Exmouth Town end 2019 on high after dramatic added-time winner from Jordan Harris at Street

PUBLISHED: 07:09 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:09 02 January 2020

Exmouth Town skipper Jamie Dirrane is closed down by Buckland’s Stuart Bowker with Town players Adam Bilcock and Karl Rickard also in the shot. Picture: GERRY HUNT

Exmouth Town skipper Jamie Dirrane is closed down by Buckland's Stuart Bowker with Town players Adam Bilcock and Karl Rickard also in the shot. Picture: GERRY HUNT

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Exmouth Town ended 2019 as they started it, with two more victories to complete a remarkable record of 26 victories, three draws and just two defeats in their 31 league games played during the year, writes John Dibsdall.

Max Gillard receives the Exmouth Town Boxing Day game Man of the Match award from club chairman Stuart Shaw. Picture MARTIN COOKMax Gillard receives the Exmouth Town Boxing Day game Man of the Match award from club chairman Stuart Shaw. Picture MARTIN COOK

Against Buckland Athletic on Boxing Day a blistering first half performance ensured their unbeaten home league record for 2019 would remain as the visitors were blown away as Town raced to a 4-0 lead at the break, and it could have been even more!

Buckland arrived with a new management team in place, but conceded the opening goal with just 90 seconds on the clock.

A looping header from Tom Gardner fell nicely under the crossbar and Town were on their way.

In the 19th minute an Ace High cross found Jordan Harris at the far post for goal number two. A couple of missed chances meant that the Town faithful among a 220 crowd had to wait until the 35th minute for the third.

A splendid passing move involving Harris and Aarron Denny ended with Man of the Match Max Gillard firing emphatically home.

After Harris had missed another glorious opportunity, he atoned after good work from Callum Shipton and Denny found him in space around the penalty spot and another one flew past a stranded 'keeper.

Knowing they had another game in two days' time Town took their foot off the pedal in the second half and, whilst the visitors scored with a well-struck drive after 58 minutes the win was never in doubt.

Only Denny will know why he didn't shoot with the goal gaping while the second Buckland goal, to give the score line more respectability, came with virtually the last kick of the match.

Less than 48 hours after the final whistle, Town travelled to Street on Saturday knowing their opponents had recorded a splendid 4-2 victory of their own, away at Bridgwater on Boxing Day. With 40 or so travelling supporters, Town started well and two splendid free-kicks from Adam Bilcock caused confusion in the home defence with efforts being blocked on the line, the crossbar rattled and the crowd left wandering how Town were not ahead!

However, on 15 minutes an action replay saw Jamie Dirrane force the ball home for his first of the season.

Two minutes later and the lead was doubled as Ben Steer set up Harris for his 14th league goal and 22nd in all competitions this season.

Robbie Powell had made a couple of routine saves, but the defence had been rarely troubled and you could have been forgiven for thinking the game was over when Ace High burst through their defence to score Town's third with 56 minutes played.

Four minutes later and it was a different story as a gaol similar to Buckland's first saw a splendid strike fly into the top corner.

With 10 minutes remaining it was very much 'game on' as another fine strike made it 3-2, and then, with 90 minutes a long throw in caused panic in Town's defence and the ball was bundled over the lone for the home side to complete what they believed was a remarkable comeback.

Not so for Town or leading scorer this season - and in 2019 - Jordan Harris. Straight from the re-start - and now in added time - Town won a corner and , when the ball was delivered to a crowded area in a goalmouth scramble, it was Harris who got the final touch to seal a thrilling victory to confirm what has been evident throughout 2019, that this Town side does not know when they are beaten.

This coming Saturday (January 4) they are home to Bitton and then, on Tuesday (January 7) night, they travel to Shepton Mallet to contest a League Cup tie.

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