MATCH REPORT: EXMOUTH TOWN 3-3 WIMBORNE TOWN (5-3 ON PENALTIES)
Exmouth Town produced a superb fight-back at the Circle of Care Community Stadium to advance in the FA Trophy on penalties, after coming back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3, before winning 5-3 on penalties.
Lewis Beale opened the scoring in the first half, but the visitors went down to ten men following Oakley Hanger’s red card.
However, the second half didn’t start as planned, as Beale grabbed his second to extend the Magpies lead, but a Jordan Harris penalty gave Exmouth some hope which was quickly extinguished by Harry Baker restoring the two goal lead.
Bradley Cox gave Town another chance to get back into things, before Ben Steer levelled things up for the hosts.
It was Harvey Field who fired the winning the penalty into the top corner to send Town into the second qualifying round.
Similar to the league game in August, the game started off even with both sides having half-chances on goal, Beale for the visitors and Levi Landricombe for the hosts.
Exmouth managed to put the better attacks together early on, as Cox looped the ball into Landricombe, and his acrobatic effort was blocked into the path of Cox, who couldn’t quite get his head to the ball.
It was Wimborne who found the first goal, as Beale took aim from range and the ball took a heavy deflection off Mike Landricombe and past the helpless Sowden-Bird.
Wimborne were able to manage the Town attack well for the remainder of the first half, with the closest chance coming from a bit of individual quality from Aarron Denny, who beat two defenders before forcing a brilliant save from Bert White.
The away side were handed a big blow after 35 minutes, as Hanger was sent off for dissent, giving Town a real opportunity to get back into the game.
Unfortunately for Town, it was the away side who started the better, but neither side were able to create anything clear cut in the opening exchanges.
Wimborne doubled their lead after 63 minutes, as Beale scored his second of the game getting onto a rebound from Baker’s shot, which was well-saved by Sowden-Bird, but the striker was in the right place at the right time.
It was almost three for Beale and the away side, but his shot was wide, and that was perhaps the lifeline that Town needed in the game, as ten minutes later, Steer made an instant impact upon his arrival and was brought down in the box to earn a penalty for the hosts.
Jordan Harris duly converted, but it appeared that Exmouth were still celebrating in their heads, and allowed Baker to go up the other end and restore Wimborne’s lead almost instantly.
However, Exmouth refused to give in and gave themselves another glimmer of hope as Denny’s perfect lobbed pass found Cox who fired past White to open his Town account and make it 3-2.
Steer, clearly playing with a desire to make a difference, did just that as the clocked struck 90 minutes, and cut inside onto his right foot, and finding the bottom right corner from just outside the box to level the game up.
Harris could and possibly should have wrapped the game up in normal time, as he poked an effort from range past the onrushing goalkeeper, past the post and wide of the goal.
The game was to be decided by spot-kicks, and Exmouth gained a lead as James Richards confidently dispatched his penalty, and Jack Lovell fired wide of the goal.
Cox, Harris and Steer all converted for the hosts, and Matty Neale, Beale and Billy Walker kept the visitors alive, but 18 year-old Harvey Field kept his composure and stuck his penalty into the top corner to send Exmouth through into the second qualifying round, where a trip to Kidlington awaits.
ATTENDANCE – 230
LINE-UP: Sowden-Bird, Richards, Field, M.Landricombe, Rowe (Steer, 75), Gardner, Slater, Cox, Denny, High (Harris, 66), L.Landricombe (Billingsley, 81).
SUBS NOT USED: Powell, Cann, Walford, Lever