Town set for brace of big Festive matches.

PUBLISHED: 09:01 24 December 2009 | UPDATED: 12:30 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH Town are preparing for two games in the space of 48 festive hours that will test their squad strength to the very core.

EXMOUTH Town are preparing for two games in the space of 48 festive hours that will test their squad strength to the very core.

On Boxing Day they make the short trip across Town and into Budleigh for the annual festive fixture against the Robins and then they will leave Southern Road at 11am on Monday morning and make their way down the Devon Expressway to Erme Valley Ivybridge where they will go head to head with the home side in the last 16 of the Throgmorton Cup.

Town boss Jody Bolt says: "It's a tough ask and, if I am honest, I'd prefer that we did not have to play such an important Cup tie 48 hours after a derby game. I expect the Budleigh game to be a tough one. There's always so much at stake other than the three points when Town and Budleigh meet. I hope that the surface is better than when we met last time. What I think this game needs is a surface with sufficient give to allow both side's to get the ball down and play. Greenway Lane will provide that, if the frost does not get up to its tricks."

Of the oppositon Bolt says: "They are a good side and, for my money, I don't see them as a bottom six side. They have a real threat in Danny Williams and we'll need to keep him quiet. Mind you we also have a hit-man bang in form and, even though the recent results have not been particulary awe inspiring the fact is that Ben Shepherd continues to find the net - he has 18 to his name so far - and what wouldn't I give for him to be amongst the goals in the next two games."

The Town boss is keeping his fingers crossed that influential skipper Kerry Butler is able to play a part in at least one of the games, although he accepts that involvment in both is out of the question: "Kerry has been struggling and, as much as I'd love to have him in both, we have to be realistic. He's very important to us and there's a lot of football left in this season so we'll not be running the risk of making things worse for the lad."

Town are certainly going to have to do without Dave O'Connor and Dan Plater, both of whom are enjoying life in sunnier climes over the Christmas and the New Year. O'Connor is in Bali and Plater is in Thailand.

If Butler is unable to play in the Budleigh game on Boxing Day, the skippers arm band will be worn by Tom Lowe.

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