Thursday, January 30, 2014
Exmouth Town 2, At Austell 1
Town had to overcome the elements and a determined St Austell side before securing their first victory of 2014, writes John Dibsdall.
An exceptionally strong swirling wind made conditions extremely difficult and both sides deserve credit for trying to play positive football in such testing conditions.
After the early exchanges had produced little goalmouth action Town broke the deadlock on twenty seven minutes.
As James Ansell drove into the box he was sent tumbling by the onrushing ‘keeper and Lloyd Gardner made no mistake from the resulting penalty. After Dan Boere went close with a header from an Alex Greening cross the visitors responded well and home custodian Chris Wright, making a welcome return to the club, made an excellent save from a fiercely hit drive.
With a slender half time lead Town forced the pace at the start of the second half and doubled their advantage on sixty three minutes.
Again Ansell was the architect this time seeing his close range header hit the crossbar only for Greening to force home the rebound the ball having been held up by the wind.
To their credit St. Austell continued to press forward and pulled a goal back on seventy nine minutes with a well placed drive from the edge of the box.
As Town were content to play out time the game finished on an unsavoury note when a visiting defender was shown a straight red card for a stamp on Town debutant Danny Clay.
Clay can consider himself unjustly treated when he was shown a yellow card in the same incident, his second of the match which will mean an automatic one match ban.
This Saturday Town travel to the new leaders of the SWPL Premier Division, Bodmin Town, who are one point ahead of Town, but Town have a game in hand. When the sides met at Southern Road they produced an entertaining match that finished goalless with both goalkeepers excelling on the day.
Town’s reserves also have a top of the table clash this Saturday when Axmouth visit Southern Road kick off 3.00pm.
The visitors head the Fresha Devon and Exeter Fourth Division nine points ahead of Town who lie second, but Town have three games in hand. Town have seen their last five games fall foul of the weather and will be hoping to play their first match since a 2-0 victory over Newtown on December 14.