'Pressure is on us' says Stoke boss ahead of trip to winless Sidmouth

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By Herald Express | Thursday, November 15, 2012, 07:00

STOKE GABRIEL player-manager Gary Fisher believes the pressure could be on his side when they travel to winless Sidmouth Town on Saturday (2.15pm).

Stoke rose to third in the table with a 4-2 victory at previous leaders Newton Abbot Spurs last weekend, helped in part by a cameo apparance for Tiverton Town's Michael Nardiello.

The cousin of Rotherham United striker Daniel Nardiello made a 'one-off' start for Stoke as work commitments meant he did not have enough time to make Tiverton's away trip.

And he was among the scorers, poking home a Jordan Hopkins pull-back for the fourth goal, adding to earlier goals from Rich Farkins, Ollie Critchlow and Hopkins.

Fisher explained: "It was a one-off because he had to work in the morning and Tiverton were playing away, so he needed a game and we helped him out.

"It was great – especially as we were missing Ben Towler.

"They [Spurs] had a 20-minute spell at the start of the second half but we weathered it and scored which really killed the game off.

"Overall I was very pleased with the performance."

Skipper Mark Newbould returns for Stoke this weekend having missed the Spurs clash due to work commitments, while Towler is still doubtful with an ankle injury.

But Fisher said Saturday's result was far from a foregone conclusion.

"I was hoping they [Sidmouth] would win a game before we played them so the pressure would be off them – but the pressure is on us now."

NEWTON Abbot Spurs are facing more injury woe as they seek to get their title challenge back on track with a trip to Axminster Town on Saturday (2.15pm).

Spurs fell off the top of the table in dramatic fashion last weekend, a 4-2 defeat at home to Stoke Gabriel seeing them fall to fourth spot.

Skipper Jamie Dyson (groin), top-scorer Adam Dyson (ribs) and midfielder James Despard-Clark (thigh) all went off injured to complete Spurs' misery. With five first-teamers already missing, Spurs side had a distinctly different look to it by the final whistle.

Boss Paul Dyson said: "By the time we finished the game we had eight players missing from what our regular first team would be. But there were positives which we will take from it, and we just have to move on."

Stoke Gabriel were 2-0 by half-time in the key clash, with Adam Dyson's 25-yard strike and 16-year-old Jake Chisholm's late goal merely consolations for Spurs.

Dyson Snr expects a difficult clash this weekend, but said his side are still ahead of where he had hoped they would be.

"It will be a difficult game," he said. "I would like as many of my squad back to give us a chance.

"But to be honest I keep looking at each batch of games and we're ahead of schedule."

TEIGNMOUTH are still looking to end their miserable run of defeats when they take on Alphington at Coombe Valley on Saturday (2.15pm).

Teigns were beaten 5-3 at Exeter Civil Service last weekend, extending their losing run to five games.

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