Pears sets Exmouth's sights on a league and cup treble
EXMOUTH Town manager Richard Pears has set his sights on an ambitious league and cup treble.
The Southern Road side are still unbeaten in the league this season ahead of the visit of Alphington on Saturday, sitting just two points off top spot with four games in hand.
They are also through to the quarter-finals of the Throgmorton Cup and the Devon Senior Cup, and Pears wants all three in his first season at the club.
"We are going for everything. I have had a few people say to me that we must be prioritising the league but we want to win every competition," said the former Exeter City man.
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"I have told every player that all our remaining games are huge. We have Stoke Gabriel in the quarter-finals of the Throgmorton Cup and that is a £600-game for the club.
"We also have Exeter Civil Service in the quarter-finals of the Devon Premier Cup – we are in all three so there is the opportunity of a treble."
With Town's current form in mind, winning all three could well be within their reach.
A double from Ben Shephard and goals from Lloyd Gardner and Andrew Thomson saw them come away from Totnes & Dartington with a fine 4-0 win.
And Pears, who welcomes Ben Woolley back from suspension and has Matt Dawson available for Saturday, believes he has the squad to mount a challenge on three fronts.
"I know that I have a squad that is good enough to do it but we must keep our feet on the ground at the same time," said Pears, who confirmed he is looking to sign a Western League midfielder in the near future.
"If we stay in all the cup competitions then we are going to have about seven games a month until the end of the season, so I will have to rotate.
"I said to the players in the dressing room at the weekend that every single player that they can be part of something really special."
Meanwhile, Teignmouth boss Geoff Breslan admits the title is probably beyond his side this season, but he is still targeting an improvement on last season's seventh-placed finish.
The Teigns started the season superbly, winning five of their first seven games, but a recent slump has cost them.
They host Galmpton United fresh from a 6-2 thumping of Axminster Town, with four goals – all penalties – coming from Liam McAuley, plus singles for Steve Shrubb and Steve Mardell, with Martin Hancock (2) scoring for a Tigers side going to Appledore.
"We started the season off very well but, for some reason, every year around Christmas we seem to have a blip. It's been like that for the last four or five years," said Breslan, who has seen top scorer Carl Cliff-Brown, Mark Forrester and Darrol Brown leave for Taunton Town, Newton Abbot Spurs and Totnes & Dartington.
"It is hard to put our finger on it and it has probably knocked us out of the title race but we are still in the Devon Premier Cup.
"If we can go on the sort of run like we did at this stage last season when we managed to go 14 or 15 games unbeaten then who knows where we'll finish?
"We are always looking to better ourselves. We finished seventh last season and we are certainly looking to do better than that this time around."
Budleigh Salterton host Stoke Gabriel after a 5-1 win over Crediton United thanks to strikes from Mark Level (2), Josh Sale, Danny Williams and an own goal from Dean Chicknor. Lee Wearing responded for Kirton, who host winless Sidmouth Town.
Newton Abbot Spurs welcome Totnes & Dartington after a 2-1 win at Exeter Civil Service, with Adam Dyson's brace rendering Ollie Burns' strike immaterial. Exeter University host Plymstock United looking to bounce back from a heavy 4-0 loss at Galmpton United.