Town are thwarted deep into added time

PUBLISHED: 12:35 04 January 2011

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THERE was little New Year cheer for Exmouth Town in their first outing of 2011 when they were cruelly denied victory deep into stoppage time at Exeter Civil service, writes John Dibsdall.

A subdued opening forty five minutes gave no indication of the fireworks to come. Whilst Ben Shephard will think he should have opened the scoring in the fifth minute after forcing the keeper to save, it was no more than Exeter Civil Service deserved when they went ahead after thirty one minutes. A corner was only half cleared and the resulting cross to the far post was bundled home with a suspicion of hand ball.

An Andrew Jones effort was cancelled out for offside as the half came to a close.

Town had keeper Adrian Jones and the central defenders Curly Watts and Stuart Coombs to thank for keeping the score line to the solitary goal as Civil again began the second half on top. For the next thirty minutes, however, it was one way traffic as Town dominated the match. For the second time, and this one very debatable, Jones had an effort ruled out for offside, Shephard miss-kicked when faced with an open goal and Jones saw a rasping drive narrowly miss the far post. Spurred on by Dan Plater and Leigh Begam Town were not to be denied. Dave O’Connor was brought down and from the resulting penalty Ben Shephard smashed the ball home with eight minutes remaining.

Urged on by manager Jason Margrett Town went looking for the winner. Their endeavours looked to be rewarded, when not for the first time, Andrew Jones outstripped the defence to calmly cross for Adam Turner to tap home into an empty net. Ninety one minutes had been played and victory was in sight. Another Town attack was to lead to their downfall. As Town went looking for the killer goal they were caught on the break and were punished in the cruellest of ways when Stuart Coombs had to defend a cross and turned the ball into his own net.

A neutral would probably say a draw was a fair result but Town’s never say die attitude deserved all three points. Had Town won this game they would have climbed to fifth in the table.

This Saturday Town travel to Newton Abbot Spurs with whom they drew 1-1 in their opening game of the season. The Spurs are currently sixth in the division just one point above Town but having played four games more.

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