Paulton Rovers manager Nick Bunyard looks to close gap on Tiverton Town
By Somerset Guardian | Thursday, January 03, 2013, 11:15
Paulton Rovers manager Nick Bunyard believes that they will need to reel in Tiverton Town if they are to earn a play-off place in Evo-Stik League Southern Division 1 South & West.
After a poor start to the season, an unbeaten run of seven league matches has lifted Rovers to sixth spot, one outside the play-offs, but fifth-placed Merthyr are six points clear, having played a game less.
Bunyard believes that Tiverton are therefore a more realistic target, seven points ahead but having played two games more.
"A while ago we knew we needed to get on a run and Tiverton were the team I felt that we could maybe catch," he said.
"Their pitch isn't in great condition and they might struggle to play the football they would like to. We need to keep ahead of the teams around us and also start to reel Tiverton in."
Rovers beat Mangotsfield United 2-0 on Tuesday, with both goals coming in the first half.
"It was nice to play and it was a good performance – it pretty much went to plan," said Bunyard.
"It was emphasised a lot before the game that we needed to start brightly – in a few of our recent games we haven't started that well, so I was keen to avoid that situation again.
"When we got the first goal, that took the sting out of them."
Rovers face a crucial match on Saturday as they travel to Bridgwater Town (3pm), who sit one place and point below them.
Joe Vyner, Brad Norris, Josh Jeffries, Ben Osman and Kyle Phillips are all expected to be available again after missing the United match.
Rovers are then in cup action on Wednesday, visiting local rivals Frome Town in the last 16 of the Red Insure Cup.
"The cup tie is a game we're really looking forward to," said Bunyard.
"I used to be captain there, a few of our lads know some of their players and [Frome manager] Darren Perrin was manager at Paulton for a while, so it adds a bit of spice to it.
"We'll use a few fringe players but the league ruling is that you have to play seven players who started the previous league game, so we'll have a strong team and will take it seriously."