Honiton Town all set for tricky run of fixtures

Honiton Town spent a second successive Fresha League Division One match day kicking their heels after the Hippos scheduled meeting with Newton St Cyres was called off owing to the Mountbatten Park pitch being hit by the rain that also caused more than 40 games across the county to be called off on the first match day of 2015.

Town have what looks to be a tough month with four matches which will surely shape their destiny this season. The sequence starts with Saturdays trip into Exeter where the Hippos will endeavour to become the first team to take anything from a visit to Exwick Villa. The Exeter side have won all four of their home league games so far this season.

Town then entertain a Lympstone side that currently sports a far better away record than home record. The fifth placed Lympets have only lost at Witheridge Reserves on their Fresha ne travels this season so far.

If the Hippos still sport an unbeaten record after those two games then they will face, arguably, their most sever test of their title credentials to date when they play back-to-back matches with in-form Exmouth Amateurs. Ammies are currently unbeaten in nine league and cup ties and they beat Town when they pair met at Mountbatten Park in a Devon Senior Cup tie back on November 1.

Heading into the Exwick Villa game Town sit top by seven points with second placed Newton St Cyres having played a game fewer than the Hippo’s. Town will be playing their 13th league game of the season in Exeter this weekend and, if the weather behaves itself the week after when they host Lympstone that will mark the halfway stage of the Town league campaign.

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Town boss Kev Blackwell has been on a ‘mission’ since he took over the Mountbatten Park hot seat – to guide his beloved home town team to the highest possible level of local league football. Given that the Hippos are currently plying their trade in the Fresha league then promotion at the end of this term will see Mountbatten Park stage Premier Division football next season.

Blackwell prefers not to take too much credit for the current rise and rise of the Hippo’s. He says; “I am merely the current orchestrator! The plaudits in terms of our journey so far must be directed at the players who go out week in and week out and give their all to deliver performances that have got us where we are. Of course we have not even reached half way yet in the league season and that fact alone means there’s plenty of time for things to go horribly wrong. Would I like to see the season end now? Of course for that would mean we could be one of the club’s applying for promotion to the top flight, something I have carved since day one of being in the job. However, the negative of the season ending now would be that I’d be denied seeing if my team can really see the season to a terrific conclusion. I enjoy watching my team play – particularly when they are at the top of their individual and collective games. That said I am also big on the need for us, as a club, to stay focussed, to keep feet firmly on the ground and, although it’s a well oiled footballing cliché, observe the need to take each game as it comes.”

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With Blackwell at the helm there’s no doubt that if his team ply their trade over then next four months as they have so far this term, then in late spring there will be big celebrations at Mountbatten Park.

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