Opportunity knocks for flying Tops

PUBLISHED: 09:01 31 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:31 10 June 2010

TOPSHAM Town head into the New Year looking to bring to fruition a mission that was launched at the start of last season.

TOPSHAM Town head into the New Year looking to bring to fruition a mission that was launched at the start of last season.

The Manager at Coronation Field at the start of the 2008/09 campaign was Danny Carpenter and he was very clear about the way forward, telling the Exmouth Journal at the time that: "We are looking to take this club back to it's former glories and a place in the Peninsula League is very much top of the agenda."

Carpenter's side went through last season always 'there or thereabouts' in the Devon and Exeter league Premier Division and the Tops went into the current campaign with high hopes that the dream of promotion would finally be realised this season.

The new campaign began impressively with back-to-back 2-0 wins at home to Thorverton and away to Exmouth Amateurs before a first defeat at the hands of Clyst Valley. That did not seem to upset the early season rhythm though as Otterton were thumped 8-0 on their own patch and the goals continued to flow as Feniton left Coronation Field beaten 7-2. Next up, a draw at Alphington was followed by another goal fest as Budleigh Salterton were beaten 7-2. The goals dried up in the next game as a meeting with University ended 0-0, but the shooting boots were back on in the next outing as Wellington were beaten 5-1 on Somerset soil.

Since that win at the home of the bootmen on Halloween, the weather has caused havoc with the Tops fixtures leaving them a mere two outings since the last day of October.

There was not a single League outing in November and only the two in December with a fine win to complete the double over the side who head the table going into the New Year, Thorverton, followed by a disappointing defeat to struggling Hatherleigh on the Saturday before Christmas. That defeat to the North Devon side was the Tops last outing.

Shortly after the start of the season, boss Carpenter changed jobs and his new circumstances left him unable to commit the time he wanted to be able to in order to manage the Tops the way he wanted and so he stood down.

Nick Coles stepped into the break and it is now very much the new man's team. Coles and his side start the New Year this coming weekend with a trip to the side who they would dearly love to depose of the title champions this season. A visit to St Martins should hold no fear for the Tops who are unbeaten in six away from Coronation Field this season so far and, in those half a dozen trips they have kept four clean sheets.

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