Exmouth Town in the FA Cup - assistant manager Andy Rawlings speaks about that replay win and the game at Highworth Town!
PUBLISHED: 10:23 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 September 2019
Exmouth Town are on another mission of 'FA Cup giant-killing' tomorrow (Saturday) when they head for Wiltshire and a 1st Qualifying Round tie at Southern League Division One South side Highworth Town.
Town are still in the cup because of Tuesday night's superb 2-0 replay success over another Southern League side - Premier Division Yate Town.
Speaking the day before the trip to Highworth, Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings reflected back on Tuesday night.
He said: "We really did play well and fully deserved to be still in the cup. They [Yate Town] were a good side and certainly showed it in a first half that they controlled. That said, for all their possession of the ball, we weathered the storm well and, once again, the back line, with Max Gillard deputising for the absent James Richards [he was with his wife preparing for the arrival of their daughter- who is now with us and congratulations to all the family) and Tom Gardner his usual dominant 'rock-like' self, we soaked the pressure up and carried a threat with the hard-working Jordan Harris playing the lone front-man role superbly."
He continued: "As we approached half-time we began to see a pathway that might lead to us taking charge in the second half and that is exactly what panned out.
"The lads were - in a single word - 'brilliant' throughout the second half. While we had been playing with the one up top in the first 45, the second half saw us get Ace [High]. Ben [Steer] and Aaron [Denny] further forward and we were able to hit them on the counter. Once we got ahead - and deservedly so - it played into our hands for, when we are in the mood to play such a way - we can be very effective and so we were."
The Town number two had special praise for the support for Town on the night.
He said: "I know that before the game I had said I hoped we'd get a decent turnout, but level of support at Southern Road was so, so special. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought we'd draw that sort of a crowd for a Tuesday night game, but we did and, to a man, woman and child, they were exceptional.
"It's a well-oiled sporting quote to say 'the crowd were the 12th man' but they really were at Southern Road on Tuesday night and, when the final whistle went and the supporters applauded the team off the pitch, well, that really was something to behold and we, as a team, management and players alike, are so, so grateful to the supporters for their continued backing."
And so to Highworth and the 1st Qualifying Round tie tomorrow. Rawling says: "We have spoken with the lads at Willand Rovers who played Highworth as recently as a week ago. I spoke with Andy Barnard and Kev [Town boss Kevin Hill] has been in touch with Russell [Willand boss Russell Jee] and what we have learnt is that they [Highworth] are a very useful side, but not a team that we need to be in awe of! Respectful and mindful of their ability - yes, but it's another opportunity for us to continue this FA Cup journey which has been so much fun so far and it certainly something none of want to end just yet. We have rested well after the excitement of Tuesday night and can travel to Highworth in confident mood. Yes, it will be a tough game, but in rising to then heights we did at Southern Road on Tuesday night we have shown that we are a useful side ourselves and if we play to our game plan and give it our all there is no reason why this season's journey in the FA Cup cannot continue."
Town will be without Ace High for the cup tie as he is away on a previously arranged stag weekend. However, that loss is off-set by the return of James Richards who missed the Yate reply as he was by his wife's side as they welcomed their new daughter into the world.
We will bring you news and reaction to the Town FA Cup tie at Highworth here on Saturday evening.