Over 12,000 watched Exmouth Town’s 38 games in their first season in the Southern League Division One South.

A total of 5,939 watched the 19 home games for an average gate of 312.5. The highest attendance was 477 for the local derby with Willand Rovers and 400 watched the match against Bideford. 394 turned up to see Town’s first home game in the league against Wimborne Town.

The official attendance away was 6,218, an average of 327. 1,727 was the recorded figure for the match at AFC Totton when the Hampshire side were confirmed as Champions, although I believe that figure included all season-ticket holders, whether they were present or not.

An impressive 442 watched Town’s first ever game at this level, when we started the season with a 3-1 win at Melksham Town. Other notable attendances were 463 at Wimborne and 471 at Bashley.

Our average was the sixth highest in our league and also higher than 14 clubs in the Premier South, where Tiverton averaged 285, Yate 250 and Truro 189. Plymouth Parkway averaged 517, boosted by 1385 that saw their home fixture with Truro.

Town scored 50 league goals with Jordan Harris top scorer with 12. Levi Landricombe had been on nine goals when his season was curtailed at the beginning of December and Arron Denny had eight. Town had ten different goal scorers and also benefited from three own goals, while 51 goals were conceded with nine clean sheets.

Town’s highest victory was 5-0 against Frome and their heaviest defeat was 4-0 at Sholing. During the campaign, 28 players featured for Town with 25 making the starting line-up. Ace High was the only ever present, starting all 38 games.

Denny missed one game through suspension with Dave Rowe competing in 34 games. Ben Steer started in 32 with Harris starting in 31.

Town completed the league double over Melksham Town but their Circle of Care Stadium was not quite as impregnable as in previous seasons, as AFC Totton, (Champions), Sholing (runners-up) and Hamworthy United (third) all completed the double over Town.

The make-up of the league for next season is far from clear. We know that AFC Totton and Sholing FC, who overcame Hamworthy United to win the promotion play off, will be promoted. Slimbridge and Cinderford Town were automatically relegated but Bideford, in a relegation play-off spot were reprieved due to a high points per game ratio and Bristol Manor Farm were successful in their play-off match overcoming, Saltash United 2-0.

Lymington Town have been demoted following their failure to meet the ground grading requirements imposed on them at the start of the season, although they are appealing that decision.

There are, therefore, potentially five places to be filled and possibly more if any club has a sideways move into another step four league.

I would expect Mousehole as Western League Champions and Cribbs as Hellenic League Champions to be promoted into the league, together with Yate Town, who have been relegated from the Premier Division.

The position then is not so clear. Malvern Town, runners-up in the Hellenic League, won their promotion play off and are eligible for promotion and Hordean won the Wessex League and runners-up Bemerton Heath Harlequins have also been promoted. There are also three other teams relegated from the Premier Division, Hartley Witney, North Leigh and Harrow Borough.

Presumably geographical positions and the make-up of other leagues will be taken into account when the League is finalised for next season.

Town have already announced the first pre-season friendly against Truro City, who will ply their trade in National League South next season, on Friday, July 7. 2023/24 Season tickets will be valid for this game. Any season ticket enquiries can done by email to cook209@hotmail.com or contact Martin Cook direct.

For information on the new advertising boards at the clubs, contact Adam Fitzgerald on 07793 731898 or Adrian Sansom on 07916 278220.