MATCH REPORT: BIDEFORD AFC 1-1 EXMOUTH TOWN
Exmouth Town earned a solid point on the road as they drew 1-1 with Bideford at the Sports Ground in the Southern League Division One South.
A strong second half rally saw Harry Walford level the game with 25 minutes to go, and despite having plenty of chances, they were unable to grab the winner.
The hosts had the better of the first half, but it was Exmouth who threatened first, as a long-range Dan Preece cross found the head of Ace High, but his header from the edge of the box was dealt with by Adam Seedhouse-Evans.
Bideford came close after 16 minutes, as Ashley Mitchell took aim from range, but his curling effort looped just over the bar.
With 25 minutes gone, Aarron Denny pressed the home defence and won the ball before playing in Ben Steer, and if it was not for a last-ditch block from a Bideford man, then Jordan Harris would have had the goal at his mercy.
The Robins should have opened the scoring six minutes later, but Tyler Yendle’s volley missed the target from close range after a corner found him free in the box.
Unfortunately for Town, Bideford would have the chance to open the scoring after 33 minutes, as Harry Walford was adjudged to have brought down Lewis Brooks.
Craig Duff converted the penalty into the top right corner, and although Robbie Powell went the right way, there was not much he could have done to stop it.
Powell made a vital save before half time, as the ball looped in the air, straight into the path of an onrushing Javan Wright, who’s volley was brilliantly stopped by the goalkeeper.
The goalkeeper, who was making a return to the side following his injury at Frome, had to make another important stop after the break, as Brooks burst down the wing, and picked out Turner, but his shot from point-blank range was saved by Powell.
Exmouth started to grow into the game in the second half, as a Denny corner was met by Ace High, but his header was deflected over the bar.
Ben Steer had a chance to equalise after 64 minutes, as he got on the end of a Denny through ball, but his effort was well saved by Seedhouse-Evans.
Just a minute later, Town were able to find the equaliser, as a corner floated towards the back post, where Harry Walford was unmarked, and he fired into the bottom left corner to put the visitor’s level.
‘You are most vulnerable when you have just scored’ is a cliché that almost applied to Exmouth, as the hosts almost equalised two minutes later as Ryan Turner rose highest to meet a corner, but he could not get his header down.
Exmouth continued the hunt for a winner, and Ben Steer came close as he latched onto Walford’s lobbed pass, but his near post effort could only find the outside of the woodwork.
The visitors came so close to taking all three points with five minutes to go, as a Steer free kick found Dan Cullen, whose header missed the target from close range.
Exmouth will look to build on their strong second half, as they welcome Willand Rovers to the Circle of Care Community Stadium on January 2nd, at the slightly earlier kick off time of 2pm.
LINE-UP: Powell, Preece, Walford, Lever (Haynes, 62), Cullen, Gardner, Denny, Shipton, High, Steer (Billingsley, 86), Harris. Subs not used: Hill