Exmouth Town sign-off home league campaign with win over struggling Sticker
PUBLISHED: 11:30 28 March 2019
In what was their last home league game of the South West Peninsula Premier Division season, Exmouth Town gave their supporters (amongst another healthy crowd of 226) a few frights, before ultimately coasting to their 25th victory of the campaign, writes John Dibsdall.
For the first 30 minutes, inspired goalkeeping by Stickers’ Ethan Elwell, and ill-discipline in their own ranks, threatened to spoil the party.
Looking for that early goal to settle all the nerves, Jordan Harris and Ace High, in the opening 10 minutes, both produced excellent shots that appeared destined for the top corner, but were thwarted by superb saves.
Sticker, who had no named substitutes, rarely threatened, but a soft challenge on 25 minutes was deemed by the referee worthy of a penalty and they made no mistake from the spot kick. Two minutes later Kieran Wildigs, who had conceded the foul leading to the penalty, made a rash challenge and was shown a straight red!
A goal down, with over an hour to play, was clearly not in the script, and it seemed that every decision was going against Town, leading to more frustration!
That changed with a piece of individual brilliance from Ben Steer. Coming off the left wing, his trickery took him past two players before he was crudely hacked down and another penalty was awarded which Harris duly smashed home.
As Town continued to press forward, Callum Wilson had an effort just wide before Town took the lead on the stroke of half-time. A deep cross from Dave Rowe was headed on by High for Aarron Denny to control the ball on his chest and volley it past the stranded ‘keeper.
A minute into the second half and Town had a two-goal cushion. A cross into the six yard box was not cleared and Harris reacted quickest to fire the loose ball into the roof of the net. Apart from a couple of brief forays, the visitors offered little going forward and Town were playing well within themselves and a neutral observer would not have known they were the team with a man short. Wilson had another shot fly narrowly wide and Nathan Cooper saw his twenty-five yard effort shave the crossbar as Town closed out the game with relative ease.
After the final whistle the players stayed on the pitch and whilst they rightly received the applause from the supporters, they showed how much they had appreciated the support by in turn applauding that support.
With results going our way in midweek, Town are now nine points clear of Tavistock, who have three games in hand.
Town have, on paper, and I’m sure in reality, four tough away games to finish their season, starting this Saturday (March 30) with a trip to Helston, who are on a four match unbeaten run since their 2-1 defeat at Southern Road three weeks ago.