Exmouth Town AFC - A review of 2009 - a year of change at Southern Road.

PUBLISHED: 09:01 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:30 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH Town s season so far is very much a case of work in progress with the side sitting mid-table with 24 points from 17 games.

EXMOUTH Town's season so far is very much a case of work in progress with the side sitting mid-table with 24 points from 17 games.

Town have played exactly half of their League games for the season and Manager Jody Bolt can be reasonably pleased with progress thus far.

The campaign began with a disappointing home defeat, beaten 2-1 by Alphington back on August 15.

With a new Manager - Bolt had moved across Town in the summer after guiding Exmouth Amateurs to a third place finish in their League last season - and so, with a new team to bed in, it was widely recognised that it would take a while for the team to settle.

Game two pitched Town's new boss against a former Southern Road chief with a trip into Exeter and a meeting with Exeter Civil Service, now managed by Richard Pears and the side returned home with a point after a 3-3 draw.

The games were coming thick and fast in the early days of the season and next up was an August 22 derby meeting with neighbours Marines AFC at their splendid Endurance Park home.

The Military men won the points with a 3-1 win but that first victory for Bolt, and his new side, arrived in the next game, the August 29 2-1 Southern Road win over Galmpton Gents.

Back to back defeats followed as Town were beaten by Liverton and Axminster and a return of just four points from the first six games was not what Bolt would have hoped for.

Everything clicked into place, though, with a September 19 6-1 home drubbing over Ottery St Mary and the renewed confidence flowed through the side as the next four League games - and a brace of Cup ties - were won.

Liverton, Civil Service, Royal Marines AFC and University were all beaten and suddenly Town were most certainly, upwardly mobile.

Boss Bolt had jokingly said before the Ottery game that if his side could dish up a win he would cease to shave until a winning run ended.

That successful sequence came to an end on October 31 with a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Stoke Gabriel, Bolt had a shave and since Halloween, with the exception of a continued involvement in both the Devon Premier Cup and the South West Peninsula League Cup, the wheels have come off!

In terms of League progress, Town have won just one of the last half dozen outings - that a November 28 2-1 win at Alphington, whilst they have been held by both Axminster and Okehampton at Southern Road and gone down to Crediton United and, most recently, a December 12 4-1 reversal at Teignmouth Town.

That said, they remain just five points off new leaders Royal Marines AFC and have two Cup ties to contemplate in the coming weeks.

Boss Jody Bolt says: It's been a very enjoyable experience so far for me and I see it very much as work in progress. What I have learnt is so vital at this level is availability. If we can field our best choice Town team I believe we can be a match for anybody at this level.

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