Exmouth Town in away Tuesday night FA Cup action

The FA Cup trophy. Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVES

The FA Cup trophy. Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVES - Credit: Archant

Exmouth Town head up the M5 tomorrow (Tuesday) to contest an FA Cup extra preliminary round tie against fellow Toolstation Western League outfit Keynsham Town.

The Southern Road men had a bad experience on their visit to the artificial pitch that is home to the Bristol-based side last season, going down 1-0, a result that ended a run of eight straight wins and that goal they shipped there on Saturday, October 19, was a first goal conceded in almost nine hours of football.

With this football season starting later than normal owing to the Coronavirus pandemic, the FA Cup will have no replays this season and Tuesday night’s contest, if the scores are level after 90 minutes, will be resolved by a penalty shot-out.

Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings knows only too well that his side have been practising spot kicks ahead of the cup tie.

Himself a former goalkeeper, and of some repute, explained saying: “Oh yes, we have been practising and yours truly was in goal for them and I have to say I did not get near any of them!”

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Town have a doubt about talisman Aaron Denny with the talented midfielder travelling with the party in a coach that departs Southern Road at 4.15pm, but the midfielder will have to pass late fitness test to see if he can play.

Rawlings says: “Arron is an important player for us and of course, we’d ideally have him on the pitch for the full 90 minutes. However, he is that important to us that it would be foolhardy for us to risk him and then have the bigger issue of him missing more games in what is going to be a long and demanding league campaign. He’ll play if he is fit enough and he feels right. If he isn’t then he will sit this one out.”

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As for the challenge Town face up at Keynsham, Rawlings says: “We played twice on artificial pitches last season and lost them both so perhaps it will very much be the case that. For us. It’s ‘third time lucky’.

“A run in the FA Cup is important to the financial well-being of the club, but it’s not the be all and end all.

“Are we likely to win the competition? Er... that would be a no, the league is what really matters to us.

“That said we are travelling to Keynsham looking to get a result and then look to make continued progress in the competition.

“One thing I can guarantee the Town faithful is and that is the at the lad swill be giving their all to get a result that puts a smile on the supporters faces come 10pm on Tuesday night.”

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