Exmouth Town boss speaks about FA Cup replay defeat

PUBLISHED: 13:03 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:03 10 August 2017

The FA Cup trophy

The FA Cup trophy

Archant

Exmouth Town boss Peter Buckingham lamented injuries woes as a key factor in his side’s extra-time defeat to Shaftesbury in Wednesday night’s FA Cup replay at Southern Road.

‘Bucksie’ said: “We were hit hard by the fact that we lost the services of both Lee Phillips – who had scored the goal that pout us ahead – and Ben Steer, both to injuries before half-time in normal time.

“That was a blow because, with a full side out, I felt we had enough to beat a good visiting side.”

The Town boss continued: “Lee’s finish said everything about the hit-man’s experience and, on the night, it’s a shame that, when other scoring situations came for us, it was not the experienced Lee on the end of them!”

The Town chief felt that his side had the chances to have the game won long before the Dorset side bagged the tie in the next round at Tavistock with the winner in the first period of extra-time.

He said: “I cannot be too hard on the team for I felt they all gave us everything on the night. There are usually very fine margins in games as tight as these and had we been a little more composed with our finishing we’d have put the game to bed in normal time.

“It’s a blow to go out of the FA Cup at the first hurdle, but not the end of the world. I am a realist and this is a new evolving Town side. We have a good mix of talented youngsters and senior players and we will hopefully learn lots form this defeat.”

He went on: “let’s face it, you should always take more form a defeat – in terms of what lessons you can learn – than a comfortable success.

“For us, the bread and butter work begins on Saturday with the visit of Sticker and I think – in light of the injury problems – yours truly is going to have to do some work between now at 3pm on Saturday to ensure we put out a team that can give us a winning start in terms of our league campaign.”

Town went into the FA Cup replay without the already injured Tony Radford and the unavailable (through work) Martin Finneron. To lose Lee Phillips and Ben Steer inside 45 minutes added to their woes and all four are unlikely to make the opening league game.

The Town boss did have some sympathy with defender Sam Cooper. ‘Bucksie’ said: “I thought he was so unlucky with the slip for their goal. He’s new to us and stills settling in and, in general, he had another terrific game. No one will ever say Sam gives anything other than his all and that was the case last night. He is going to be a big player for us this season.”

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