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Pears urges his players to take more risks

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: March 12, 2014

Exmouth Town's Lloyd Gardnercame in for praise from manager Richard Pears for his performance against Witheridge

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RICHARD Pears wants his Exmouth Town side to take more risks when attacking – or risk missing out on the title.

Town head to Elburton Villa at the weekend having relinquished top spot on Saturday following their goalless stalemate with Witheridge.

Town have scored 51 goals in the league this season – the joint-lowest of the top seven teams in the table, although they do also have the third-best defensive record of those sides.

“We look solid at the back but at times that comes at the expense of our forward play,” said Pears, whose side hosted Bovey Tracey yesterday (Wednesday).

“We have to work harder. We still have to make runs believing that the ball is going to drop for us, so it is down to the players now. If they want promotion they are going to have to perform, and perform better than we have done recently.”

Pears heaped praise on Lloyd Gardner after Saturday’s draw, but felt other team members ‘were not at the same level’.

“Witheridge came to us with a gameplan to keep it tight and that is what they did,” he said.

“I thought Lloyd Gardner was fantastic as he led the line on his own and it was a bit disappointing a couple of others were not on the same level.”

Withy manager Chris Vinnicombe saw the game differently.

“It was a fairly even game,” he said. “Exmouth had the lion’s share of the first half and then we edged the second half.

“If it was another team lower down the league, maybe we would have got a goal out of it, but it was pleasing that we went away to somewhere like Exmouth, who were top of the table at the time, and didn’t freeze.”

Witheridge visit Launceston on Saturday having played Elmore on Wednesday.

Elmore manager Pete Buckingham wants his team to win two thirds of their 10 remaining homes games.

“If we can win two-thirds of our home games between now and the end of the season that will get us 20-odd points,” said Buckingham. “That will see us comfortably finish in mid-table, which is the target I set the team at the start of the season.”

Elmore lost 5-2 at Ivybridge despite equalising through Lee Radford and James Blake.

Cullompton Rovers manager Mike Taylor is drawing encouragement from his side’s 2-1 loss at Plymouth Parkway.

An under-strength Cully side saw Dean Stamp equalise, only to concede a late winner.

“The guys coming in just had to step up to the plate and prove their worth really,” said Taylor, whose side host Camelford on Saturday. “Jamie Farrell moved from left-back to go in goal and the other guys that stepped into the side did a phenomenal job.”

Bovey Tracey host Falmouth Town having beaten Tavistock 1-0 thanks to Sam Dicken.

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