MATCH REPORT: BISHOPS CLEEVE 1-4 EXMOUTH TOWN
Exmouth Town scored their first league win of the season, with an excellent 4-1 win at Kayte Lane against Bishops Cleeve.
Goals from Mike Landricombe, Ben Steer, Ethan Slater and Ace High earned Town their first away league win since November 2022.
It was the hosts who started better, as Ethan Dunbar got the better of Karl Riddell and fired a shot at Andrew Sowden-Bird, which the goalkeeper comfortably dealt with.
Riddell and Harvey Field were both required to put in strong defensive headers as Bishops Cleeve continued to put pressure on Town out wide.
Exmouth started with an attacking three of Ace High, Ben Steer and Dean Billingsley who looked to press the home defence, with Steer chasing a loose ball and getting a shot off at goal, but he was denied by Lewis Clayton.
Bishops Cleeve broke from that attack, forcing Callum Shipton and Landricombe to team up and prevent Jay Malshanskyj from getting a shot on target.
Exmouth’s pressure was starting to pay off as Field’s speculative effort made Clayton have to tip the ball over the bar, and High flicked the ball over the bar from close range.
Bishops Cleeve could have made it 1-0 from a corner, as James Sunley rose highest and headed just wide.
Town would make them pay on the 30 minute mark, as captain Slater won the ball back in midfield, before floating a cross in which was met by Landricombe, who headed into the top corner.
The visitors had some last ditch defending to do, as Aarron Denny fouled his man, but with the referee playing advantage, Tom Gardner made a superb block to deny Ross Langworthy from having a shot.
Exmouth’s commitment to pressing allowed them the chance to extend their lead, as Denny intercepted a pass from the visitors and was pushed down by Clayton, giving Steer the chance to convert from the spot, which he did, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Buoyed by their brilliant first 45, Town got a third in the 52nd minute, as Denny did really well to beat his man and get a shot off, which was well saved by Clayton, but unfortunately for him, Slater was there to send the ball into the bottom right corner.
Exmouth would seal the game up just three minutes later, as Denny laid the ball off to Steer, who drilled it across goal to High and he tapped into the empty net.
With the visitors four-up, Bishops Cleeve looked to salvage something from the game, and they almost did as Sowden-Bird was forced into a great save, and Riddell was there to prevent any follow-up.
Steer could and possibly should have got his second and Town’s fifth, as he was played in behind by Denny, but he couldn’t beat the goalkeeper with a low effort.
Slater almost made himself Exmouth’s top goalscorer of the season so far, but the Bishops Cleeve goalkeeper was once again level to it.
The home side would get one back, as Toby Holland scored a superb free-kick from around 25 yards out.
T0wn could have had a fifth, as Jordan Harris held the ball up and passed to Slater, who picked out Denny, and after taking on his man, he fired over the bar.
Bishops Cleeve continued to try and get something back, but Exmouth’s back four continued to deny the hosts from having any clear cut chances,
After a superb win, Town will look to really kickstart their season, as they welcome Tavistock to the Circle of Care Community Stadium next Saturday.
LINE-UP: Sowden-Bird, M.Landricombe, Gardner, Riddell, Field, Slater, Shipton, Denny, High, Steer (Harris, 75), Billingsley (Lever, 80).
Subs not used: L.Landricombe, Powell, Hill