Don't take Cinderford for granted – Saunders
MARK Saunders says his Tiverton Town side must not be deceived by Cinderford Town's league position ahead of their clash at Ladysmead on Saturday.
The Foresters are currently languishing in 18th spot in the Southern League Division One South & West table and, like Tivvy, have been badly affected by postponements.
Saunders' men did leave the Causeway Ground with a 3-1 win back in October. Russell Jee scored an opener only for Cinderford to level, before Josh Searle and Jules Emati-Emati secured the win.
And Saunders feels that hard-fought win is testimony to the battling qualities of Saturday's visitors.
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"We won up at Cinderford last time we played them and they are a good side," said Saunders, whose team were without a game on Tuesday after their home match with Clevedon Town was postponed.
"They are a much better side than their league position suggests, even if they are struggling.
"They had a big six-foot lump up front who couldn't run but he was very strong and a real handful too.
"But they are all going to be hard games now, whether they are top, middle or bottom, because every team wants to start putting a run together for the end of the season."
The Yellows head into the match off the back of a disappointing run and a few postponed games.
Tivvy were put to the sword 4-1 by Didcot Town, on Saturday, as they missed a glut of chances to consolidate their play-off spot.
League top scorer Joe Bushin was particularly culpable in a first half which saw them go in 1-0 down to Jamie Heapy's goal, before Elliott Osborne-Ricketts then converted a penalty following a scramble in the box.
Jules Emati-Emati forced an own goal from Luke Carnell to pull one back for Tivvy, only for Pablo Haysham to restore the two-goal lead.
A penalty gave Tiverton a lifeline, only for Bushin to sky the spot kick, before Haysham slotted home Didcot's fourth after being given a clear run on goal.
"Anyone who picks up the paper will see we lost 4-1 and think 'what's gone on there?' but we know different," said Saunders.
"It was certainly a case of missed chances, that's for sure. We probably had six or seven good chances in the first half where you would have hoped to score at least four.
"We just were not putting the ball away when we were in good positions. Joe Bushin had a one-on-one with the keeper and missed, while Lewis Tasker was one-on-one, albeit at a slight angle, and he missed it too.
"Joe missed three or four good chances throughout the game and, to cap it all off, he missed a penalty too.
"With the form he (Bushin) has been in lately, you would have expected him to score at least one of them.
"The only goal we did score, Jules has done ever so well to dig the ball out with his feet and the ball actually went in off the defender so you could say it was an own goal.
"Considering we had not played for so long, I thought we were excellent in the first half. It was just a case of us not scoring our chances.
"Still, if you do not take your chances then you do not deserve to win football matches."
Despite the frustrating nature of Saturday's defeat – and the fact Tivvy have now gone eight matches without a win – Saunders was keen to see his players remain positive.
"I just hope we don't go backwards after Saturday's defeat because there is no reason for us to do that," he said.
"I am hoping we can grow in confidence because the only thing really to be disappointed about is the scoreline.
"We're not playing badly at the moment, but we did not put our chances away and that cost us. The only thing missing from us on the day really was us actually putting the ball in the back of the net."