MATCH REACTION: KEVIN HILL ON LYMINGTON DEFEAT

A disappointed Kevin Hill reflected on Exmouth Town’s 1-0 Southern League Division One South defeat against Lymington Town at the Circle of Care Community Stadium. 

Freddie Bullard’s first half goal made the difference, as Town struggled to create anything of note throughout the game, being limited to long-shots from range and failing to have any real clear cut chances.

Speaking shortly after the game, Hill said: “I’m disappointed.

Two home games in a row and we’ve been strong for years at home.

I thought we defended really well, (Dave) Rowey, Mike (Landricombe), Dan (Preece), Sparky (Mark Lever) and Rids (Karl Riddell) in the first half, but just one mistake where we don’t track back the runner, them things can happen.

Overall, we defended well, we just lacked today going forward.

That end product, our final ball, did we have a shot on target for all the possession second half, in their half, did we really create?

That’s what happens, sooner or later teams will get it, they’ve had their one chance and took it.

They had a chance in the second half and although it was a foul on Rowey, the ref’s played on and the guy has missed it, but we’ve got to be a bit better.

People on the sulk, people walking away with their heads down, they’ve got a goal kick and we look like we feel sorry for ourselves, and that’s where you’ve got to pick up your man and take the game by the scruff of the neck.

It is a hard one for me to take, we’ve got to be ruthless in front of goal.”

Exmouth have now lost two consecutive home games without scoring, something that has not happened for years at the club, and Hill believes that a lack of chances in front of goal comes from a lack of confidence.  

It’s just movement, people’s belief, the front four when we chase and press teams down, we don’t seem to do that, we don’t seem to press or get into the right areas, and if we do it’s half hearted, it takes us half an hour to get warmed up.

The way we came out second half, if we had started like that it would have been different.

It’s movement of the ball, Jordan (Harris) has got to be better holding it up and setting it off, Ace (High) needs to be curl his runs but it doesn’t seem to be happening.

We created four or five shots that were all over the bar, get down the by-line and the cross is over, but that’s been happening for weeks.

We get an ugly win, that’s all it is but you can see that we are down in confidence, we are the team that’s bottom of the form table, and we look like.

The back four/six were solid, but I think we just lack going forward, and usually that’s the opposite, we’ve got to be sharper.”

Town have struggled in 2023, having only won one game so far in this calendar year, and despite hitting the 40 point mark, Hill isn’t celebrating safety just yet and wants to see his team pick up their form. 

“I wouldn’t say we are completely safe,

Bideford have got games in hand, and we’ve got ourselves into a bit of a rut and it’s hard to get over it.

We are in it, and if we don’t get a win then we are in it, and I said that all along, so whether the player’s think we are safe or not, we aren’t safe.

I know the other teams still have to win, but at the moment I don’t know where our wins are coming from, you could have an empty net and I don’t think the boys would hit it.

It’s like with Jordan, he gets that half-chance from Ace, when he’s sharp, he smashes it in but today he didn’t look near it, when he’s on fire they go in, but everyone looks so disinterested, it’s a hard one for me to take.

I feel like I’m babysitting them, to manage them and get them through the game, we need to just go out there and take the game by the scruff of the neck and do it ourselves.

It feels like a babysitting service, but the lads are better then that, they have their sulks and they get taken off but everyone has a different opinion, but you’ve just got to work.

If we can work hard for 100 minutes, with extra time and they are better than us then I can accept that, but when we are just going through the motions, and I see it, when we are offside and we are just lazy coming back, I hate stuff like that, but that’s complacency setting in.”

Exmouth will have their next opportunity to get back to winning ways this Saturday, as they travel to Kayte Lane to take on Bishop’s Cleeve.

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