Plymouth Marjon coach Jamie Oxley targets top four after Isca win
HEAD coach Jamie Oxley wants Plymouth Marjon to target a top four Davis Wood Hockey League Premiership finish following their surprise 2-1 Devon derby victory at table topping Isca.
Victory against the promotion favourites from Exeter has hoisted sixth-placed Plymouth to within four points of fourth-placed Bristol University with six rounds of top flight matches remaining.
And, after back-to-back wins, Oxley admits: "I thought confidence in the camp was low because we have not been taking our chances.
"But we beat Whitchurch 6-0 and now we've won at lsca, with a really good defensive display as well as scoring a couple of good goals in the process.
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"We play Team Bath Buccs at Marjon tomorrow and if we beat them we go above them, so it's all there to play for and I don't see any reason why we cannot go higher, if we keep the momentum going.
"Numbers-wise we have started to pick up since Christmas and being able to field our strongest team at Isca shows what we can do on our day.
"We have been boosted by the return of a lot of experienced players throughout the club and that has helped tremendously. The first team should be full of confidence after beating Isca."
Plymouth take on fifth-placed Bath tomorrow without Jamie Hill – so impressive last week at Isca – while goalkeeper Rich Hancock takes over between the posts from Ben Blundy as Oxley seeks to rotate the club's top two number ones.
Bath showed a marked improvement despite a 1-0 home defeat to table-topping University of Exeter A last Saturday, following a 1-1 draw at Swindon and back-to-back home defeats by relegation haunted ECV Hornets (5-2) and seventh-placed Taunton Vale (2-1).
Oxley admits: "After our result last week it obviously looks like one we could win and it would be good to get our first double of the season and kick start our home form.
"I don't know why but we have done much better away from home this season."
Tomorrow's Premiership match at UCP Marjon starts at 12.30pm.
The big match in Conference South is in Exeter, where leaders Isca A host second-placed PGSOB at University of Exeter Sports Park (3.30pm).
PGs head in to the game buoyed by a four-match winning streak and having recently won 3-2 at promotion rivals University of Plymouth.
PGs start the day two points behind the leaders, who boast a proud 100 per cent home record of eight wins.
The top two drew 2-2 when they met in Plymouth on November 10.
Sixth-placed Plymouth Marjon A will be without in-form John Whitfield (broken finger) for the visit of basement side Yeovil & Sherborne (UCP Marjon, 2pm).
Yeovil's last trip to Plymouth resulted in a 6-0 defeat by PGSOB.
Dave Langton makes his first start of the season for relegation threatened Plymouth Marjon B in their must-win Southern One home game against third-placed Penzance.
Plymouth Marjon II are set to host fourth placed Falmouth in a rescheduled West Clubs Women's South Division match (UCP Marjon, 11am).