Okehampton Argyle 0, Exmouth Town 1

A goal from Matt Dawson gave Town their fifteenth league win from seventeen games and inflict a first home league defeat of the season on Okehampton Argyle, writes John Dibsdall.

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The hosts made their tactics clear from the outset playing with two lines of four, a sweeper and a lone front man as Town started with the slope in their favour. Had Dan Boere converted a cross in the second minute Town may have gone on to a comfortable victory. As it was this was more a case of grinding out a result especially in the second half.

Town dominated the first half but had only one goal to show for their efforts but it demonstrated the quality that is in the side. Ben Woolley won the ball in a tight situation passed to Lloyd Gardner who strode forward before a measured through ball found Dawson in space to calmly lift the ball over the advancing ‘keeper. Boere had two efforts well saved as Town closed the half well on top.

You knew Oke would be more adventurous in the second half playing with the slope and in the opening ten minutes did apply pressure without really threatening an equaliser. As the half progressed Town re-established control and Dawson had another effort ruled out for offside, Phil Everett brought the best from the home ‘keeper and Ace High saw his header hit the top of the crossbar. With the home side relying more and more on the long ball tactics Town’s defence, well marshalled by Sam Woodin, were rarely in trouble.

Another plus for Town was the welcome return to the club for last year’s captain, James Turner, who has re-signed from Witheridge.

This Saturday Town travel to Plymstock United, who have found some form of late, including a 4-2 win over Alphington. In the corresponding home fixture Town were made to work extremely hard with just a Phil Everett goal separating the sides.

Next Wednesday evening (March 6), Town are at home to Teignmouth Town with a 7.30pm kick-off.

Whilst Town recently recorded a 6-1 victory over the Teigns on their own patch, they will be taking nothing for granted as the visitors are a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ side this season and it will be a case of which side turns up on the night.

Town now know they will face Stoke Gabriel in the semi-finals of the Devon Premier Cup. The tie will take place on March 20, at Buckland Athletic’s ground in Newton Abbot.

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