Exmouth Town's FA Vase opponents beaten in midweek league outing

PUBLISHED: 08:59 02 October 2019

Football on pitch

Football on pitch

(c) Image Source

Exmouth Town's opponents on Saturday week in the next round of the FA Vase, Portland United, were in action last night.

Portland were beaten 3-2 at Christchurch in a Sydenham's Wessex League top flight game and it means they have now won just one of their six league games so far this season.

Portland, who were in the FA Cup for one round more than Town - they exited it at the 2nd Qualifying Round stage when beaten 1-0 by Salisbury City, are back in action this Saturday when they entertain Amesbury Town.

Portland have slipped to 17th in the table after the Tuesday night defeat and Saturday's visitors are second bottom, just two places and one point below Portland.

Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings says: "We plan to get up to Portland on Saturday to have a look at them. We have this opportunity as our league game at Wellington has been put back 24 hours to Sunday (October 6) as it's a game that is part of the Toolstation Western League ground hop weekend."

He continued: "Portland are clearly not to be taken lightly for, despite their one win in six current league record, they did have a superb run in the FA Cup and, by the reports we have had, made Salisbury City work hard for their 1-0 win their a couple of weeks ago."

Looking ahead to Sunday's game, the Town number two says: "It's not going to be easy for there's undoubtedly going to be a decent crowd there (at Wellington) given the ground hop involvement and the larger than usual crowd will no doubt lift the home side.

"I know their manager Clive [Jones] very well. Indeed, there was a time when we both ran youth teams that met in various age groups. Clive is one of those very genuine football folk and, despite them sitting bottom, he will no doubt have his team well fired up to look to turn us over. That said, we are on a run of wins and want to keep things going as they are. Once again Kevin [Town boss Kevin Hill] will tell the lads before the game that it's got to be all about what we do and the sort of tempo we want to set.

"Last Saturday, against Cadbury Heath, that high tempo nature of our game went missing for much of the first half, but it was back after half-time and I felt we fully deserved the clean sheet success."

On the clean sheets (Town have now kept three successive clean sheets and its almost five hours since they last conceded a goal!

Rawlings says: "Much of the credit to that must go to Dave Rowe and Jason Gardner who have formed a superb central defensive partnership since James joined us from Tivvy Town in the summer. We also have the safe hands of Chris Wright in goal so it really is not that big a surprise to us that we appear so water tight at the back - and long may that last."

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