Exmouth Spartans suffer narrow opening game league defeat to Lyme Regis

Exmouth Spartans Football Club suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat when they entertained Lyme Regis Reserves in their opening game of a new Joma Devon and Exeter League season.

A lack of pitch availability hindered the Spartans in pre-season, but they clearly did not lack match fitness as they made a bright start to the game.

The visitors carried a threat up top, but that was dealt with most efficiently by Spartans’ centre backs Ross James and Matt Amor, to such a degree that goalkeeper Jack Walsh was relatively under employed.

The nearest either team came to a goal in the first half was when a Billy Gibson strike rattled the visitors’ crossbar.

Spartans player-manager Alex Coull, unable to play owing to injury, sent his side back out to continue on the front-foot.

More chances were created and Spartans were unlucky not to take the lead when skipper Rob Welsman chased down the Lyme keeper and the ball ended up heading towards the goal only to bounce off the crossbar again.

Soon after Sam Dickinsons put a shot inches wide.

Spartans made a few changes in the centre of midfield and bought on Jordan Bishop and debutant Tom Steer, but it was still the case that, for all their endeavours, a finish in the final third was sadly lacking.

It was the visitors who won the points with a header from a late corner.

On Saturday, October 3, Spartans make the short trip across to Tipton St John (3pm kick-off).

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