A first half own goal made all the difference, as Exmouth Town ended their winless streak with a hard-fought 1-0 against Tavistock, at the Circle of Care Community Stadium.

Town had gone nine Southern League Division One South games without a win, and thoroughly deserved all three points, with a battling and resilient performance against the play-off chasing visitors. 

Tavistock had the first shot after the game, with Sean Thomson receiving the ball on the edge of the box, and shooting towards goal, but his shot was over. 

Callum Shipton and Aarron Denny linked up to create Exmouth’s first opportunity, as the latter picked out an onrushing Karl Riddell who fired his shot over.

It would be the hosts who opened the scoring after 16 minutes, as Ben Steer’s cross was drilled across the goal and despite not quite finding an Exmouth man, it was turned past Josh Oak by the foot of Ed Harrison. 

Town should have made it two soon after, as Ace High battled to create space and find Steer, who cut inside and shot towards goal, only for the shot to be diverted over the bar by High. 

Steer continued to cause problems for the Tavistock defence, as he weaved between two defenders to fire another effort towards goal, this time it was deflected wide by a Tavistock defender.

The visitors had their biggest chance of the first half just after the 30 minute mark, as Joe O’Connor’s long range effort was spilt by Chris Wright, into the path of Liam Prynn, whose shot was met by the sliding Tom Gardner, forcing the effort to deflect over the goalkeeper.

Fortunately, Jordan Casey was on hand to head the ball off the line and Town cleared any forthcoming danger. 

It was Town who had the last chance of the half, as Aarron Denny was brought down by Ed Harrison and that gave an opportunity for Exmouth captain Dave Rowe to extend the lead from the penalty spot.

Unfortunately for the Exmouth captain, Oak guessed his spot-kick correctly and saved down to his right hand side. 

The second half started with both sides having half chances at each other’s goal, as O’Connor and Steer both had long-range efforts, with neither finding the target. 

Ten minutes after the break, Exmouth had a great opportunity to extend their lead, as Richards lobbed pass to High was cleverly flicked into the box, where an onrushing Riddell headed the ball onto the post. 

The rest of the game saw Tavistock try to mount pressure on an Exmouth side that were determined to keep a clean sheet, with Town battling for every header and every second ball.

A long shot from Joe O’Connor was once again over, but it was all the visitors were able to put together, with Town holding firm in midfield and at the back.

It was a tense atmosphere as the Lambs pushed forward and tried to get an equaliser, something which they came so close to in added time, as Tallan Burns drilled the ball across goal into the path of Josh Grant, who couldn’t make contact with the ball.

Oscar Massey tried to get the ball back into the box, but Wright was first to his delivery into the box, and Town held on for a fantastic win at the Circle of Care Community Stadium.

Exmouth will look to build on this result as they travel to Bashley next Saturday. 

LINE-UP: Wright, Landricombe, Riddell, Rowe, Gardner, Richards, Steer (Harris, 73), Denny, Shipton, High (Walford, 90), Casey.

Subs not used: Dorathy, Slater, Cullen 



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