MATCH REPORT: KIDLINGTON 2-1 EXMOUTH TOWN
Exmouth Town were knocked out of the FA Trophy in the second qualifying round, as they were beaten 2-1 by Kidlington at Yarnton Road.
Town took the lead through Ethan Slater, but goals from Ryan Knight and Jack Gardner put the hosts into the hat for the next round.
The visitors played the last 17 minutes with ten men as Dave Rowe was dismissed for a second yellow card.
Exmouth started the game the better, with some early pressure resulting in Aarron Denny having his shot blocked, and Mike Landricombe heading over from a corner.
Town continued to start strongly, and it paid off, as Denny was brought down, but play continued which caught the hosts asleep, and Slater was able to touch the ball down and magnificently lob the goalkeeper to put his side ahead.
Unfortunately, a familiar story which has followed Exmouth throughout this season was told again, as they allowed Kidlington back into the game, an opportunity that the hosts were looking to take.
It started with George Cowmeadow getting the better of Harry Walford, but he fired his shot straight at the returning Robbie Powell.
Cowmeadow looked a real threat out wide, as he latched onto a poor pass to burst through on goal, and his effort was wide.
The pressure would tell after 37 minutes, with Denny losing the ball outside of the visitors box, and Mekhai Bessassa-Grant drilled the ball across to Knight, who duly converted to level proceedings.
Exmouth could have got back into the game just before half time, as Denny played the ball to Steer, and after his shot was blocked, Callum Shipton let fly from 30 yards out, but Jack Hopwood was equal to it.
Town had an even better chance to level it up, as Steer was brought down in the box to earn a penalty, but Hopwood made a great save to deny Jordan Harris from 12 yards.
Exmouth started slowly in the second half, and the hosts should have gone in front as some poor defending helped Knight get a clean shot on goal, but luckily for Exmouth, Bessassa-Grant was on hand to block the ball.
The winger had the chance to score himself just minutes later, as Cowmeadow picked out Bessassa-Grant, and he touched the ball over from close range.
Kidlington would find the back of the net, as Gardner launched a superb effort towards goal from 30-yards out, which found the bottom left corner.
The hosts almost increased their lead from outside the box on two occasions, as Cowmeadow and Knight both came close.
Town started to build back into the game, and some good play from Steer and Denny, allowed them to pick out an onrushing Harvey Field, but Hopwood was level to it.
Steer could have had another penalty, as he was caught when cutting inside in the box, but the winger stayed honest and fired his shot just over.
It was the woodwork which stopped Town next, as Steer’s free kick found Slater, whose volley smashed the crossbar.
Exmouth were to be reduced to ten-men after Rowe was shown a second yellow for an alleged push on a Kidlington defender as he chased a through ball.
Robbie Powell helped Town deal with the blow, as he made a superb save to deny Knight a second, as he rose high to claw his header past the post.
That save flicked a switch in the visitors, as they pressed for an equaliser, and Harry Walford came close twice, with his first effort coming after getting on the end of a Steer free-kick and heading over the bar from close range, his second was more hopeful as Steer shot was heading wide, and the full-back could not quite divert it in.
Despite some late pressure, Kidlington had the better chances towards the end of the game, as they caught Town on the break, with Jacob Joseph hitting the post from six yards out.
Some brillaint work from Powell and Landricombe meant that it stayed 2-1, as Joseph got on the end of a poor pass from Tom Gardner, but the goalkeeper made a great save to deny him, and despite Kyle Moss getting the rebound, the Town defender was there to deny him on the line.
It wasn’t to be for Town, who will hope to bounce back this Wednesday, as they welcome Bemerton Heath Harlequins to the Circle of Care Community Stadium.
LINE-UP: Powell, Walford, Cann (Field, 61), M.Landricombe, Rowe, Gardner, Denny, Shipton, Slater, Harris, Steer.
Subs not used: Sowden-Bird, Riddell, Wildigg, Hill.