The ‘Dibs’-eye view on highs and lows at Exmouth Town

PUBLISHED: 17:11 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:11 01 April 2020

Exmouth Town at home to Corinthians in the F.A Vase. Ref exsp 02-17TI 5231. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Town at home to Corinthians in the F.A Vase. Ref exsp 02-17TI 5231. Picture: Terry Ife

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Whilst success in one-off cup games is always a possibility to compete over a season (albeit a shortened one) and be in the top four is a measure of how far we have progressed in the last four years.

Exmouth Town FA Vase action from the 4-2 defeat at Southall FCExmouth Town FA Vase action from the 4-2 defeat at Southall FC

The 2016/17 season was successful in that we reached the fifth round of the FA Vase before losing 4-2 to Southall FC and also reached the final of the St Lukes Bowl (lost 3-1 to Tiverton Town) and the SWPL League Cup (lost 1-0 to St Austell) under the stewardship of Richard Pears.

We will never know how far that side could have progressed, although many are still involved in the first team.

Russell Wilson built a good squad that gained promotion from the First Division of the Western League by finishing runners-up to Torrington in 2003. We finished a point behind having lost just three league games all season but the game that made the difference was when the sides met at Southern Road and Torrington scored an equaliser in the ninety seventh minute to secure the point that separated the two sides at the end of the season.

That squad also reached the final of the Les Phillips Cup losing 1-0 to Chippenham Town. They consolidated their promotion to the Premier Division finishing fifth in the following two seasons.

The Exmouth Town programme cover of the 1980'sThe Exmouth Town programme cover of the 1980's

Season 2012/13 saw us win the East Division of the SWPL losing just one League game, much to the delight of ‘The Robins’ of Budleigh Salterton who won 2-1 on Good Friday.

We reached the semi-final of the League cup before losing 2-1 to Elburton Villa.

Ironically our only other defeat that season was also by a 2-1 score line to Sherborne Town in the FA Vase but we did win the Devon Premier Cup defeating Buckland Athletic Reserves in the final by, you guessed it 2-1, our goals coming from Dan Boere and Ace High. That side also did well the following season finishing runners-up to Plymouth Parkway.

We have talked this season about ‘Fortress Southern Road’ having not lost a home league game since Boxing Day 2018; a total of 20 league matches.

Exmouth Town played Bodmin at Southern Road on Saturday. Ref exsp 7756-08-15SH. Picture: Simon HornExmouth Town played Bodmin at Southern Road on Saturday. Ref exsp 7756-08-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

From the April 6, 2012 to January 11, 2014, the side were undefeated in 26 home league games so we have some way to go to beat that record when the new season starts.

In my 35-years with the club there have been many highs and lows. I have always said that you can’t really enjoy winning until you’ve tasted defeat and I’ve had to taste a few.

I remember travelling to Liverton with our then chairman Roger Davis for a SWPL East division match. We arrived as the teams were starting to line–up, by the time we’d parked we were one nil down and conceded another before we were out of the car. The final result was 8-0.

But, on the flip side, we travelled to Odd Down on January 29, 1994, having not won a league game all season, suffering 15 defeats and drawing the other two of 17 games played and yet we won 3-1 with a brace from Exmouth boy Wayne Le Page and one from Newquay lad Nicky Campbell who was studying at Exeter University.

This season, the two games against Yate Town in the FA Cup will live long in the memory.

A 2-2 draw at a Southern League Premier Division side was superb to completely outplay them and win the replay 2-0 was sensational.

A five minute spell when we put three goals past Tavistock to come from 2-1 down to win 4-2, the first half demolition of Buckland Athletic on Boxing Day to lead 4-0 at the break and then travelling to Street two days later to lead 3-0 to be pegged back to 3-3, but score the winner with the last kick of the game are all moments to treasure and a solid foundation on which to build and progress next season.


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