A resilient Exmouth Town were beaten 3-1 by a young Exeter City side, at a packed Circle of Care Community Stadium.

Harvey Dorathy levelled the game up for Town, after Sonny Cox’s first half opener, but goals from Mitch Beardmore and Harrison King sealed the win for the League One outfit. 

Andrew Sowden, formerly of Exeter City, was called into action after five minutes, making a superb save to deny Sonny Cox’s close range header. 

As you would imagine, Exeter kept a hold of the ball well, and Town spent much of the first 15 minutes chasing shadows, with brief spells in possession, where they tried to impose their physicality onto the game.

Aarron Denny had Exmouth’s first attempt with a long range volley, but it was too high to cause Harry Lee any trouble. 

There was a long stoppage in the game due to an unfortunate injury to Gabe Billington, who had to be stretchered off as a result. All of us at Exmouth Town wish him all the best, and hope his recovery is swift. 

It was Exmouth who had the first chance after the lengthy delay, with Ethan Slater firing a shot across goal which bounced off the post, and straight into the arms of Lee. 

Exeter were quick to fire back, as a fancy flick from Beardmore was met by the head of Jake Richards, but his header bounced into the hands of Sowden.

The visitors would go on to take the lead, as Cox was played through on goal, and he wrong-footed Sowden to open the scoring. 

Exmouth came out of the blocks in the second half, with Dorathy forcing a save from Lee, with Steer and Slater having shots blocked and the move finishing as Denny fired the ball at Lee from the edge of the box.

Town would make the early pressure pay, as Lee misjudged a long-ball and that led to Dorathy slotting the ball into an open goal.

The Grecians almost equalised soon after, as Jordan Casey was tackled on the edge of his box, but Cox could only find the side-netting.

It was the away side that regained the lead three minutes after the hour mark, as Richards floated the ball across to Beardmore, whose fierce volley rocketed into the bottom right corner, leaving Sowden with no chance. 

The hosts almost pegged City back as Dorathy continued to cause trouble, but this time his shot was wide of the mark.

With 12 minutes to go, Exmouth had their last real chance of the game, as Orlando Anker drove down the wing, but his cross was too powerful for Dorathy to divert into anything on target. 

Exeter would punctuate their win with moments to go, as Harrison King got on the end of a Richards corner and headed home. 

Exmouth’s season begins this Saturday, as they travel to Bickland Park to take on Falmouth Town in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round.

LINE-UP: Sowden, Casey (Lever, 61), Fields (Lebullier, 82), Slater (Houfield, 73), Rowe, Landricombe, Denny, Walford (Shipton, 45), High (Landricombe, 73), Billingsley (Dorathy, 45), Steer (Anker, 61). 

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