Exmouth Town assistant manager speaks about the midweek cup win over Parkway
PUBLISHED: 13:41 05 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:41 05 December 2019
Exmouth Town booked themselves a second round Les Phillips Cup tie away at Shepton Mallet after a 4-1 Wednesday night Southern Road win over Plymouth Parkway.
It was certainly not a game for the faint-hearted, for the visitors ended the contest with nine men after picking up two red cards and, at one stage, were playing with eight men as they also had a man in the sin-bin!
Parkway came to Southern Road looking to register an 11th straight win in all competitions while Town were seeking an 11th successive home win in all competitions.
Both teams left key players out and opted to use their wider squads - both of which are high quality so there was no let up in the standard of play.
Parkway struck first, but Town were soon level and they went on to win - and do so with something to spare!
Kieran Willdigg, Jordan Harris and a Ben Steer double accounted for the Town goals with the Harris effort coming from the penalty spot, being his 16th of the season so far.
Speaking the day after the game the night before, Town assistant boss Andy Rawlings said: "It was a terrific performance and, to be perfectly honest, Kev and I were saying after the game just how pleasing it all was and that from a pre-match position when we certainly did not expect to see the team perform as well as they did."
He continued: "The reason for us feeling it might not be the best of Town shifts was because we rested a number of key players so as to give the wider squad a run out and they played superbly, both individually and collectively."
Speaking about the game played out, particularly after Town fell behind, Rawlings said: "We were chuffed, once again, with the character the team showed.
"When we fell behind, and let's face it to a side on a long winning run and one that had already beaten us 1-0 earlier in the season, there might have been something of a negative reaction, but the opposite applied.
"The lads simply kept doing what they were doing and it did not take them long to level things up."
He continued: "Once we got our noses in front after the break we played some delightful football and dominated to such a degree that don't think anybody could have argued the fact that 'the right team won on the night'.
The game was not without its 'dark side' as best indicated by the two red cards and a further sin-binning.
The Town number two said: "To be fair to them [Parkway] I think it was the reaction to being beaten, of a team that really are not used to getting turned over.
"There were some grim tackles and the one that did for Kieran [Willdigg] was a bad one and he was badly bruised post match so may now miss a game or two."
Rawlings also had more high praise for the support of which he said: "Yet again the Town faithful have come out in big numbers and we simply cannot stop thanking the supporters who really are a big part of all that we are trying to do.
"They are always there, and in big numbers, be it a chilly afternoon or an evening when there's big match football on the TV as there was last night with the Liverpool versus Everton and Manchester United versus Spurs games on the big screen.
"Yet still we drew a brilliant crowd and they really do create quite an atmosphere."
He continued: "Kevin and I were saying post match about the pleasing thing being that the current 'Fortress Southern Road' continues, that is 11 straight wins now in all competitions and is a record that the lads can rightly be very proud of."
He rounded the interview off by saying: "Now we turn our attention to Saturday and the visit of Hallen which is sure to be another cracking contest between two in-form teams."
Saturday's Toolstation Western League meeting with Hallen kicks off at 3pm.