Exmouth Town’s midweek mauling at Tavistock - managerial reaction

PUBLISHED: 13:22 07 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:22 07 November 2019

Exmouth Town v Brislington match preview. Picture ARCHANT

Exmouth Town v Brislington match preview. Picture ARCHANT


Exmouth Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings was being very forthright the morning after the night before when he spoke of the Town defeat in the FA Vase at Tavistock.

He said: 'Disappointing' does not do the performance justice. Yes, we could point to having no Tom Gardner who has been a colossus for us so far this season [the central defender could not get time off work to make the trip] and we were missing Karl Rickard, who has been so influential at the top end of the pitch this term - as he was suspended. And then we had the injury to 'Wrighty' [Town goalkeeper Chris Wright who suffered a broken finger early in the contest], but this has to be one of those occasions when no end of excuses fits the bill. No, we were woeful on the night and, if I am honest about it, the overall performance at Tavistock from Town was as bad a 90-minute showing as I think I ever seen by any team that I have been associated with, and I know Kevin [Town boss Kevin Hill] was feeling a similar way post match."

He continued: "I think the problem is that we have had such a good season so far and I guess a lot of folk could not imagine this sort of result coming our way, but we did lose 6-1 and our feeling at full time was one of: 'have we really been that bad?; was that really an Exmouth Town performance?', and, sadly, the answer was a big fat yes!"

The Town cause was not helped by a broken finger sustained by goalkeeper Chris Wright. The glovesman, who has been in stunning form this season, made a superb initial save and, in the follow-up by the Tavvy player, Wright suffered what was later found to be a broken finger and so he will spend a period of time now on the sidelines.

Rawlings says: "It's a real shame for 'Wrighty' as he has been in such great form. However, it is also only right that we say in Robbie [Robbie Powell] we have a fabulous goalkeeper who will step in and, I have no doubt, make sure we continue to have a brilliant set of hands behind the back four."

The Town defence has been badly hit by injury and with Tom Gardner unable to travel it meant that the only fully fledged defender in action was Dave Rose.

The Town number two said: "Dave gave his all and he is the sort of player who would be the last man standing - and then try to defend his corner - but we missed Tom [Gardner] big time. He is such a calming influence and, as has been seen prior to the Tavy game, he and Dave Rowe have formed a superb understanding at centre back."

Returning to the performance at Tavistock, Andy Rawlings added: "The thing is, as bad as we were collectively over the full 90 minutes, we could, indeed should, have been two or even three goals to the good before they got back into the game with their first goal. We missed a couple of gilt-edged chances and Ace [High] saw a couple of headers well saved and, on another night, we'd have been well out of sight. However, they did level and hit us with a quick-fire double, which left us a proverbial mountain to climb and, as the final score suggests, we never got out of base camp in terms of scaling the problem!"

The Town number two said: "I'd like to apologise to the wonderful Town supporters that stood and watched that at Tavistock. Their support is amazing and they were there in good numbers, but we let them down. That said, there's always the 'next game' and, in similar fashion to the blow we took at Keynsham when we lost our winning run, we don't have long to wait for that 'next game' and I am sure we will see a response from the lads on Saturday at Southern Road against Cribbs."

He added: "It has been put to me that if you're going to lose then you might as well lose properly! Well, we did just that at Tavistock and, I suppose a small crumb of comfort comes in the thought that we got thumped in a cup tie and it was not a league game. What matters now is how we respond to this and so its over to the players to 'put it right' before our own supporters on Saturday!"

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