Town out of the FA Cup - but with heads held high

PUBLISHED: 10:27 08 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:27 08 September 2019

Exmouth Town supporters at Highworth Town. Picture MARTIN COOK

Exmouth Town supporters at Highworth Town. Picture MARTIN COOK


Exmouth Town’s journey in the FA Cup is finally over after their fourth game against higher league opposition became one hurdle too many, writes John Dibsdall.

However, Town can hold their heads up high after a battling second half performance that had the travelling support of around 100 truly believing that the impossible would become the possible.

I'm not sure why, but Town were clearly off their game in the first half and conceded goals in the sixth and 28th minutes.

The pitch at Highworth seemed to slope in different directions, but was generally in the home side's favour in the first half and they took full advantage to dictate play, but, in rare attacks, Jordan Harris and Aarron Denny had half chances that were competently dealt with by the home 'keeper.

The second half was a completely different affair as from the restart Town dominated to the extent that the home side were clearly rattled which led to a red card.

Town took full advantage with Max Gilbert getting to the bye line and crossing for Harris to net. For me the turning point came four minutes later. As a corner was only cleared to the edge of the box Dave Rowe hit a thunderous shot destined to break the net, but the home 'keeper performed heroics to get a hand on the ball and divert it onto the crossbar.

Chances came and went as Town forced a series of corners but as they continued to press they were caught on the break with seven minutes remaining when one of two players signed minutes before the deadline on the previous day scored a well taken goal.

Added time certainly gave the spectators value for money as first Harris was sent off, Highworth added a fourth and then Denny hit a screamer to make the score line more respectable.

So Town depart the 2019/20 FA Cup, but with their heads held high and the support that followed the team up to Wiltshire was - in a word - Magnificent.

As one door closes another door opens, this time two as Town are involved in FA Vase action this Saturday with a trip to Cadbury Heath and on Tuesday evening travel up the M5 again to visit Almonsbury in the Les Phillips Cup (Western League Cup). Town should have Ace High, James Richards and Callum Shipton back all of whom were unavailable for the trip to Highworth.

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