Hill fears more exits as Bushin departs
Interim manager Kevin Hill has admitted he has fears that first-team players could follow Mark Saunders and Hedley Steele through the exit doors at Ladysmead.
Saunders and Steele stepped down last week, and midfielder Hill is filling in on a temporary player-manager basis, with Saturday's Evo-Stik League visit of Mangotsfield United his next task.
Hill hopes the intenions of the players will become clearer in the next few days, but he admitted that the departure of Saunders and Steele – who appeared to have the backing of the vast majority of both players and fans – had come as a blow to the squad.
"I just hope the players stay," said Hill in the wake of Tivvy's enthralling 4-3 home defeat to Paulton Rovers on Tuesday.
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"They have stayed with us through thick and thin in the last couple of seasons but I know some of them are unhappy and only stayed because of Mark and Hedley.
"Maybe we will know more in the next couple of days but I hope they stay. We showed what great team spirit and good players we have against Paulton and I just we can continue against Mangotsfield at the weekend."
Tiverton confirmed yesterday that striker Joe Bushin has left Ladysmead to sign for Paulton, for whom he is set to make his debut against Taunton Town on Saturday.
Tiverton found themselves two goals down early on against Paulton, before strikes from Jules Emati-Emati, Hill and Michael Nardiello saw them surge ahead and gain a half-time lead. But Rovers roared back into it after the break and, aided by Alex Faux's red card, they scored twice to win the game.
"We played really really well. It was basically the same team that Mark and Hedley would have put out because we had a couple of lads missing and they did superbly," Hill said after the game.
"We have been playing well for the last couple of weeks and we did it again on Tuesday and really showed our team spirit.
"To come back from 2-0 down to make it 3-2 was incredible and we could have scored four or five. Even their manager said that you could see it coming. Sooner or later, it will turn for us.
"The two goals they scored to win it were pure luck. One deflected off Tom Gardner and into the path of a player who scored, and the other was a headed clearance that came to their guy from six yards out and he stuck it away."
The former Torquay United midfielder added: "Mark and Hedley were in the stands giving us some support. They weren't coaching or anything, but you could hear them in the crowd getting carried away."