Exmouth Town FA Cup defeat - the full match report

PUBLISHED: 10:53 11 August 2017

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Exmouth Town went out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle when edged out by Shaftesbury in a midweek replay at Southern Road, writes John Dibsdall.

After a hard fought goalless draw at Shaftsbury the sides met again in the replay with another close encounter anticipated and so it proved to be keeping a 175 crowd on tenterhooks until the very end.

Town started this match in the ascendency enjoying the better of the opening exchanges with Lee Phillips twice going close.

On 20 minutes Town were dealt a blow as Ben Steer was injured, but, as he was off the pitch receiving treatment, Town went ahead.

Jake Welch did well on the right and his pass down the line found Ace High to whip in a first time cross that Phillips headed home.

Steer was unable to continue and was replaced by Alex Ansell who was soon involved having a first time shot saved.

As Town continued to press for the second goal, Dan Card in the visitor’s goal made a point-blank save to deny Dean Billingsley and from the rebound Steve Avery shot narrowly over.

At the start of the second half Dan Boere replaced Phillips and similar to the first game Shaftsbury started the stronger and levelled the tie after 50 minutes. A break down the left by the dangerous Mali Banjamin saw his cross met at the far post by Charles Brown who forced the ball home.

Town responded well and Gard was soon in action saving an effort by Boere with his feet, Sam Cooper just failed to wrap his foot around the ball as it came out to him from a corner and Billingsly had a chance cleared for a corner.

As the game approached 90 minutes Chris Wright made a fine stop down by the post and Shaftsbury spurned another chance when shooting wide.

The tie was decided ten minutes into extra-time. After Billingsly had done well to trick his way into the box before shooting wide, Town were awarded a free-kick in the centre circle. With the big men from the back up for the corner they were always liable to be caught out by a quick break. The free kick was eventually cleared to Benjamine, whose pace took him clear and his cross was buried by the onrushing Dan Finnegan.

Town pressed hard for an equaliser with Boere having a shot from a Welch corner deflected, but despite all their efforts they were unable to break down a resolute defence who now travel to Tavistock in the next round.

Town team: Wright, Avery, Welch, Cooper, Rowe, Fraser, Tapp, Phillips (Boere), High, Steer(Ansell), Billingsley.

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