Exmouth Town survive late scare to beat Shepton Mallet

PUBLISHED: 18:09 30 November 2019 | UPDATED: 18:09 30 November 2019

Exmouth Town at home to Barnstaple in a FA Cup game. Ref exsp 33 19TI 0234. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Town at home to Barnstaple in a FA Cup game. Ref exsp 33 19TI 0234. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Goals in either half from Ben Steer and Jordan Harris where enough to give Exmouth Town a 2-1 win over Shepton Mallet in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.

Steer capitalised on a goalkeeper mistake to provide the home side with a 1-0 lead at half-time before Harris doubled their advantage in the second period.

A late goal from Shepton Mallet threatened to spoil the home side's afternoon but Exmouth held on to win their ninth game of the season.

Having seen recent games hit by weather, the 171 fans who made it to Southern Road were happy to see the game go ahead.

The opening stages were starved of clear chances as the two teams, who were separated in the table by just two places before the start of play, cancelled each other out.

The first real opportunity of the game fell to Exmouth's Aarron Denny in the 26th minute. Latching onto a quick free kick from Harris, Denny made his way round the Shepton goalkeeper Jonny Hill but the angle was too tight for Exmouth's number seven to finish.

Harris was again involved just 11 minutes later when his long-range free kick was parried into the path of Steer who converted at the right side post to score the game's opening goal.

The two teams made their way back into the changing room with the home side ahead but both teams were probably thankful to get out of the high winds that had made football difficult at periods during the first half.

Shepton started the second half with a wild effort from Jack Finningham that did not trouble Robbie Powell before Harris almost added himself to the scoresheet.

He chest-controlled a headed clearance but his well-struck volley was wide.

Looking to defend their 1-0 lead, Exmouth were content to play on the break and this tactic paid dividends in the 77th minute when the home side doubled their advantage.

A quick counterattack Denny on the right wing. After beating his marker he drilled a cross to pick out an unmarked Harris at the back post and the striker finished comfortably.

A late, scrappy goal from the visitors meant the final minutes were made more uncomfortable for the Exmouth fans but the team held on for all three points.

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