A battling performance throughout the 90 minutes gave Town a richly deserved 1-1 draw at Westbury on Saturday, even if the leveller came in the final seconds.

Town went into this game without their two regular goalkeepers and were indebted to Exeter City for the loan of their Academy under 18 ‘keeper Andrew Sowden, who acquitted himself well in his first taste of senior football. Town also welcomed back Mike Landricombe to form a solid central defensive partnership with Dave Rowe.

It was against the run of play when Westbury opened the scoring on 15 minutes, when a cross from the right was planted into the roof of the net by a strong header, despite the valiant efforts of Sowden.

Town responded well and Aarron Denny saw a shot saved for a corner before Sowden was again called into action to prevent Westbury from doubling their lead.

The trickery of Ben Steer earned Town a penalty and with their normal penalty-taker, Jordan Harris, on the bench Denny took the responsibility but saw the ‘keeper guess right to turn his effort past the post.

Early in the second half, Steer saw his shot saved and the best chance fell to Ace High, who, having controlled the ball well, shot over with just the ‘keeper to beat.

Whilst it was nearly all Town pressure, Westbury were dangerous on the break and Sowden had to be alert to punch a deflected shot away.

When Dean Billingsley robbed a defender and fired a pass across the face of the goal, no-one was on hand to turn the ball home. As the game went into added time, Town finally got the reward their efforts deserved.

Denny advanced to the penalty area and unleased a right foot drive. The home ‘keeper may have got fingertips to the shot, with the ball crashing against the upright, but Billingsley had gambled and was on hand to head the rebound home and secure another valuable point in the quest to preserve Southern League football next season.

Exmouth Town will welcome Hamworthy United to their Circle of Care Community Stadium this Saturday looking to avenge their 3-1 defeat by the Poole-based side a couple of weeks ago.