Exmouth Town secured their Southern League Division One South survival despite being defeated 1-0 by play-off bound Cribbs at the Lawns.

Paulton’s defeat to Larkhall meant that Town’s loss was less impactful, although the team will look to improve on what was a flat display, for the final two games of the season.

It was the hosts who had the first chance of the game, when Jacob Hodgson headed over from close range.

Exmouth found themselves almost creating chances on goal, with that final ball either not connecting or being cut out by the Cribbs defence.

From there, the first half turned into a bitty affair, with both sides displaying a lack of quality that is often found in an end of season clash.

Town gave away some frustrating fouls on the edge of the box, and were almost punished through Jacob Spence, but his header was wide.

Aysa Corrick was giving the visitors a lot of trouble down the left hand side, and he got the better of Joe Belsten, to force a corner, which led to a scramble that had Spence fire towards goal, but that was cut out.

Town had their best chance of the half towards the end, as Belsten worked hard to keep the ball moving forward, and laid the ball off to Aarron Denny, whose cross found the head of Slater, but his header was wide.

Cribbs were able to punish Town for their flat first half, as Corrick received the ball outside the box and fired into the bottom corner, giving Chris Wright no chance.

The visitors would start the second half poorly, but would have their best chance of the game once they had recovered.

A potential foul had rattled the home team, and Callum Shipton was able to receive the ball and square it to Ben Steer, who was one on one with the goalkeeper, but his effort drifted wide of the goal.

Denny and Tom Bath would have long range attempts on goal, which were both dealt with by McIntosh Boyd.

It was the hosts who would look more likely to get the next goal, as Wright missed the ball from a set-piece and as the ball was fired towards goal, Dave Rowe was able to deny the ball from going in.

Wright had to make a big save with 12 minutes to go, when substitute David Duru was allowed time and space to chest and volley the ball towards goal, but the shot-stopper was on hand to tip it over for a corner.

As Exmouth tried to push into the game, they were unable to find the final ball to break down a solid Cribbs defence, and the game broke down into plenty of fouls and yellow cards.

While a disappointing result and performance, results elsewhere mean Exmouth remain in the Southern League Division One South, which is a remarkable achievement having been bottom at Christmas.

They will look to mark this feat with a win in their final home game of the season, when they welcome Paulton Rovers to the Circle of Care Community Stadium this Saturday.

LINE-UP: Wright, Cann, Belsten, Landricombe, Rowe, Ham, Shipton (Mead, 86), Slater (High, 64), Denny, Bath, Steer.

SUBS NOT USED: Haynes, Hill

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