Hit-man High back for Exmouth Town's FA Cup tie at home to Barnstaple Town
PUBLISHED: 10:21 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:21 09 August 2019
Tomorrow (Saturday) sees Exmouth Town begin their campaign for FA Cup glory, writes Sam Cooper.
The Southern Road men, who launched their Western league campaign last Saturday with a superb 4-1 home success over Bridport, head into the tie with BetVictor Southern League Division One South side Barnstaple Town in buoyant mood after an unbeaten pre-season and that flying start to the new campaign.
Barum are managed by Aaron Harper-Penman who says of his side's task at Southern Road: "It will be good to go down to Exmouth. They've got a good side and Kevin Hill has done wonders down there. They have some top players that we need to be aware of so it will be a tough game, but it will put us in good stead for the start of the season ahead."
Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings says: "The Town has been buzzing all week and everyone seems to be talking about this cup tie.
"With Exeter City being away [the Grecians are in League Two action at Stevenage], we always seem to draw additional supporters - and we are very grateful to them for their support and, I suspect we may end up with out biggest Southern Road home gate for some time."
He continued: "Against Bridport we has 206 and it made for a good atmosphere and we'd like to think we'll draw double that - and the some - for this cup tie."
The winners of tomorrows tie, aside of a trip to Yate Town in the next round (that tie to be played on August 24), the winners will bank a handy cheque for £2,250 whole the losers will receive £750.
Town welcome back last season's leading scorer Ace High, who sat out the Bridport game as he was finishing off a suspension carried forward from last season.
New signing Dax Vincent is in contention to make his first competitive start for the team and Adam Bilcock, who missed the Bridport game through illness, should also be available. Karl Rickard and Kieran Willdigg remain suspended, while goalkeeper Robbie Powell is on holiday.
On team selection, Rawlings said: "It will be a similar team to the one on Saturday with the obvious inclusion of Ace High. We're going to pop him straight back in, he's too big a player not to include."
On their opponents, Rawlings said: "I know they're under a bit of a change with Aaron [Harper-Penman] taking over last season. However, whatever side they field they will be well for this game. We know this will be our toughest test and a chance to prove ourselves against a higher ranked side.
Barnstaple are one league above Town, but despite the difference in status, Rawlings has strong grounds for optimism.
He says: "This year we have built our team from the back and if you don't concede goals you will always take something from a contest.
"The defence has looked solid since day one of pre-season. We only conceded one goal in pre-season and shipped just the one last Saturday against Bridport and we always fancy our chances of scoring at the other end of the pitch. We may be going into this cup tie as the underdogs, but we fancy our chances."
Kick-off at Southern Road is 3pm and admission is £6 for adults and £4 for the Over-65s and Under-18s. Because of competition rules Town are unable to offer their regular 'Under-16s are admitted free' scheme and so the charge of the gate for U16s will be £3. There is also no discount available for season ticket holders, again because of competition rules.
If tomorrow's tie is drawn then the replay will take place in Barnstaple on Tuesday night (August 13).