Exmouth Town assistant boss on Bitton win: "Squad strength is paying dividends"

PUBLISHED: 12:36 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:36 09 January 2020

Exmouth Town at home to Barnstaple in a FA Cup game. Ref exsp 33 19TI 0231. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Town at home to Barnstaple in a FA Cup game. Ref exsp 33 19TI 0231. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Exmouth Town's first match of 2020 saw them complete a season's double over Bitton thanks to a double from Callum Shipton.

For Town assistant boss Andy Rawlings, completing a clean-sheet double over a side that is an established 'power house' at Western League level is evidence - if any were needed - of the growing belief amongst the Southern Road faithful that this season could end in serious glory!

He says: "It's always been our way that we keep both feet firmly on the ground and do not get carried away with the situation. That said, at the start of the season I think most pundits would have suggested that Bitton would be 'there or thereabouts' this season and so to beat them home and away and keep two clean sheets in the process is very satisfying indeed."

He continued: "The thing that often gets missed is that we [Town boss Kevin Hill and Rawlings as his number two] have always said that it was going to be the squad that, working together, will get us where we want to be and Saturday's team that beat Bitton missed some big names - none more so than our leading scorer Jordan Harris.

"However, we moved away from our tried and tested shape to go with two up and Ace [High] and Ben [Steer] did a great job leading the line. Everyone put a shift in and it's always so pleasing that, when players drop out, others come in and the team continues to deliver."

Rawlings was also delighted that Town had been able to welcome James Richards back from injury.

He said: "It was a real boost to get him [Richards] back and it was no surprise that we kept a clean sheet."

On Saturday (January 11) Town are again in home action with a Southern Roard game against Roman Glass St George (3pm).

Rawlings says: "We'll not take them lightly. The thing is that we have started 2020 as we ended 2019, looking solid wholst also showing we have goals in us throughout the squad. "There are bound to be twists and turns over the remaining four months of the season and, if we keep working hard, stay true to our values, and the backing we are currently getting continues from what really is a fabulous set of supporters, then who knows where we might be come the final knockings of this season."

The Town number two rounded things off saying: "Plenty of hard work has been put in, on and off the pitch, by so many folk to get us into a top three berth and now the job for us is to stay there and indeed, look to climb further."

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