A frustrated Kevin Hill gave an honest reflection following Exmouth’s 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Larkhall Athletic in the Southern League Division One South.

Harley Prior opened the scoring for the visitors in the first half, and goals from Harry Simons and Kye Simpson after the break helped the Larks cruise to victory against an Exmouth side that struggled to get going throughout the game.

Speaking shortly after the game, Hill said: “I’m massively disappointed with the way we performed.

We are going through a sticky patch, we haven’t played well in all honesty for two months.

Teams are sussing us out, is it complacency, am I getting it wrong, do I need to bring in new faces, we will see.

But fair play to Larkhall, they deserved to beat us. 

I’m more disappointed with the goals we conceded, you look at last week and Paulton’s goal was good, but today, it was a ball in the air, lost the flight of the ball and then a scuffed clearance just out of the ‘keeper’s hand, then not completing the tackle, he’s banged it top corner.

Great shot, but it is avoidable, very avoidable.

Second one, we’ve come out in the second half with a bit of tempo, all in their faces, we had a good spell, a little bit of pressure.

Then what happens is Dan (Cullen) goes down the right, looked a little bit uncomfortable running with the ball, didn’t get the foul, then Cal (Shipton) gone for the ball and then somebody else goes for the ball, this has all taken about 45 seconds, but he’s still ended up in our penalty box unmarked.

So whoever has bombed forward has ambled back, and this never used to happen with us.

We are coming a bit unstuck, we are in the highest league we’ve ever been in but we didn’t deserve anything from that game.”

Aside from a spell at the end of the first half, Exmouth struggled to break down the Larkhall defence, and having failed to score in three of their last five, Hill believes it is movement that will get his side scoring consistently. 

“It’s movement off the ball, Levi’s (Landricombe) movement is different, he can be out the game but he is always looking for it.

I am always saying, and they know who they are, that we are reactive and not proactive, not getting across the front, but we’ve got to.

We are a reactive side, we will wait and see where it drops, ball comes in the box, Ace (High) heads it back across goal and we don’t get one runner, they all stand still hoping it falls to their feet.

That’s the difference, other teams run across, gamble and take defenders away, and the ball drops to someone and goal.

If you don’t do that, you don’t get your half-chances, your tap-ins.”

Despite this poor run of form, it is important to reflect on the season that Exmouth have had so far since their promotion to the Southern League Division One South.

Currently still in 5th, Town are more than capable of getting back to winning ways, and Hill believes that hard work is the key to finding their form.

“My teams have always been about work rate, and there is no excuses for that.

Do I take some blame?

Of course, I let them get away with things and not change it around, but we don’t become a bad side overnight and the lads have been superb for me, but they realise that there is no comparison for hard work.

We need hard work, a bit of belief, and maybe a couple of new faces.

Shake it up if we don’t work hard, but I’ll give them a little bit more, I’m loyal to them, I’ve been loyal to them, but there is only so long I can give them.

I don’t like results like that, and especially with the goals like the second and third where it’s just basic errors, we are getting found out and I realise that what I’ve got.

But I also realise where we are, our position in the league and what we’ve got to try and do.”

Exmouth will look to end this current run of form as they travel to the Spiers & Hartwell Jubilee Stadium to take on Evesham United on the 21st of January (3pm KO). 

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