Taylor: Civil Service can win Premier Cup
EXETER Civil Service manager Mark Taylor says his side are capable of winning the Devon Premier Cup this season ahead of a mouth-watering third round tie against Budleigh Salterton.
Civil Service exited the competition in the early rounds last campaign but, having had a good start to their league campaign this season, Taylor is confident his side can do well.
"We are looking to go as far as we can in the cup, because it is a winnable cup for us," said Taylor. "The league is our priority. But if we are going to pick a cup, this would be the cup to do well in. I have got to believe that (we can win it). I believe on our day we can beat anybody in our league, without a shadow of doubt."
Civil will face a tough task in Budleigh though. The Robins have an identical league record to them having won seven, drawn three and lost four of their games so far this season.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
However, despite seeing a lot of similarities between the two sides, Taylor says his team will have the psychological edge going into the match having already beaten Budleigh away this season.
"Budleigh are a very similar team to us," said Taylor. "Their manager (Danny Williams) has done a great job there with a young squad, getting them working and playing well together. And when I look at Budleigh I kind of think of us a well because we have still got a very young squad. The matches that we have played you could have flipped on a coin really, because they could have gone either way.
"But it does (give us a psychological edge). We have played them twice in the league this season and we haven't lost yet to them. We beat them (away) and drew to them at home and we were disappointed to have drawn to them at home because we conceded a 94th minute equaliser and we were down to ten men at the time. We thought we probably could have nicked that game as well."
Another all Division One East tie sees Exmouth Town host Newton Abbot Spurs.
Exmouth reached the quarter-final stage of the competition last season but crashed out on a penalty shoot-out defeat to Upton Athletic.
Manager Richard Pears, who has guided Exmouth to fourth in the league table, wants his side to do better this season and says they are capable of winning the competition.
"Without trying to put pressure on them (the players), I think we are a team that is capable of winning that competition, but it is down to the players to show that they want to do that," he said. "I think Saturday is probably the best test they could have had, because we have not played for two weeks and we are playing a Newton Abbot side who, I think, are a good side that are capable of beating us.
"We have beat them 3-2 already in the league, but we scored in the last minute and to be fair that game could have gone either way.
Alphington manager John Moore is hoping his side can book a place in the quarter-final draw with a win over Plymouth and West Devon League side Roborough.
They play in a division below Alphington, but Moore is expecting a tough match.
"I'm quite confident," he said. "It will be a physical game I imagine from a Plymouth side. They are always quite tough.
"It will be an interesting game because if we go through we are into the quarter-finals and that will be a good achievement for us so far."
The Alphas are the current holders of the Axminster Hospital Cup, but Moore is keen for his side to do well in the Premier Cup having had an indifferent start to their league campaign.
"We would like to do well in the cup," he said. "We have previously won the Axminster (Hospital) Cup twice, but we would like to be involved in one of the bigger cups. It would be nice to push on and get to a semi-final or a final."
Okehampton Argyle have some work to do before they make it through to a semi-final place in the Devon Premier Cup though.
They have yet to play their second round tie against BOCA Seniors, due to the poor weather. BOCA are the North Devon League Premier Division champions.
Teignmouth will fancy their chances of making it through to the quarter-finals as they face a trip to division one west side Holsworthy.
The Magpies have had a torrid 18 months since their relegation from the Peninsula League Premier Division and currently find themselves bottom of the Division One West having lost all ten of their games so far this season.
Teignmouth on the other hand go into the match on good form having beaten Alphington 3-0 in their last league outing.
In the league three games are scheduled to take place this weekend with Axminster looking to pick up their first win in three by beating Exeter University away.
However, the Students are on a good run of form, having beaten Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth in their last two league games.
Bottom-of-the-table Sidmouth face a crunch relegation battle with Plymstock United.
The Us sit just once place, but three points above Sidmouth in the table. Therefore a home defeat for The Vikings would see them cut adrift at the bottom of the division with 13 games gone. The only other match sees Crediton travel to Totnes & Dartington. Crediton, under new manager Jon Veale, are looking to pull away from the bottom of the table.