Tigers boss: I am flabbergasted – I did not see that one coming!

PUBLISHED: 08:25 08 September 2020

Action from the Axminster Town 2-1 defeat to Dartmouth on the opening day of the new South West Peninsula League Prmeier East season. Picture: SARAH MCCABE

Action from the Axminster Town 2-1 defeat to Dartmouth on the opening day of the new South West Peninsula League Prmeier East season. Picture: SARAH MCCABE

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Axminster Town made a disappointing start to the new South West Peninsula League campaign, going down 2-1 at home to Dartmouth.

Action from the Axminster Town 2-1 defeat to Dartmouth on the opening day of the new South West Peninsula League Prmeier East season. Picture: SARAH MCCABEAction from the Axminster Town 2-1 defeat to Dartmouth on the opening day of the new South West Peninsula League Prmeier East season. Picture: SARAH MCCABE

After a somewhat ‘lack lustre’ first 45 minutes, the Tigers introduced Marcus Fanson at the start of the second half and his impact paid instant dividends as Reece McCabe fired the home side in front, much to the joy of a good-sized Tiger Way turnout.

Having taken the lead, Town ought to have had enough about them to go on and claim all three points.

However, they seemed to take their foot off the gas and paid a heavy price as Dartmouth gradually battled back into the game, first levelling and then sealing an opening day success with an 82nd minute winner.

Town boss Josh Stunell said: “Hand on heart, I was left flabbergasted by that first competitive game.

“The performance was one I had simply not seen coming. In the first half we were non-committal, but we had a chat at the break and started the second half so well before it all went pear-shaped!

“Pre-season had been so positive and look, we’ve got beaten by an odd goal on the opening day and the biggest positive I take from it is the atmosphere post-match amongst our lads.

“They did not need telling they had just gift-wrapped three points to the visiting side.

“We have an honest bunch of lads and their reaction at the end said it all.”

The Tigers boss continued: “What summed it all up was that we usually do a home team Man of the Match, and we could not come up with one – says it all really.”

Tonight (Wednesday) Elmore are the visitors to Tiger Way (7.30pm).

Given that the Mid Devon men were empathic 4-0 opening day winners, the Tigers might be in for a tough evening.

However, Stunell says: “I’d rather be playing a quality outfit as I plan to speak with the lads ahead of the game about the need for us to focus on the good things that we did in pre-season against quality opposition.

“There is no need for us to panic. We have narrowly lost a game in which we underperformed and I am sure we will bounce back.”


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