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Railwaymen still on track for the title insists Fisher

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

By ANDY PHILLIPS

THE JOY OF SIX:  Ben Towler, front, was on the scoresheet for Stoke Gabriel as they won 6-1

THE JOY OF SIX: Ben Towler, front, was on the scoresheet for Stoke Gabriel as they won 6-1

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STOKE GABRIEL player-manager Gary Fisher has insisted that his team are still going for the Division One East title this season – despite languishing in fourth place.

The Railwaymen have fared particularly poorly through the winter months because of postponements, despite their own pitch remaining relatively trouble-free.

Fisher's side have up to six games in hand on some sides in their division, including five matches over second-placed Newton Abbot Spurs.

Fisher revealed that the club have applied for promotion to the Premier Division next season, with the deadline falling tomorrow.

But while they certainly have the ground for it, after the opening of their new clubhouse, the team will only be eligible to go up if they finish in the top two.

Yet Fisher has said his side are not focused solely on catching Spurs, but intent on chasing down the leaders, who are 15 points ahead of them.

"I'm looking to Exmouth town to be fair," he said.

"If we win all our games in hand we would be nine points behind Exmouth and we've still got to play them so we can reduce that to six points.

"We've applied for promotion anyway so it's a case of waiting to see what happens."

"I'm still looking at the title, but I'm confident we can catch Newton Abbot Spurs."

Stoke are being forced to look backwards this Saturday when fifth-placed Appledore are the visitors to Broadley Lane (3pm).

But after a 6-1 win over Crediton United last weekend, Fisher is confident his team can secure all three points.

"I can't see it being a problem but I go into every game looking for us to play the right way," he added.

"We didn't go into the Crediton United game with the right mindset and ended up going 1-0 down."

Goals from Ollie Critchlow, Ben Towler, Jordan Hopkins, Mark Newbould, Dave Worthington and a Kris Davis penalty saw off the Kirton.

Fisher said he has also had a significant rebuilding job to do on the team, and the latest loss was Grant Fisher, who left for Taunton Town. However, Adam Simpson has stepped up from the reserves.

GALMPTON United are seeking to rebuild their confidence when they travel to Okehampton Argyle on Saturday (3pm).

The Greens suffered another heavy defeat last weekend, going down 6-0 at Budleigh Salterton, their third straight loss.

Last weekend's results capped a dismal February for the team, which started with a 5-4 defeat that ended their seven-match unbeaten streak.

Galmpton joint-player-manager Steve Parkin said: "It's very strange, we lost to Alphington after we'd gone on our run – and it was a game we never deserved to lose – and after that our confidence got destroyed when we got hammered by Exmouth [7-1 away]. They battered us in the second half and we've never really recovered from it."

Robbie Bowker was also given a straight red card for swearing at another player, which Parkin said was more than a little frustrating.

"It's just the inconsistency," he said.

"I see it as a yellow card and a stern word. But to be sent off when everyone else on the field is doing it...

"And it wasn't even aimed at the ref."

Galmpton were just 1-0 at half-time, but Bowker's early shower saw Budleigh go on to run riot in the second half.

Parkin said the squad has also been hit by continued injury problems for the likes of joint-manager Richard Ridley and striker Kevin Wills, while Dan Rankin has joined AFC Brixham.

Parkin said: "It's frustrating for the club and everyone – we had high hopes for this season and we've got a lot of good players, but for some reason it's been hard.

"I don't think it's the things on the end of our legs that are the problem – it's the thing between the ears."

TOTNES and Dartington are aiming for an improved showing in front of their home crowd when they host Alphington at the Foxhole Sports Ground on Saturday (3pm).

Sav Savva's side lost 3-2 at home to Appledore last weekend, despite goals from Mark Ashworth and Ben Bowhay.

TEIGNMOUTH travel to rock-bottom Sidmouth (3pm) having not played last weekend, while Newton Abbot Spurs are without a game this weekend having drawn 3-3 with the Vikings last weekend.

The draw – courtesy of goals from Adam Dyson (2) and James Clark – saw Spurs lose further ground on leaders Exmouth, but remain in second courtesy of the three-point cushion they had already built up.

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