Barnstaple Town’s Emirates FA Cup journey saw them fall at the first hurdle at Exmouth Town on Saturday.

Barnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0212. Picture: Terry IfeBarnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0212. Picture: Terry Ife

Barum were beaten 2-0 by the Toolstation Western League side in the extra preliminary round fixture in what was their first competitive game of the season.

Both goals came minutes before half time. Former Barnstaple Town man Aarron Denny got the hosts in front when he drilled a shot from 18 yards out into the bottom corner.

It was no more than Exmouth deserved after spending much of the half on the front foot and two minutes later their lead was doubled when Denny played in Jordan Harris to send a left-footed shot under goalkeeper Steve Oliver.

Barnstaple Town manager Aaron Harper-Penman said his side 'didn't turn up' in the first half.

Barnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0208. Picture: Terry IfeBarnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0208. Picture: Terry Ife

"We were very slow starting and because of that we paid the price," said Harper-Penman.

"It was a disappointing result. We knew it would be tough - Kevin Hill has got a good squad down there that can compete in that Western League very well.

"When you are up against it for a half you get to realise you've just got to get into half time at 0-0 and push on in the second half.

"We got caught with the first goal. Didn't clear our lines and we were causing our own problems.

Barnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0205. Picture: Terry IfeBarnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0205. Picture: Terry Ife

"I'm not taking anything away from Exmouth - they competed very well in the first half - but we can't give teams a 45-minute head start.

"We've gone in with a mountain to climb. We had a better second half - we hit the post and their keeper made a good save from Tornado Bello - but overall we weren't good enough."

Barum will now have to dust themselves down for Saturday's BetVictor Southern League Division One South opener at Basingstoke Town.

Harper-Penman said he had a full squad to choose from for the journey, which at more than 300 miles is the club's longest round-trip of the season.

Barnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0182. Picture: Terry IfeBarnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0182. Picture: Terry Ife

The Barnstaple manager said he and the squad were excited to get started.

He said: "We are under no illusions that it's going to be very tough and there's no point hiding behind that. But we're excited to get going and go up against these teams which are regarded as bigger than us."

Barnstaple's first home game of the Division One South season comes on Tuesday (August 20), with Bristol Manor Farm the visitors to Mill Road.

Barnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0194. Picture: Terry IfeBarnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0194. Picture: Terry Ife

Barnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0175. Picture: Terry IfeBarnstaple Town away at Exmouth Town in a FA Cup game. Ref ndgsp 33 19TI 0175. Picture: Terry Ife