Tiverton and Elmore to rotate for Cup clash
Tiverton Town manager John Clarkson will take the opportunity to rest key players and give others lacking match fitness a run-out at Elmore in tomorrow's Devon St Luke's Challenge Cup second-round tie.
Tivvy make the journey across town as firm favourites for the game, having defeated the Eagles 4-0 in the Hospital Cup at Horsdon Park in July, and shown signs of turning into Southern League Division One South and West title contenders in recent weeks.
Clarkson will also cast an eye over former Tivvy forward Paul Wyatt, who is back in England after a spell playing and studying in America.
"Players who need the minutes will play as it is important to try and get games for them," said Clarkson, who will be missing the suspended Jules Emati-Emati.
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"Adam Kelly had a hamstring injury and he is playing catch-up, Dan Smith had an ankle injury and he is playing catch-up.
"Sam Malsom had an ankle injury but played 90 minutes last Wednesday [in Tivvy's 5-0 friendly win over Stoke Gabriel] and will play 90 minutes again this Wednesday.
"Paul Wyatt had a run-out against Stoke Gabriel. He was waiting for international clearance, and will have another run out against Elmore and we'll take it from there."
Elmore manager Pete Buckingham has admitted he will use the tie as an opportunity to develop his players, rather than a chance to progress in the competition.
The Eagles have made a solid start to life in their maiden South West Peninsula League Premier Division campaign but, looking back at the Hospital Cup loss, Buckingham conceded that Tiverton look even stronger now than they did in July. "We're looking forward to the game and I hope it will help develop my side for the future," he said.
"The result is not so important for us – it's more about the performance. You learn and improve by playing teams in higher divisions and I say that as a compliment to them and should help take a bit of pressure off my lads' shoulders.
"I'm hoping John [Clarkson] makes his players walk up Park Hill to our ground – that should tire them out a bit.
"I would rather have played them a few weeks ago when they were at sixes and sevens but we have them now."
In the same competition, Torquay United will entertain Ilfracombe Town in a second-round tie at Plainmoor this evening.