Exmouth Town FA Cup win - managerial reaction plus more pictures
- Credit: Archant
Reaction from the Exmouth Town FA Cup win at Keynsham Town
Exmouth Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings was in no way left surprised at the style in which the Southern Road men won their Tuesday night FA Cup tie at Keynsham Town.
Goals from Jordan Harris, Dave Rowe and Aaron Denny, saw Town win 3-1 and set up a Saturday, September 12, next round tie with Southern League Division One South side Melksham Town.
Rawlings said: “No, the teams all-round shift did not come as a surprise to either Kev [Town boss Kevin Hill] or I.
“We had felt through the pre-season period that of far greater importance to us than out-and-out results, was making sure we hit the ground running when the competitive action kick-in and that’s precisely what we saw from the team at Keynsham.”
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He continued: “From the very first whistle you could see that the lads were ‘at it’ - indeed we looked the more likely before we opened the scoring and, had their goalkeeper not made some fine saves – and the frame of the goal come to his aid – then we’d have been comfortably clear before they got the goal back in the final quarter.
“Even then, it took us less than a couple of minutes to restore the two-goal advantage and I don’t think anyone who saw the 90 minutes would argue that we fully deserved the win and the place in the next round of the FA Cup.”
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Speaking more specifically about the overall performance, the Town number two said: “There really is nothing we can fault about that 90 minutes. From the first whistle the players used the ‘give-and-go’ system that we had worked on in training.
“The tempo of the game was good and, once we had our foot on the throttle we really did not let up!
“Kev was saying afterwards that if we could bottle that particular shift, then we’d do so and roll it out at every given opportunity – the all-round team performance really was that good.”
On individuals, the Town number two said: “We gave competitive Town debuts to Dan Cullen and Alphie Mahon and both did very well. Sadly both also had to come off, but that simply meant, and this is a huge plus, we were able to call on quality from the bench with Danny Pym getting nearly 40 minutes after replacing an injured Dan [Cullen] while the switch for an injured Alphie [Mahon] – who did a great job on the left – with just over five minutes to go, was to give a first taste of FA Cup football to 17-year-old Ollie Bray – a member of the Town Under-18 team.”
Rawlings continued: “The third goal was quality, but in two very different ways.
“First up, the chasing down and harrying of the home goalkeeper. It seems the left back had been dishing the verbals letting Ace [High] know that he’d be wasting energy chasing down the glovesman for he ‘knew the surface’ and would side step him and clear. However, Ace, as is his customary way, gave his all and did indeed chase a seemingly ’lost cause’ and the goalkeeper did make a mistake and that led to ‘special goal part II’ as Aaron [Denny], in a single movement, was able to control the ball and ‘pass’ it into the net from 35-yards.
“Ace might not have scored, but his 90 minutes of work epitomised the attitude of the team on the night.”
The Town assistant manager then turned his attention to the support Town had at Keynsham.
He said: “We may have only been allocated 25 tickets because of the Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines, but they were heard – and much appreciated.
“The coach trip home was something to behold, there was a real ‘buzz’ and cup fever is certainly back on the Town agenda!”
As for the next round and the home tie with Southern League Division One South Melksham Town, Rawlings says: “It’s another challenge – and a different one.
“They [Melksham] are from a higher level and so that takes the pressure off us to some degree in as much as I suspect they will come down to us very much as the favourites.
“But we have a decent record against higher placed opposition in recent seasons of cup football and, with the backing we always get at Southern Road I am sure it will not be the most comfortable of afternoons for the visitors.
“That said, we’ll naturally give Melksham the respect their status demands, but, as we have shown in the past, we do enjoy rising to the occasion in terms of home performances and cup competitions and I am sure the lads will be fired up for this game.”
Before that cup tie against Melksham at Southern Road Town have a league game next Wednesday (September 9) when they visit Plymouth Parkway, but there’ll be no Town game this coming Saturday (September 5).
The Town number two explained saying: “We have no game and don’t plan to arrange one. Instead we will have a training session at Southern Road.
“We did pick up a couple of knocks at Keysnham and we are wary of Aaron Denny and the knock he has been carrying.
“He was imperious against Keynsham – he makes playing on that artificial surface so easy - and we certainly need him to be fit if we are going to make progress on as many fronts as possible this season.”