Sercombe recalls fondly his previous derby strike and wants another to add to his tally
Exeter City midfielder Liam Sercombe enjoyed one of his best moments to date as a footballer in last season's Devon derby – and he wants a repeat at St James' Park tomorrow when Plymouth Argyle arrive in town for a 1pm showdown.
Sercombe netted his one and only goal of the campaign for the Grecians against the Pilgrims, but a deflected strike from Joe Lennox in the second half ensured the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw.
The goal meant that bit more to Sercombe as he was born and raised in Exeter and knows only too well the great rivalry that exists between the two clubs. Hence why he would welcome a repeat of last season with his first goal of this campaign against John Sheridan's side.
"Saturday's game is huge – especially for someone such as myself who is Exeter born and bred," he said. "It's one of those games where everyone in the city, even those who might not be big football fans, looks out for the result.
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"My heart was pounding when I scored against them at the Park in December, it was one of the best feelings I've had in football. I went crazy and ran towards the Big Bank, but it was spoilt by our failure to go on and win. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn't happen this time.
"While the game might mean that little bit more to me than some of the other boys, make no mistake, everyone at the club knows how important it is to the fans that we get one over on Argyle."
The Grecians will probably start as favourites for the game, after accumulating 17 points from their first nine games of the campaign. They lie sixth in League Two, while Argyle are 15th with ten points from their first nine games.
However, the old cliché that form goes out of the window well and truly applies, especially in the heat of derby combat. But Sercombe is pleased that City go into the game off the back of a 2-1 win at Fleetwood Town after the sorrow of losing to Newport County seven days previously.
"We were determined to get something from Saturday – apart from anything else, we really didn't want to go into the Plymouth game on the back of two straight defeats," he said. "I'm sure a few people would not have fancied our chances when we went a goal down fairly late on.
"However, we had a game-plan, we stuck to it and it paid dividends. The idea had always been to put Scot Bennett up top for the last 20 minutes – he has a knack of getting on the end of things whether he's defending in our penalty area or attacking in the opposition's – and it worked perfectly as he grabbed himself two goals."
City's return from derby games last season was poor, with only two points gleaned from eight games against Argyle, Torquay United, Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town. Sercombe struggles to find the reasons why, but is determined to build on an opening-day win against Rovers when Argyle head up the Devon Expressway.
"I can't explain why we didn't do better than we did against the other Westcountry teams in League Two last season," he said. "I'd have backed us against any of them at our best but we failed to win, home or away, against Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham, Torquay and Plymouth.
"If that was anything more than an unfortunate coincidence, then you can bet your bottom dollar that Tis [Paul Tisdale] will be looking at all the DVDs to work out what exactly went wrong and make sure we get it right this time."