Exmouth Town latest – a chat with number two Andy Rawlings on the win over Bridport

PUBLISHED: 12:58 01 October 2020

Dan Cullen is presentd with the Town Man of the Match award after the 4-1 win over Bridport. making the presentation is 'Stoner' who was a guest of the club at the game. Picture; ETFC

Dan Cullen is presentd with the Town Man of the Match award after the 4-1 win over Bridport. making the presentation is 'Stoner' who was a guest of the club at the game. Picture; ETFC

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Exmouth Town latest – a chat with number two Andy Rawlings on the win over Bridport

Goalmouth action from the Exmouth Town FA Cup home defeat to Melksham Town. Picture: GERRY HUNTGoalmouth action from the Exmouth Town FA Cup home defeat to Melksham Town. Picture: GERRY HUNT

The game was watched by another 150 plus crowd – a superb turn out on a damp, and chilly late September evening!

We caught up with Town number two Andy Rawlings the morning after the night before and, first up, asked for his general thoughts on the game.

He said: “To be honest we did not start well and they [Bridport]deserved their early lead.

Exmouth Town's Aaron Denny in action during the FA Cup home defeat to Melksham Town. Picture: GERRY HUNTExmouth Town's Aaron Denny in action during the FA Cup home defeat to Melksham Town. Picture: GERRY HUNT

“However, if anything, them scoring as they did served as a wake-up call to our lads and we were soon level and then were able to go on and dominate the contest.

“Indeed, had we had out finishing boots on then we could, perhaps should, have scored seven or eight.

“That said we have to be happy with four and a big plus for us was that the players you’d think are most likely to be on the score sheet, Jordan Harris, Ace High and Aaron Denny, were not! However, what I must add there is that all three played big parts with their combined work rate which played a big part in our scoring four goals netted by four different players, in what became a very good all-round shift from the team.”

Exmouth Town striker Jordan Harris in the thick of the action during the FA Cup home defeat to Melksham Town. Picture: GERRY HUNTExmouth Town striker Jordan Harris in the thick of the action during the FA Cup home defeat to Melksham Town. Picture: GERRY HUNT

Next up we asked about the Man of the Match award which went to one of the younger players in the team.

The Town number two said: “Yes, Dan Cullen who not only scored his first Town goal but also put in a terrific 90 minutes. It was also great for him – and the Cullen family – that we also got his brother [Morgan Cullen joined the action from the bench] on in the second half.

“Dan might be just 21 years of age but he plays as if he has been doing this for years, he really is a very mature young footballer and is proving that age really is no barrier to playing the game. He looks very comfortable in this Western League standard and I am sure he can enjoy a successful future in the game.”

We asked about any knocks that might have been taken in the game against Bridport. Rawlings replied: “No, we came through unscathed and one plus was that we did not need to put Dean Billingsley on. The fact that he got a ‘night off’ in terms of not being needed from the bench, means he should be firing on all cylinders for Saturday’s trip to Bradford Town.”

That led nicely to the question – what about that trip to Bradford Town? The Town assistant manager said: “It’s a tough one to call. We did not play them either home or away last season and, when the season came to a premature end, they [Bradford Town] were right up there. However, this season so far, I see they have already lost three league games and so that makes it a hard game to call.

“That said, as I have outlined previously, there really is no such thing as an easy game at this level and what is crystal clear is that no matter who you are playing and irrespective of that team’s current form, or their previous record, if you are not ‘on it’ then you’ll not get a result.

“We are going to travel up there in full knowledge that, if we want to come home with something tangible from the game, we need to put a shift in.”

Back to last night and a question to the number two about another superb turnout of the Southern Road faithful.

He said: “What can I say that’s not already been said?

“The Town fans are exceptional and continue to come out in numbers. To get 150 plus on what was a damp cold evening speaks volumes for our supporters and the backing they give us, even in these troubled times of the coronavirus pandemic really does make them, as a group of supporters, second to none!”

Finally, we asked the Town assistant boss for his thoughts on the first month of the new season.

He replied saying: “I recall saying ahead of the opening game that the fixture list we had been given, with Saturday / midweek/ Saturday and the quality of opposition in a short period of time facing the likes of Southern League Melksham Town (in the FA Cup), Parkway and Tavistock and then going to both Keynsham and Bridgwater where we had lost last season, made for a very tough start and I joked that Kev [Town boss Kevin Hill] and I might be getting a call to go and see the chairman before the end of the first month!

“So, to come out of the month sitting fourth really is testament to the quality, commitment and desire within our squad.

“I really cannot speak highly enough of the collective. To think we lost that FA Cup tie and then got beaten by Parkway, losing our long unbeaten home run and also suffering back-to-back 0-2 defeats and yet have bounced back to start October where we are – yes, it’s ‘pat on the back time’ for the lads.”

He added: “However, nowt is won in the first month of any season, but you can lay building blocks for a successful campaign.

“We have done that thus far, but there are some very tough games to come none more so than the next two with Saturday’s trip to Bradford Town followed swiftly by Parkway’s visit to us next Wednesday night!”


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