Exmouth Town start their season in earnest this Saturday when they travel to Falmouth Town in the extra preliminary round of the FA Cup, writes John Dibsdall.

If the sides are level at full-time, there will be a replay next Wednesday at Southern Road, kick-off 7.30pm. The winners will be at home to Frome Town on August 19.

Falmouth will have the benefit of two competitive games under their belt, as their Western League campaign started last Saturday, when they drew 0-0 with Brixham Town. They were also in action last night (Tuesday) when they entertained St. Blazey.

Whilst the sides have never met in the FA Cup, Town lost 5-0 at their Bickland Park ground in the FA Trophy in 1974 and 3-1 at home in the FA Vase in 1986.

The most recent matches between the sides came in Town’s winning promotion season of 2018/19, when a 0-0 draw at home was followed by a 2-1 win away, thanks to goals from Jordan Harris and Dave Rowe.

Town are also in action on Wednesday night, when they will entertain an Exeter City X1. Last Friday, they won 3-0 at home to Axminster Town. This was a welcome work-out following the cancellations of their scheduled pre-season friendlies against Okehampton Argyle and Honiton Town.

Another healthy crowd approaching 250 saw Exmouth take a first-half lead, when Dene Billingsley powered home a close-range header. Fifteen minutes into the second half, Ben Steer doubled the lead when his 20-yard free-kick cleared the wall and left the visiting glovesman floundering.

The scoring was completed by Aarron Denny, who was left with a simple tap-in following some excellent artistry and a pin-point cross from a trialist.

Axminster had their moments with Karl Riddell heading off the line and goalkeeper Andrew Sowden-Bird had to be alert to prevent the visitors taking the lead. Andrew deputised for Town last season at Westbury United and, with first choice ‘keeper Robbie Powell likely to be out until September, he has been registered with the club this season following his release from Exeter City.