Pears wants Exmouth Town to show mettle as stakes start to rise
RICHARD Pears has urged his Exmouth Town players to show their true colours as the business-end of the season approaches.
Town are currently eight points clear in the league and host Exeter Civil Service in the quarter-finals of the Devon Senior Cup on Saturday.
And despite entering the second half of the season in imperious form – Exmouth have won their last 12 league matches – Pears wants one final push.
"It is now that we have to show our true character – the final third of the season, with games coming thick and fast and matches for things like cup semi-finals," said Pears, who has Jamie Moore out with a knee injury.
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"They have set the standard now and I want them to keep that up. I've set the target for us to be unbeaten and do well in the cups and I think it's do-able.
"We are confident about the league but we are focusing completely on the cup now because that is a really big game for us.
"If we can keep on performing as we have then it could be a real season for us to remember."
Pears' side head into the match off the back of a superb 7-1 win over Galmpton United, courtesy of four goals from Dan Boere and others from Ace High (2) and Sam Woodin.
That means the rampant Southern Road side have bagged 27 goals in their last five matches, but Pears says Galmpton provided a sterner test than the scoreline suggests.
"It was an excellent win. It sounds a bit arrogant to say this after winning 7-1 but I would say Galmpton are the best team we have faced all season," said Pears, who should have James Turner available after his move from Witheridge.
"I spoke to Galmpton's manager and he said he wanted to be the first to burst our bubble, and I think that's fantastic motivation for the lads."
Teignmouth showed off their resilience in a 0-0 draw at Alphington after finishing the match with just nine players.
Matt Eaves was dismissed after an hour for foul and abusive language, before Liam McAuley followed soon after for kicking an opponent.
But the Teigns remained on the front foot, forcing a number a saves from keeper Scott Telford – much to assistant manager Mark Richards' delight.
"We had two players sent off in what I can only call a funny five minutes," said Richards, whose side go to Stoke Gabriel next. "I don't know if someone slipped something into their half-time squash or something.
"One was for swearing and the other was for kicking, so I can't argue with either. They are both going to pay for it in training though. It's a credit to the lads that we managed to play the last 20 minutes with nine men and still created chances."
Alphington host Exeter University in the cup, who are looking to bounce back from a 3-2 loss to Okehampton Argyle.
Ed Bradshaw (2) and John Wiseman saw Okey home, with Magnus Assmundson and Mattias Marriott responding. Okey go to Galmpton United next, while Budleigh Salterton visit Totnes & Dartington.
Newton Abbot Spurs visit Plymstock United fresh from a 4-1 win over Crediton United, as Tom Sercombe and Adam Dyson doubles cancelled out Phil Hardee's superb free-kick.
Kirton host Sidmouth Town, who lost 3-2 to Appledore, with Matt Rasmussen and Alex Raistrick netting for the Vikings. Axminster Town host Appledore after a 4-1 loss to Totnes & Dartington, despite Aaron Doble's opener.