Exmouth Town travel to Chipping Sodbury Town - without some regular followers!
PUBLISHED: 13:13 17 January 2020
Exmouth Town will be followed by less than normal when they visit Chipping Sodbury Town in Saturday's Toolstation Western League Premier Division (3pm).
That's because a group of 'Muff Town Casuals' are currently enjoying the sunshine in Port Elizabeth, South Africa where they are following the fortunes of England in the Third Test.
Town head for Chipping Sodbury sitting third in the table and, with the hosts at the opposite end - they are currently fourth bottom - is a straightforward away win is on the cards?
Town assistant boss Andy Rawlings says: "No! Absolutely not, as I have said many times already this season, at this level there are no easy games and you have to earn the right to gain points be that home or away and against top or bottom in the case of table positions.
"Look at last Saturday, Roman Glass St George came to us and they are in the lower reaches of the table, but they forced us to work mighty hard to get the three points."
Rawlings also said that, in the days leading up to the game at Chipping Sodbury the matter of who would play in goal for Town on Saturday was very much 'work in progress'.
He said: "With Robbie [Powell] now out for the next month and Wrighty [Chris Wright] already ruled out for the season with a hand injury, we are left looking at alternatives. The problem is that we are loathe to bring in a permanent number one as Robbie has earned that tag - and rightly so - and, given that he hopes to be back in three to four weeks, what we really need is a safe pair of hands to see us through to his return."
He continued: "We do have some options as we are speaking with Exeter City and a number of individuals and we will so what's best for Exmouth Town in respect of the all-important goalkeeping position."
Chipping Sidbury Town - their home form this season
Chipping Sidbury Town have only won two of their 11 home games so far this season BUT those two wins have come in their last two home outings! They beat Wellington 3-1 in their most recent home game - that a January 11th meeting and they also won their final home game of 2019, defeating Roman Glass St George 2-1 on December 28. Before that, in nine league games from matchday one, they had lost eight and drawn one. They began with an 8-1 defeat to Bridgwater Town and then lost 2-0 to Bradford Town before a 2-2 draw on September 7 at home to Westbury United. They failed to score in any of their next four games; going down to Cribbs (0-2), Bridport (0-4), Keynsham (0-2) and Tavistock (0-3) before being edged out 3-2 by Hallen and then losing 2-1 to Street.
Chipping Sodbury Town have conceded 70 goals this season and that the second worst defensive record in the league with only Bridport (71) having shipped more!
The 28 goals they have scored is the fourth lowest return in the division with only Odd Down (16), Wellington (22) and Bridport (27) having scored fewer.
In contrast, Town have scored 44 - that's the ninth best in the division while they do sport the Premier Division's meanest defence having shipped just 14 goals in 17 league games so far.
Other Toolstation action on January 18
Table-topping Plymouth Parkway have no game so Bradford Town will regain top spot with a home win over Cadbury Heath. Buckland Athletic entertain Bridgwater Town and Hallen host Clevedon Town. Keynsham Town welcome Bridport, Odd Down receive Roman Glass St George, Street entertain Shepton Mallet, Wellington host Bitton and Westbury United host Tavistock.
Table (top three) ahead of the January 18 games
P W D L GD Pts
Plymouth Parkway 18 15 1 2 48 46
Bradford Town 18 15 1 2 36 46
EXMOUTH TOWN 17 14 1 2 30 43