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Mark Saunders has plans for Dolphins as Ladysmead pitch dries out

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 01, 2012

Mark Saunders

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The non-League match of the day in Devon is the top-of-the-table Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West clash between Tiverton Town and Poole Town at Ladysmead.

Tiverton are second in the table with a two-point advantage over the third-placed Dolphins, who have played four games less than their hosts.

Player-manager Mark Saunders and assistant Hedley Steele have done a great job in turning things around at Tiverton since taking over the managerial reins at the club two seasons ago.

Town have gone from a side struggling at the foot of the Premier Division to challenging at the top of Division One South and West.

Saunders was disappointed with last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at current leaders Hungerford Town, which saw the Yellows slip off the summit.

The Tivvy boss felt his side were worth at least a point and he declared: "We have a chance to put it right at home to Poole. That's what we will be looking forward to. We have been on a good run and will be looking to bounce back."

The Ladysmead pitch has dried out since the postponement of Tuesday night's Red Insure Cup tie at home to Paulton Rovers, which has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, December 4.

In the Premier Division, fourth-from-bottom Bideford travel to Barwell buoyed by their 4-0 midweek home win over Kettering Town.

The Robins head into December – and off to Leicestershire – boosted by three home wins in November, which has encouraged manager Sean Joyce to start looking up the table.

Joyce said: "Let's face it – we gave the league a four-game start. We lost our first four matches as we came to terms with a new league after promotion but, like we said at the time, it was all about finding our feet and we are starting to do that now.

"Now I look at the league table and see we are only eight points off the play-offs, and if we beat Barwell then we are only five points behind.

"It's a big ask because we haven't won away from home yet but we have won five at home and that's what is important. As far as playing away goes, we've got nothing to lose and will be as positive as ever. We travel hours on a coach [to Leicestershire] so we might as well go out and get after the game once we are there."

Joyce is without work-tied Matt Bye for today's game against the Canaries at Kirby Road and so "patient" substitute Richard Groves returns to the Robins' starting XI.

Joyce said: "Richard deserves his turn, he's been faultless but the side have been playing really well."

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