Exmouth Town latest - A chat with Town number two Andy Rawlings
PUBLISHED: 13:13 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 17 December 2019
A chat with the Town number two, Andy Rawlings.
Exmouth Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings spoke following the teams 3-1 win at Bridport, a result that saw the Southern Road men climb into fourth place in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, writes Steve Birley.
Rawlings, who alongside Town boss Kevin Hill saw Jordan Harris net a double and Mark Lever get the other goal in Dorset, said: "It was one of those games in which we ended up having 'done enough' to win it."
He continued: "There were mitigating circumstances as to why our general performance was not as it has been in recent games. We were forced into a number of changes and, its also fair to say that, in recent weeks, the season has been very much one of stop-start in view of the weather!"
Rawlings pointed to the first half show and a wonderful double save from a penalty by Robbie Powell when he said: "We got the goals that effectively meant the game was up as a contest by half-time and we were fortunate to see a wonderful double save to deny Bridport from the penalty spot by Robbie [Powell].
"In a long season, there are going to be days when we don't perform as we might think we should, or indeed could have.
"However, the key to any successful season is to make sure that on those days when you are not firing on all cylinders, you are still able to get the result you want and that was the case at Bridport on Saturday."
Rawlings then turned his thoughts to this coming Saturday and the mouth-watering meeting with Plymouth Parkway.
This Saturday's Southern Road meeting will be the third time this term that Town have gone head-to-head with a team that many pundits would have you believe are 'the team to beat' in terms of the destiny of the Western League top honour this season - though current table-topping Bradford Town might have something to say about that and (whisper it quietly) but Town must surely have a say in such matters given the way their campaign is rumbling along!
Rawlings says: "We lost narrowly - very narrowly - when we travelled to Plymouth for a midweek meeting early in the season and then, of course, they [Parkway] were at our place recently for that incident-packed Les Phillips Cup tie.
"That all ended leaving us feeling very surprised, not to say disappointed, that our opponents did not come into the Southern Road clubhouse for a drink post match.
"I am guessing they felt aggrieved by the outcome of the game which saw them face the wrath of the referee.
"But, it is what it is and, at full-time we had the berth in the next round of the cup.
"That all adds up to what I am sure is going to be something of a 'revenge mission' on Saturday for them.
"I cannot imagine any other scenario than Parkway coming to Southern Road to 'do a number on us' and exact what they will think is sweet revenge for the cup defeat and, mindful of that, we will certainly need to be at our very best."
He continued: "Both sides will undoubtedly show a number of changes from the two teams that battled it out in the cup tie. Or course, our supporters will point to this on-going fabulous run at home and see this as some sort of major test to that near year-long unbeaten run at Southern Road, but for Kev [Town boss Kevin Hill] and myself we need to focus on it being 'just another game' but one in which we need to make sure that our team are ready for whatever is thrown at them by what will certainly be a very good opposition team."
After Saturday's game Town will then turn their attention to the Boxing Day morning meeting with Buckland Athletic.
However, Rawlings says; "It's true, we have another massive game just days after the Parkway game, but it really does have to be a case of 'one game at a time' and, right up until the final whistle on Saturday, all we are thinking about it working out a plan to see off Parkway and then, and only then, once that hurdle has been cleared, we will take stock of injuries, availability and form and make sure we prepare for another big day on Boxing Day."
While talking with the Town number two we also asked him abut the draw for the quarter-finals of the Devon Bowl and the fact that Town have been drawn away to Bet Victor Southern league South side Willand Rovers.
Rawlings says: "There's no escaping that it is an attractive draw. Both Kev [Town boss] and I know plenty of the lads up there. They have - like us here at Town - a chairman in Mike Mitchell who is so passionate about the game and his club, he's also a really smashing chap.
"They found life tough at the start of their new life in the Southern league after last season's Western League title success, but I have seen that they settled down recently and picked up some really excellent results and they are a team packed with quality.
"I think one of the most thought provoking aspects of this cup tie is that Willand are on a journey that we, here at Town, aspire to. They are ambitious and looking to keep moving up the football pyramid.
"Okay, they are at a level above us in terms of playing their league football, but it's a great chance for us to test ourselves against 'the best'."
Rawlings did finish off by saying: "But again, we must not lose sight of the fact that, in similar fashion to the Boxing Day game and the fact we have a big game before that against Parkway, the Willand game is not due to be played until some time in January before which we much we have a number of big games and, although it is a well-oiled footballing cliché, we really must simply take each game as it comes and only think about what comes next after we have dealt with the game immediately before us!"