referee showed a red card to a defender for committing a professional foul when Dean Billingsly was pulled back. The referee then produced two yellow cards in the space of a minute for a player on each side for diving, taking no account of the wet and windy conditions.

Town’s defence then went missing again, allowing the Newquay captain to race through from the halfway line to score with ease. Town did pull a goal back before the break when Finneron shot into the bottom corner.

The second half was barely a minute old when the player who had been booked for diving then prevented Ben Steer from taking a quick free-kick and was shown a second yellow and, when the kick was taken, Ace High took advantage of a slip by the ‘keeper to bring the sides level.

For the remainder of the game Town dominated possession and the visiting custodian atoned for his earlier lapse to with a string of important saves, but it was not all one-way traffic as Joe Moore had to be alert to win a one-on-one situation after Town had pushed too many men forward.

Town’s luck was encapsulated in the space of a minute when Max Gillard saw his shot tipped over the crossbar and having cleared the resulting corner Newquay broke and a shot going well wide hit another of their players and was deflected into the net.

You have to give credit to the resilience and determination of a Newquay side that battled to the end and deserved their victory.

For Town you cannot give a half decent side a two-goal start and then when you are on top fail to convert the chances that are created and expect to win the game.

Having come back from two goals down if you are unable to go on and win you should not commit the cardinal sin of forgetting to defend and ending up with nothing to show for your efforts especially when every point is likely to be important as Town are in a relegation dog fight.

From 17 league games played it is significant that Finneron, a full back, is Town’s second highest goal scorer with three goals from just the four league games he has started, High having scored seven leading the way.

Town are back in action on Wednesday night when they host basement side Witheridge (7.30pm) whose only points to date came from coming back from two goals down to defeat Town 3-2 in the reverse fixture. This Saturday (October 28), Town travel to Falmouth who are currently fifth in the table.

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