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Derby clash is 'all or nothing' for Teigns title chances, says Breslan

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

FLASHBACK:  Action from last season's clash between Teignmouth and Stoke Gabriel

FLASHBACK: Action from last season's clash between Teignmouth and Stoke Gabriel

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TEIGNMOUTH AFC boss Geoff Breslan said this weekend's Division One East clash against Stoke Gabriel at Coombe Valley (2.15pm) is 'all or nothing' for his side.

Teignmouth are two points ahead of the Railwaymen in the title race, having lost just once in the league this season.

But crucially, Gary Fisher's side have three games in hand, and it is this which is weighing heavily on Breslan's assessment of the standings.

Both sides were in Devon Premier Cup action last weekend, with Teignmouth beating Plymouth Parkway Reserves 2-1 and Stoke drawing 1-1 with Tiverton Town Reserves but going out on penalties.

But all thoughts of cup runs will be out of the respective managers' heads when the two sides meet on Saturday.

Breslan said: "It's difficult being in three competitions [Teignmouth are still in the Throgmorton Cup] but we have Stoke Gabriel in the league, so we have to concentrate on that.

"It's the big one as if we have any aspirations of winning the title we have to beat them.

"It's all or nothing for us."

Last Saturday, Teignmouth had to wait until half-time for midfielder Ian Wilkinson who was delayed by work, but he should be part of a full-strength Teigns squad this weekend.

"Everyone will be back, and everyone knows it's a big game," said Breslan.

"They don't get any bigger than Stoke Gabriel in this league.

"I've said before that whoever finishes above them will win the league, and I can't pay them any more respect than that.

"They've got some great players, but we've got some good players too, and we will be going all-out for a win. The good thing we've got at the moment is that we're in a winning habit, and we will need all that next week against them."

Stoke Gabriel player-manager Gary Fisher also expects a tough game, but said it's too early in the season for the clash to have any real bearing on the title prospects of either side.

"There's a lot of games to play between now and May," said Fisher.

"Plus it's not just us in contention as you've got Exwick Villa and Galmpton United up there too. But they [Teignmouth] are going into the game on an unbeaten run, and with them being at home they've got the advantage."

Fisher is still without a steady central defensive partnership having lost Craig Fenner – who has gone travelling to Australia – until February.

But with players of the calibre of Dean Stevens (ex-Buckland Athletic), Robbie Bowker and Fisher himself, many have already decided Stoke are champions-elect.

But Fisher added: "Hopefully the big players will shine, but at the end of the day it's not just about them, it's about the whole squad. What I'm looking for is a team performance and to get back to winning ways. But it's not going to be easy at all."

Elsewhere, Galmpton United are looking to make up for their home failure last weekend when they host Okehampton Argyle on Saturday.

Newton Abbot Spurs are hoping to make it back-to-back wins when Appledore visit The Rec, while Totnes and Dartington are also at home, with Axminster Town the visitors.

Liverton United will want to get back on track when they travel to Plymstock United.

All kick-offs are at 2.15pm.

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