Marines turn on the goal taps.
PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:40 10 June 2010
FORMER Marines AFC striker Ben Shepherd scored plenty of goals for the Military men last season and he is off and running for his new new team as a late, late goal at Exeter Civil Service on Tuesday night, gave Exmouth Town a richly deserved share of the
FORMER Marines AFC?striker Ben Shepherd scored plenty of goals for the Military men last season and he is off and running for his new new team as a late, late goal at Exeter Civil Service on Tuesday night, gave Exmouth Town a richly deserved share of the spoils.
Town, facing last year's Eastern Division Champions, now managed by former Southern Road boss Richard Pears, led 1-0, then trailed 2-1 and 3-2, the latter deep into added time at the end of the game, before emerging with a point.
It was Shepherd who had fired Town ahead before a swift double from the Exeter hosts saw the advantage swing their way.
Alex Hughes then made it two goals in two games with an equaliser and that seemed sufficient for Jody Bolt's men to take a point home.
However, after four minutes of added time, the home side scored what looked like a soul-destroying winner, but there was still time for Town to get the ball up to the other end and Shepherd stooped low to plant a diving header into the back of the Civil net.
Town had made a losing start to the new season of SWP League, Eastern Division football with a narrow 2-1 defeat at home to Alphington.
The visitors took a two goal lead into the break, but a spirited second half display from Town saw them pull a goal back and go mighty close to taking a share of the spoils.
For rookie boss Jody Bolt there were many positives to take from the game.
He said: "I thought we were unlucky, they (Alphington), are a good side and scored a fine opener, but there was a big slice of luck with their second and, when we changed our system at half-time, it made a big difference. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and, perhaps, I made a mistake in starting with a cautious 4/4/1/1 before going 4/4/2 in the second half. But I am new to this level and have to accept that I will make wrong calls, it's going to be a steep learning curve to climb."
Alex Hughes was introduced at the start of the second half to form a top two with former Marines AFC's Ben Shepherd, and the pair caused the Alphas back line no end of problems. Hughes netted once and was unlucky not to double his tally when the Exeter side's keeper made a fine stop late on.
Mark Simic went close to marking his league start for Town with a goal when he saw his fine first effort cannon back off the crossbar.
Bolt said of his first competitive game in charge at Southern Road: "I enjoyed it, the difference between the Devon & Exeter Premier and the Peninsula League is colossal, the players are a good 20% fitter and the pace of the game is much quicker. It would have been nice to mark the opener with a win but I saw much to be content with."
Town return to action on Saturday when they make the short trip to meet the Marines at Endurance Park.