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Vinni: 'We can beat Torquay'

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

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WITHERIDGE player-manager Chris Vinnicombe says he sees no reason why his side can't spring a shock when they face Torquay United in the Devon St Luke's Bowl tonight (Tuesday).

Witheridge go into the quarter-final tie at Edge Down Park on a good run, having won their last six games, culminating in a 2-1 derby victory over Cullompton Rangers on Saturday.

And while Vinnicombe admits they will go into the tie as underdogs, he says if they can keep their performances up to the standards they have been producing recently, the outcome of the tie is far from certain.

"When you are playing against pro clubs you are always going into the games as underdogs because they train every day and their fitness levels are much higher than ours," said Vinnicombe.

"But fingers crossed we play well on the day and who is to say we can't get a result?

"They will probably bring their fringe players that haven't been playing in the first team and then will have their first or second year pros in the side, so it will be a big test for us and hopefully we will have a big crowd like we had against Plymouth last season."

Should Witheridge win, they will travel to the victors of next Tuesday's Barnstaple Town-Tiverton Town clash, while the winners of Plymouth Parkway against Cully tomorrow (Wednesday) will host Exeter City.

Withy's victory over Cullompton at Speeds Meadow at the weekend came courtesy of goals from Kyle Bassett and Dave Rowe. Rowe's strike, which put Withy into a first-half lead, was particularly good – a first time left-foot strike that flew into the top corner of the net from 35 yards – and earned the praise of his manager.

"It is probably goal of the century from our point of view," he said.

"Dave Rowe never comes up with many goals, but when he does score they are normally good and that one will probably go down in anyone's book as goal of the season. He doesn't really score a lot in training either. He is normally at the back or defending where he should be, so for him to pop up with a strike like that is definitely one to savour."

Withy's second goal came shortly after the break as Tom Langford crossed for Bassett to head in from the edge of the six-yard box.

However, the second half was a struggle as Cully pulled a goal back through Jack Towill and then put pressure on the Withy goal.

"We said at half-time that if we do go two goals up then they are going to chuck everything at us," said Vinnicombe.

"It was whether we could weather the storm and keep a clean sheet. We didn't quite manage to do that as they got a goal back, but we did defend well in the closing stages to hold out for the win."

Meanwhile, Cullompton Rangers manager Mike Taylor is taking the positives from the loss ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

Cully travel to high-flying Ivybridge Town and Elburton Villa before hosting fourth-placed Exmouth Town on Boxing Day.

Cully had lots of possession against Withy, but struggled to create enough chances with the final ball into the box often being taken too early.

"I think we are desperate for a goal and that is the honest assessment of it," said Taylor.

"I think sometimes we rush things and we are a little bit rash at times because we are desperate to score. We do need a little bit more composure in that final third, but it will come.

"I thought we took six or seven minutes to get into the game, but once we got into the game I thought we had most of the possession. I thought first half we did well and then the second 45 I felt we controlled the game.

"We gave away a sloppy goal, but other than that goal I felt we had all the ball, all the play and, for the last 15 minutes they were holding on really."

Towill scored Cully's only goal of the match 15 minutes from time as he side-stepped a Withy defender's challenge and then chipped a shot over Joe Tickle and into the top right-hand corner of the net.

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