A Will Hailston goal made all the difference as Exmouth fell to a 1-0 defeat in tough conditions against Paulton Rovers at the First 4 Pools Stadium.

In a game that lacked quality, partly down to the wet weather which kept on throughout the match, Town struggled to create any real chances.

Paulton started the stronger and Will Hailston almost opened the scoring as he bundled home a free kick, but he was deemed offside.

The hosts continued to put pressure on Town from set-pieces, as after 13 minutes, Neil Martin got on the end of a corner, but it was straight at Robbie Powell.

With the rain pouring, Exmouth failed to create anything of note for most of the first half, with the forward line struggling to stay onside.

Dan McBeam created some space for himself after 30 minutes, but his effort from the edge of the box was fired over the bar.

Paulton’s best chance of the first half came seven minutes later, as a fantastic ball from Ed Butcher was met by Joe Morgan whose header from close range was over the bar.

Exmouth’s only and best chance of the half came a minute before the break, as Aarron Denny drove down the right wing and fired a shot at the near post, but Aaron Sainsbury was there to deny him.

The second half didn’t catch fire whatsoever, as both sides cancelled each other out, but lacked any quality going forward.

Half-chances from Dan Cullen and McBeam had chances for their teams, but neither side came close to opening the scoring.

Unfortunately for Exmouth, it was Paulton that had the one moment of quality to secure the game, as Will Hailston found space on the edge of the box and curled an effort into the top left corner.

Town could have nicked a draw at the death, as Jordan Casey was played through on goal, but his effort was just over the bar.

Exmouth will look to put this behind them next Saturday, as they welcome Larkhall Athletic to the Circle of Care Community Stadium, as they look to get back to winning ways in the Southern League Division One South.

LINE-UP: Powell, Haynes, Riddell, Walford, Rowe, Cullen, Denny, High (Steer, 85), Harris, Bissett (Shipton, 69), Slater (Casey, 85). Subs not used: Lever.

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