Exmouth Town's season ends with runners-up spot, but they are set to step up a level
PUBLISHED: 13:36 30 April 2019
This image is the copyright of Adrian Langdon, 58 Marshall Avenue, WADEBRIDGE, Cornwall UK. PL27 6BB
Exmouth Town came oh so close to fulfilling their dream of winning the South West Peninsula Premier Division crown, but fell agonisingly short at the final hurdle, writes John Dibsdall.
Town went into their final game of the season at Bodmin Town knowing that they had to win and hope that Tavistock would fail to win against Plymouth Argyle Reserves.
As it was Town's result was irrelevant as Tavvy duly won 4-1 to seal their second Premiership title in the last three seasons.
Town's achievements this campaign, however, cannot be understated as they finish with twenty eight victories and just three defeats from their 36 games played. Since the 1-0 defeat to Cullompton Rangers on Boxing Day, Town are unbeaten with fifteen wins and two draws, including their 2-2 draw at Bodmin last Saturday.
Whilst Town were the better side at Bodmin both individually and collectively, they failed to reach the heights of the majority of their performances this season.
As one independent observer blogged: “Exmouth applied much more craft, but on a bobbling pitch, and, with a few dubious decisions from the officials, they were unable to turn their first half superiority into goals until the stroke of half time”.
That was when Aarron Denny burst into the penalty area and slammed a left foot volley leaving ex-Town 'keeper Grant Fisher grasping at thin air.
With the news that Tavvy were also only a single goal ahead there was still all to play for, but a totally uncharacteristic slip from Robbie Powell gifted Bodmin the equaliser!
Town had seen Ben Steer booked for diving when the majority of the crowd thought Town should have been awarded a penalty and then Ace High received a similar fate when he challenged for a loose ball.
With the news coming through that Tavvy had gone 3-1 ahead and that Argyle were down to ten men the edge had gone from Town's play and they conceded a goal on 89 minutes.
However, such is the character and determination of this side they immediately hit back and within a minute were level with High firing home.
There was still time for Town to mount one more attack but unfortunately High was shown another yellow for a challenge on the 'keeper meaning he will miss the first game of Town's 2019/20 season!
This has been a fabulous campaign for Town and full credit to Manager Kevin Hill and his management team and all the players.
But they, in turn, will no doubt recognise and indeed, applaud the terrific backing and encouragement they have received from the supporters both home and away.
There were close on 90 Town supporters at the Bodmin game, and the celebrations in the clubhouse after were second to none.
You would have been forgiven for thinking we had won the league indeed if we had I think we would have drunk Bodmin dry.
League secretary Phil Hiscox was on hand to present the runners-up trophy when the side returned to Southern Road on Saturday evening. Cue more celebrations!
I understand that there will be a meeting at the FA on May 6, after all the play-offs in the leagues throughout the country have been decided and all promoted and relegated clubs will be known.
The decision will then be made on the structure of all the league's in the pyramid from the Conference down to step seven, but the inference is that Town's average of 2.47 points per game will be sufficient to see them promoted to the Western League Premier Division (step five).