MATCH REPORT: EXMOUTH TOWN 2-1 MELKSHAM TOWN

Photo by Gerry Hunt (@GerryHunt19)

Exmouth Town earned a huge win in the Southern League Division One South survival hunt, as they beat Melksham Town 2-1 at the Circle of Care Community Stadium.

Goals from Ben Steer and Joe Belsten made the difference, with Benjani Jnr getting a goal for Melksham.

The game started slow, as to be expected in the wet conditions, but it was Town who were the stronger to begin with.

Steer had two half chances to open the scoring, but his first was blocked, and his second was straight at Joel Manning Butler. 

Town had a good opportunity to get the first goal, when Belsten ran down the wing and fired across goal towards an onrushing Steer, who just missed the ball.

The hosts would make those chances count after 21 minutes, when a cross was sent into Ace High, and his blocked header found it’s way in front of Steer, who touched it past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Melksham would start to find their feet in the game, with the lively Benjani Jnr forcing Mike Landricombe into an important challenge on the edge of the box.

Unfortunately for Town, the Yeovil loanee would punish some poor defending, after an excellent run led to a drilled near post finish past Chris Wright.

Exmouth almost levelled straight away, when Aarron Denny found the run of Steer, who pulled it back to High, but the striker’s shot was over the bar.

Similar to the first half, the second 45 would take a bit of time to get going, but when it did, Town were the team on top.

Steer’s pressing earned himself a good chance on goal, as he forced Melksham into giving the ball away to Denny, who picked out High, and his cross found Belsten, but as the midfielder could not get a shot off, Steer was on hand to divert an effort towards goal, which was straight at Butler.

Town would get a perfect chance to go back in front, when a great pass from Jacob Mead saw High through down the right hand side, and he spotted Denny, who was instantly brought down upon receiving the ball.

Belsten stepped up once again, and this time he did not need a rebound, as he fired down the middle and into the back of the net.

It could have been three as Steer had a shot sneak past Butler, but not past a Melksham man on the line.

The visitors once again started to build momentum, forcing Wright into some important cross collections and blocks.

Town then breathed a big sigh of relief as Benjani Jnr slotted home from a Ralph Graham cross, but the linesman had his flag up straight away, keeping the game at 2-1.

Melksham threatened right before the death, as Elliot Haffenden’s edge of the box shot was tipped past the post by Wright.

Exmouth should have had the game wrapped up from the following attack, as Denny stole the ball from a visiting defender, before squaring to Callum Shipton, who was caught out by an unfortunate bobble and blasted his shot over.

Wright was once again needed just before the final whistle, as Town looked to have been caught on the counter, but the ever-reliable goalkeeper made a strong stop to prevent any danger.

It was a huge three points for Exmouth as the ‘Great Escape’ continues, and they will be hoping to take that momentum into this Tuesday’s clash against Bideford at the Sports Ground.

LINE-UP: Wright, Mead, Cann, Rowe (Gardner, 45), M.Landricombe, Ham, Slater, Belsten, Denny, High (Bath, 89), Steer (Shipton, 82).

SUBS NOT USED: Haynes, Lever.

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