Unbeaten run is vital, says Pears
RICHARD Pears admits he is desperate for Exmouth Town to finish the season unbeaten in the league.
Town travel to struggling Plymstock United on Saturday having won 15 and drawn just two of their 17 league matches.
They continued their astonishing form by becoming the first team to win at Okehampton Argyle's Simmons Park ground in the league this season, with just Matt Dawson's solitary strike separating the two teams.
And Pears – whose side hosted Stoke Gabriel in a Throgmorton Cup quarter-final last night (Wednesday) – concedes that remaining unbeaten has become one of the club's top priorities.
"I do not want to be losing anything and the day we lose that unbeaten league run will be a dark day," said Pears.
"It is of huge importance in that every game we play, we want to win and keep that unbeaten run going.
"Going undefeated is going to be a big test for the players but we are looking forward to it. Can we be fully motivated for each game? I have told the players that we are going to have to be.
"The real goals for the season are to win the league, go unbeaten and make cup finals.
"We are very much at the business-end of the season and there are some massive challenges ahead for the players.
"The big challenge for us is that every team we play wants to be the first team to beat us – they want to be the first to beat Exmouth Town.
"But, as I have said to the players, that puts more pressure on them than us and I think that is a fabulous position to be in."
Pears should have a full-strength side for Saturday's match, with Dan Jones and James Turner returning to the squad having been cup-tied on Wednesday.
Okey will be looking to re-establish Simmons Park as a fortress when Galmpton United visit on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Crediton United Jon Veale has vowed to avoid a repeat performance when his side welcome Budleigh Salterton at Lord's Meadow.
The Robins hammered Kirton 5-1 when the two sides clashed in early January, but Veale is refusing to entertain the possibility of that happening again.
Crediton lost 6-1 to Stoke Gabriel last time out following a second-half rout, despite drawing 1-1 at half-time following Max Bristow's opener.
And Veale is confident of a better showing – provided his team learn how to perform for the full 90 minutes.
"We have Budleigh next, who hammered us when we last played them but I can guarantee that won't happen this time," he said.
"For 43 minutes (at Stoke Gabriel) we were absolutely superb – we played them off the pitch.
"But they scored just before the end of the half and we completely caved in. It was like we just gave up.
"Against Newton Abbot (a 4-1 loss) we were awful first half and brilliant second half and this time we were brilliant first half and terrible second half. We just need to put it all together.
"Lee Waring and Kit Harvee absolutely ran the show in the first half, so hopefully we can put it all together and win a game."
Budleigh go into the match having destroyed Galmpton 6-0, with player-manager Danny Williams and Mark Lever both netting doubles. George Pannell and Mike Hancock also scored.
Exeter University and Exeter Civil Service played out a 1-1 derby draw, with Jamie Densham scoring before Miguel Guirello levelled.
Sidmouth Town go to Teignmouth off the back of a 3-3 draw with Newton Abbot Spurs.
Matt Rasmussen, Mike Stamp and Mark Burdus netted for the Vikings, with Adam Dyson (2) Mark Clark scoring for Spurs.
Alphington go to Totnes & Dartington off the back of a disappointing 4-2 home defeat to Plymstock, despite goals for Matt Wonnacott and Tom Bath.