Exmouth Town latest - reaction to the 2-1 win at Street
PUBLISHED: 14:26 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:26 24 September 2020
Exmouth Town are up to 10th in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division table following that 2-1 Wednesday night win at Street.
Indeed, inflicting that first defeat of the new term on Street means that there are now just two remaining unbeaten sides in the division – leaders Parkway with four wins and a draw from five starts, and Bitton, who have won their two games so far. We caught up with Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings and first up asked him what his thoughts were on the Street success.
He said: “It was a terrific all-round effort from every area of the team.
“We had travelled with a patched up side and had a very young back line as we were again without Tom Gardner and Dave Rowe, but the back four of Max Gillard, Dan Cullen, Alfie Mahon and Mike Humphreys in front of Robbie [Powell] really did a superb job.”
The Town number two continued: “I think a huge positive for us has to be that, when Street got the goal back and we lost Jordan [Harris] to the sin bin we might have had a right old mountain to climb to see the game out. But it did not pan out that way and, despite playing the last 10 minutes a man light, the back line – and indeed the whole team – put some great game management in place and saw things out in a degree of comfort.”
He added: “I must give high praise to young Dan Cullen as he has really done so well since stepping into the first team.
“The biggest complement I can pay the lad is that the undoubted qualities that Tom [Gardner] and Rowey [Dave Rowe] bring to the side have not been as seriously missed as they might have been had we not been able to call on the services of young Cullen.
“He has matured incredibly quickly to not only claim a shirt, but the consistency of his performance suggests he’ll be in charge of one for the foreseeable. Already he has played in most of the four positions across the back line.”
Rawlings then switched his focus to stand-in skipper, Max Gillard, saying: “Max is himself still young and yet he skippers the side in the absence of Rowey in some style and with the maturity of a player much older than him. He is a confident lad and a fine player in his own right, but he is also proving to be an excellent communicator.”
The Town number two then turned his thoughts to ‘that penalty save’ saying: “Robbie [Powell] has made another terrific save. It was a key moment for sure. Just taking things back, they [Street] had a player sin-binned three minutes before the interval and we said at half-time that we needed to throw everything at them from the start of the second half in a bid to ‘get a second goal and put the game to bed’!
“However, they got that spot kick – a ‘sloppy’ one from our side of things, within two minutes of the re-start - in all fairness – Max [Gillard] was unlucky that the decision went against him - but there we were set to be pegged back at 1-1.
Then up to the plate steps Robbie to make another cracking penalty stop and, a minute or so later we go up the other end of the pitch and get the second goal!”
Aaron Denny and Mark Lever scored the Town goals up at Street, but there were none from Jordan Harris who scored twice in both wins against Street last season.
Rawlings said: “Jordan had ‘one of those nights’! I honestly doubt if he’d scored had he still been there now.
“That said his all-round game was good, it was just the case that, on the night, a finish was missing!
“It does though speak volumes for the lad that, despite missing a number of chances he kept at it and did not shy away – indeed I suspect his late sin-binning was born out of the pure frustration of him not being on the score sheet a couple of times!”
There was an ‘unfamiliar’ sight in the technical area by way of the Town physio up at Street.
The Town assistant manager explained saying: “We were without regular physio Bob Chard and so, despite the fact he is currently sitting out things with an injury, Rowey [Dave Rowe] took on the physio duties.
“He really is a true club man and the sort of player every club craves and it was great to have him close to the action. Hopefully he’ll be back as soon as Saturday, but if not then I don’t doubt that once again he’ll be as close to it all as he can be!”
The Town number two also confirmed that Kieran Willdigg has picked up an injury that will leave him sidelined for a considerable time.
Willdigg, who had signed for Topsham Town in pursuit of regular first team football, was called back to Southern Road to help out in the early season injury woes, certainly in terms of the Town defensive slots, and he picked up a bad knee injury in the game against Mousehole.
Rawlings said: “We are gutted for Keiran who had been very quick to respond to our SOS shout and he had done ever so well for us and looked a shoe-in for a lengthy run in the side, but he has no suffered an ACL injury that will sadly rule him out for a lengthy spell and it goes without saying that we wish him a speedy recovery and return to playing.”
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