Exmouth Town Football Club have been given a tough start to the new season.
Indeed, the first two games are both away against teams that beat the Southern Road men 1-0 last season.
Town’s opening competitive game is tomorrow’s (Tuesday, September 1) FA Cup extra preliminary round tie away at Keynsham Town.
The opposition play on an artificial surface and defeated the Southern Road men 1-0 when the pair met in Bristol for a Toolstation league fixture last October.
The following Wednesday, September 9, Exmouth travel to face Plymouth Parkway in their first league outing of the new term.
The third of the opening games is the first Southern Road home match of the new league season with Town entertaining Tavistock on Wednesday, September 16.
Town assistant manager Andy Rawlings says: “When Kev [Exmouth Town FC boss Kevin Hill] and I first saw the opening three games he said to me, ‘We could be out of a job by the end of September!’
“It really could not be much tougher. That said, it is what it is and we have to be able to cope with such tough sequences of matches.
“We know where we went wrong on the artificial surface at Keynsham last year and we also lost on the plastic pitch at another Bristol-based side in Roman Glass St George.
“Those two defeats hurt us and we will hopefully have learned from those two experiences.
“On the matter of tough starts, midweek trips to Plymouth Parkway and home to Tavistock are certainly big tests, but they are challenges that we need not fear.”
Meanwhile, Town have been rocked by the news that defender James Richards has announced that he is taking a year out of the game.
The Town number two says: “It’s a combination of things with James. He is a father now and also has increased work commitments. It’s a blow for sure as he has been a consistent and talented performer for us.”
The loss of Richards has been slightly offset by the emergence of a couple of new players this season.
Rawlings explained saying: “Both Alfie Mahon and Dan Cullen have featured prominently in pre-season games and I fancy both will play big parts in the coming season.”
Town also have injury concerns over goalkeeper Robbie Powell. Chris Wright kept goal against Saltash.
Rawlings says: “Chris did very well against the Ashes. Robbie is struggling and so it’s really good for us as a club that we now have two top class goalkeepers on the books.
“Hopefully, Robbie will be back for the FA Cup tie, but if he is not fit then we have a fit-again ‘Wrighty’ to do the job for us.”
Exmouth Town FC Toolstation Western League 2020/21 season fixtures:
Sep 9: Plymouth Parkway (A)
Sep 16: Tavistock (H)
Sep 22: Street (A)
Sep 26: Bridgwater Town (A)
Sep 30: Bridport (H)
Oct 3: Bradford Town (A)
Oct 7: Plymouth Parkway (H)
Oct 10: Shepton Mallet (H)
Oct 14: Tavistock (A)
Oct 17: Odd Down (A)
Oct 24: Hallen (H)
Oct 31: Keynsham Town (H)
Nov 7: Cadbury Heath (H)
Nov 14: Cribbs (A)
Nov 21: Roman Glass St George (H)
Nov 28: Westbury United (H)
Dec 5: Keynsham Town (A)
Dec 12: Chipping Sodbury Town (A)
Dec 19: Clevedon Town (H)
Dec 26: Buckland Athletic (H)
Jan 2: Bitton (A)
Jan 9: Wellington (A)
Jan 16: Cadbury Heath (H)
Jan 23: Clevedon Town (A)
Jan 30: Chipping Sodbury (H)
Feb 6: Roman Glass St George (A)
Feb 20: Cribbs (H)
Feb 27: Wellington (H)
Mar 6: Hallen (A)
Mar 13: Brislington (H)
Mar 20: Bridport (A)
Mar 27: Bradford Town (H)
Apr 2: Buckland Athletic (A)
Apr 5: Bridgwater Town (H)
Apr 10: Bitton (H)
Apr 17: Shepton Mallet (A)
Apr 24: Odd Down (H)
May 1: Brislington (A)
May 8: Street (H)
May 15: Westbury United (A)[asp_product id=”17531″]