EXMOUTH TOWN 1-1 BIDEFORD A.F.C
Exmouth Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Bideford, at the Circle of Care Community Stadium, in a scrappy Southern League Division One South game.
Ethan Slater opened the scoring for Town, but a second half penalty, which was converted by Charlie Madden, meant that the two sides would have to share a point each.
Having come into the game with some momentum following a recent unbeaten run, Town started off the better of the two sides, and should have made it 1-0 after six minutes, as Jordan Harris capitalised on a loose Bideford back pass to go through on goal, but he couldn’t quite beat the outstretched leg of Adam Seedhouse-Evans.
Harris continued to cause problems for the visitors early on, with a snapshot from the edge of the box bouncing toward the goal, which was dealt with by the Bideford stopper.
Mike Landricombe was called into action, as Kai Fisher came close to going through on goal, with the defender making an excellently timed sliding challenge to prevent any effort towards Robbie Powell.
The first half featured a lack of creativity for both sides, with plenty of battling in the middle, with Slater and Callum Shipton often coming out on top.
This was demonstrated by Town’s opening goal, as Slater picked up the ball from a Bideford corner and switching the ball over to Ben Steer, who picked out Ace High on the right flank.
High initially lost the ball, but got it back instantly, before slotting the ball to Harris, who spotted the run of Aarron Denny, and his drilled cross was met by Slater, who tucked in from a few yards out.
Town almost got a second five minutes after the second half began, with Seedhouse-Evans clearing the ball straight into the path of Shipton, who tried his luck but his effort was not powerful enough, and resembled a one-two rather than a shot on goal.
Steer caused a few problems down the wing, looking to cut inside onto his right foot and shoot on goal, and he succeeded with this on the 51st minute, but his shot was straight at Seedhouse-Evans.
The visitors were handed the perfect opportunity to level the game up, as Aaron Taylor burst through on goal and was brought down by Robbie Powell.
Madden stepped up to take the penalty, and sent Powell the wrong way to slot into the bottom right corner, and equalise for Bideford.
The game continued to be bitty and stop-start, with both teams struggling to break each other down, or find that spark to create something special to earn their side a winner.
With 25 minutes to go, Town started showing signs of life as Denny did well to create some space for himself to get a shot off on goal, however, his shot was blocked and fell into the path of High, but a Bideford defender was on hand to prevent any strike on goal.
The hosts had their best chance of the second half as Denny was played in on goal and fired an effort across goal, which beat Seedhouse-Evans, but struck the woodwork and bounced out, with the attacking midfielder having his rebound blocked by a Bideford defender.
Slater, who was having a good game in the middle of midfield, almost caused chaos at the back for the visitors, as he took on two defenders and took aim at the goal, with his shot being deflected up towards the goalkeeper, who was able to recover and catch the ball.
Steer and Jordan Casey both had efforts that were off target towards the end of the game, but a draw seemed the fair result, with neither side showing enough quality to earn a win.
Town will be back in action next Saturday, as they make the long trip to top of the league AFC Totton.
LINE-UP: Powell, Richards, Cullen (Walford, 90), Slater, Rowe, Landricombe, Denny, Shipton, High (Dorothy, 82), Harris (Casey, 87), Steer.
Subs not used: Lever, Hill.