Exmouth Town latest - assistant manager on Hallen defeat: "We got what we deserved!"
PUBLISHED: 11:17 11 February 2020
Exmouth Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings pulled no punches when he spoke of the team's 4-1 defeat at Hallen.
Speaking a couple of days after the disappointment in Gloucestershire, the Town number two said: "We got precisely what we deserved which was absolutely nothing.
"It is a measure of how good the team has been this season to date that days like Saturday at Hallen really have been few and far between, but what we served up was simply far short of what is required at this level."
He continued: "It's true that we had one or two out, but we can have no excuse for not playing anywhere near our potential.
"What made it all the worse was that, yet again, the Town faithful were up at Hallen in great numbers and we let them down. Kev [Town boss Kevin Hill] was really quite angry after the game and one or two home truths were dished out.
"From the first whistle we were simply not at the races. In fact, saying that, we might as well have gone racing for the afternoon because we certainly were not at Hallen to contest a Western League football match!"
A strong wind was blowing up at Hallen and Town had it at their backs in the first half. Rawlings said: "We knew when we got the lads in at the break that having played 45 minutes with that wind in our favour and not being able to take advantage it was going to make it a mighty tough second half - and that certainly proved to be the case."
Rawlings did have words of praise for one player's contribution. He explained saying: "We gave Dean Billingsley the last 20 minutes and he looked every inch the player I remember being so lively when I was at St Martins.
"He is not what you'd call a natural finisher, but what he does bring to the game is a real passion and desire to make his mark and give opposition defences plenty to think about, and the biggest compliment I can pay the lad is the fact that I know Kev was impressed with what he saw and I am looking forward to seeing more of Dean in a Town first team shirt."
Town will welcome back Robbie Powell after the glovesman has spent the past four weeks on the injured list.
Rawlings says: "We have missed Robbie's presence over the past few games - that's not to take anything away from young Harrison [Burton]; he did well, but the added experience of Robbie will give the back line a big boost."
On the more general subject of the fact that one of two Town supporters had vented their disappointment on social media, the Town number two said: "There's nothing we can do about that as it as very much part of the game - and life - these days. Supporters are the same the length and breadth of the country, indeed the world and, when the good times are here they'll of course be 'full of it' and, when things are not going so well, they then naturally let it be known! That they are not happy with things. For my part, I do feel a little bit of 'feet firmly on the ground' time is required. Look, what we have achieved in a short space of time at Town, on and off the pitch, really is quite amazing. Yes, defeats like the one at Hallen hurt, but none of the lads who pulled the shirt on at Hallen did so with a mindset of 'I don't care what happens today' - because each and every one of them was clearly gutted at full time as we all contemplated just what had gone on over the 90 minutes in terms of our performance.
"It's times like now - and all teams suffer a blip at some stage of the campaign - that we need to stick together. Whether it's Kev, Bob and I in the dugout, the players on the pitch, the fans on the side lines and the club management in terms of off the pitch, we all want the same thing and we are all striving to make sure we get many more good days than bad days."
Now we face back-to-back home games, and lets not lose sight of the fact that there is much doom and gloom out there over recent results and yet here we are, set for Wednesday night at Saturday afternoon games at what has, so far this season, been Fortress Southern Road so there really is so much still to play for in this campaign."