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Hodges prepares for tough battles

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 19, 2012

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Lee Hodges believes that keeping Truro City in Blue Square Bet South would be a greater achievement than winning promotion from the Southern League last season.

The Truro player-manager feels his side need another five wins from their remaining 17 games to be safe from relegation. Despite all their well publicised off the field troubles, Hodges has guided City into what on the face of it seems a relatively comfortable 12th place in the table, ten points off the relegation zone.

A run of three straight defeats to start the year has left Hodges and his depleted squad anxiously looking over their shoulders, though. Now they face successive games against two teams in the bottom three, starting with a trip to Bromley on Saturday and then a home game against Staines Town seven days later.

Hodges said: "These are two massive games for us and ones we cannot afford to lose. We've lost three in a row and don't want to get into the losing habit or else we will end up fighting relegation.

"After Monday, we're just pleased we still have a club, and, if we do stay up, I think it will be a bigger achievement than last year."

Former Plymouth Argyle winger Dan Smith has left the club in search of a full-time contract, meaning City are down to just 12 players. They will hope the Conference allows them to at least bring in some reserve-team players.

Bideford's promotion prospects continue to grow. A 2-2 draw against Gosport Borough on Tuesday has left them with a six-point advantage at the top of Evo-Stik League Southern Division One South and West.

There was still frustration for manager Sean Joyce, though, after two points went begging at the Sports Ground.

The visitors, with former Premier League player Steve Claridge in their line-up, equalised with a 95th-minute penalty, after the hosts had come from behind to lead with second-half goals from Kevin Squire and Matt Hockley.

The way the Robins let their lead slip told Joyce his young squad still have much to learn. "They got out of jail," he said.

An 89th-minute equaliser from Michael Nardiello earned Tiverton Town a 1-1 Evo-Stik League draw at Thatcham Town last night.

Two late goals from Simon Ingram plus strikes from James Blake and Jamie Short gave Taunton Town a 4-0 win at Wellington in last night's Somerset Premier Cup second-round tie.

Neil Slateford hit a hat-trick as Bodmin Town crushed Tavistock 6-1 in the Premier Division of the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League at Priory Park last night.

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