Exmouth Town launch life back in the Western League with home game against Bridport

PUBLISHED: 08:20 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 08:20 31 July 2019

Exmouth Town celebrate being runners-up in the South West Peninsula League Premier Division. Picture ADRIAN LANGDON

Exmouth Town celebrate being runners-up in the South West Peninsula League Premier Division. Picture ADRIAN LANGDON

This image is the copyright of Adrian Langdon, 58 Marshall Avenue, WADEBRIDGE, Cornwall UK. PL27 6BB

Fourteen years after they resigned from the Toolstation Western League, Exmouth Town will this Saturday make their long awaited return when Bridport are the visitors to Southern Road after Town's promotion to the Premier Division, writes John Dibsdall.

The Bees are an established Premier Division side having gained promotion in 2011 achieving their highest position of seventh in 2017/2018 when they also reached the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Town will be without three regular players with leading goal scorer Ace High, Karl Rickard and Kieran Willdig, all carrying over suspensions from last season.

There are also injury doubts over Aarron Denny and Jordan Harris from knocks sustained in the victory a couple of weeks ago at Bishop Lydeard, but Town will be able to call on recent signings Tom Gardner, James Richards, Adam Bilcock and Dax Vincent.

Whilst the sides have not met in a competitive game they did play each other in a pre-season friendly last year when a goal from Rickard and an own goal gave Town a 2-1 victory.

Town go into the match on the back of two more victories defeating a youthful Exeter City side 1-0 and then an emphatic 4-0 success over Bodmin Town.

A stunning free-kick from Bilcock midway through the second half, awarded after High had been pulled back when racing clear, gave Town the victory against a City side that played some attractive possession football without really imposing themselves in front of goal.

Against Bodmin, a towering header from Dave Rowe gave Town a slender half time lead but they turned on the style in the second half. Vincent calmly lobbed the onrushing 'keeper to double the lead before a Ben Steer corner was deflected into the net by a defender.

The scoring was completed when last year's youth captain, Tom Prout, beat the offside track, coolly rounded the 'keeper and slotted the ball home.

Over 600 people have watched Town's three home friendlies and they complete their fixtures with a trip to Axminster tonight (Wednesday) with kick-off at Tiger Way being 6.30pm and admission is £3 for adults and free for the U16s.

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