The promotion picture looks promising for Exmouth Town
- Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK
With a total washout of the Western League Premier Division last Saturday Exmouth Town will now start their 2022 campaign with a mouth-watering top of the table clash at home to Gloucestershire side Bitton AFC this Saturday.
Bitton lie third in the table one point ahead of Town who have a game in hand. Our visitors last played on the 11th December, when they were beaten 3-0 by inform Millbrook, who had previously beaten Town 4-0. Exmouth have been inactive since their 4-0 victory over Bridport on Boxing Day.
Whilst Tavistock remain in pole position for promotion as winners of the league, recent changes announced by the FA have opened the door for runner-up clubs also to be automatically promoted.
Nationally, there are sixteen step 5 leagues and the previous system saw clubs in the runners-up position face a play-off against a step 4 side. Under the recent changes, ten second-placed clubs with the best points-per-game ratios will be promoted to step 4, with the remaining six involved in a play-off with the six step 4 clubs who occupy lowly positions.
Looking at the current Western League table, there are probably a dozen clubs who will feel the runners-up spot is “up for grabs” and with a strong unbeaten run could achieve that goal. Town are clearly in that mix but, such is the competitive nature of this league this season, no club can afford any slip-ups.
Town have played eleven games against the top twelve sides, so, in many ways, their fate is in their own hands. Of the current top six, they have home games to play against Tavistock, Bridgwater United, Bitton and Mousehole, with away games at Bitton, Mousehole and Helston Athletic.
This Saturday for the Bitton game, Town are running a ‘Bring a Kid Day’. Any adult bringing a child under the age of 16 will be entitled to entry at the concessionary rate of £5 (normally £7). The child will enter free. Turnstiles will open at 1.30pm with the clubhouse bar and Kerry’s Kitchen available on entry.