Thompson wary of Clevedon's bid for revenge
RICHARD Thompson insists that Mangotsfield United's League Cup success over Clevedon Town on Monday night will have no bearing on the outcome when the two sides do battle in the league.
Thompson takes his side to the Hand Stadium tomorrow fresh from beating Mickey Bell's outfit, thanks to an 87th-minute Josh Klein-Davies winner, at Cossham Street.
"I wouldn't read too much into that result," said Thompson, pictured. "I would expect both teams to have quite a few different faces from Monday night and I think it will be a totally different game.
"I'm sure Clevedon will be eager to get one back over on us, so it will be a tough game. Mickey Bell has a good group of young players, who seem to have grown and developed together over the last couple of years."
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Mangotsfield, meanwhile, have won their last three games: "I'm pleased with the improvements we've made over the last few weeks in a season that was always going to be about re-building," added Thompson.
"It has been a tough job since the start of the season and it was complicated even further when we lost four or five players a few weeks ago.
"We've recovered from that by making a few new signings and the boys that have come in have certainly improved us through the spine of the side.
"Our aim has always been to bring together a settled squad of players ready to make a promotion challenge next year. If we achieve any more than that it would be a bonus."
Paulton Rovers boss Nick Bunyard believes his side are slowly starting to recover from their early-season woes.
Bunyard's team had a run of eight games without a win in the campaign's openings stages – but the manager has been encouraged by three victories in the last five outings.
"There has certainly been a marked improvement in performances over the last five games," he said.
"The players' level of concentration has been a lot better and we have definitely become a lot more difficult to beat."
Paulton did, however, lose 1-0 to Clevedon Town last weekend and will be looking to bounce back away to struggling Bishop's Cleeve tomorrow.
Alex Sykes led Bishop's Cleeve to their highest-ever league finish last season – but they are floundering near the bottom this time around and have yet to win at home in the campaign.
"I don't read too much into those sort of statistics," said Bunyard. "I know Alex well and it won't be long before he gets them playing their way out of a sticky patch.
"Looking at results alone can be very misleading because there is not much between any of the teams in this league and you know you will have a tough game wherever you go on any given Saturday."
Striker James Billing, who has work commitments, is the only absentee from an otherwise unchanged Paulton squad.