Tigers out but not down over cup exit

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:29 15 June 2010

Axminster Town bravely exited the Devon Premier Cup when beaten 2-1 at Sector Lane on a soggy Saturday afternoon by South Devon outfit Brixham Villa.

Axminster Town bravely exited the Devon Premier Cup when beaten 2-1 at Sector Lane on a soggy Saturday afternoon by South Devon outfit Brixham Villa. Defeat was hard to take for the Tigers and especially boss Ray Self who said: "Football can be such a cruel game! "I must confess I didn't sleep well on Saturday night. I really tossed and turned with regard to a line of thinking that questioned every move I'd made, did I get that wrong, what if I'd tried this, but on reflection I guess you'd have to say that on the day it simply wasn't meant to be. The players gave their absolute all and I am told from a spectator's viewpoint that it was a cracking spectacle but how I wish it had been a poor game and us still in the competition!"Despite making the brighter start Town fell behind on the half hour when, during a passage of decent offensive play by the Fishermen, the Tigers' back line backpedalled a little too far and allowed the visitors to claim the lead. They held it for just 12 minutes before the impressive Richard Spiller charged forward, weaved inside and outside a challenge or three, and fired home to take the game into the break all square. The visitors had the better of the early second half exchanges but, on the hour mark, Town grew stronger and from this point almost totally 'bossed' the contest. Sam Dibling was left holding his head when a super shot cannoned back off the upright with the keeper well beaten but the visitors' glovesman was also at his very best on at least four occasions to deny the Tigers what would, at this stage, surely have been a winning goal.The game moved into the extra half hour and Joel Seward was summoned from the bench to replace the ailing Gary Knight who was struggling with his foot injury. Young Seward saw a shot stay out only by the width of an upright and then was twice denied by super stops from the Brixham keeper and, as everybody prepared for penalties, Brixham broke and scored what proved to be a match winning goal, ensuring heartache all round at Sector Lane - except for the jubilant travelling party!Next up for the Tigers is a return to league action and the longest trip of the campaign, the hike into North Devon to face Appledore. They made the former Devon league's 'Most Hospitable Club' crown their own for each of the last four seasons of the county league. The two side shared six goals in the game at Sector Lane earlier in the campaign and Self says: " It's important we don't dwell on the cup defeat. "We have a target, achievable on in my book, of a top six finish and it is important that we go on Saturday looking to start a run in the league that will carry us to that. As I told the lads post match last weekend -that will, in itself, represent an exceptional season for all involved with this football club".

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