Taylor takes swipe at team mates

SOCCER: Stonham Aspal player Mark Taylor has launched a savage attack on his team mates on the eve of their tricky Metaltec SIL Omnico Cup fourth round match against Second Division Ipswich Exiles.

By Elvin King

STONHAM Aspal player Mark Taylor has launched a savage attack on his team mates on the eve of their tricky Metaltec SIL Omnico Cup fourth round match against Second Division Ipswich Exiles.

Taylor accuses his Senior Division team mates of strutting around like prima donnas and thinking they are better than they are.

He adds: "Every player should take a long, hard look at himself. At the moment performances are an absolute joke.

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"The final hour of our 3-2 defeat at Bramford United – after being two goals up – last Saturday has to be one of the worst performances I have witnessed. We could not pass the ball and there was not one

challenge that could be described as a tackle."

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Taylor, who does not exonerate himself from blame, makes his outburst in tomorrow's Green 'Un. He has received the full backing of manager Graham Lambert, who said today: "Mark is one player who knew exactly how I felt after the Bramford game.

"His views reflect mine and the players know this. I can quite understand Mark's comments."

Stonham have not won a league match since October 27, which Lambert describes as appalling.

"We are nervous about the Exiles match and will no doubt find them difficult opponents. In the last round we played well to start with when we beat Walton Rangers from Division Six 8-0. We need a repeat of that tomorrow."

Exiles have been continuous members of the Metaltec SIL since 1958 – but have never reached the Senior Division, and never beaten senior opposition.

Secretary Eric Dickerson was a 17-year-old player when he helped form Exiles and he has been connected with them ever since.

"Our main priority is to get out of the Second Division," he said today. "We lost a vital league game against Whitton United on Saturday and have made a habit over the years of having post-Christmas slumps.

"It is good to be playing senior opposition again but there is no doubt we will start underdogs. Stonham may have too much pace for us up front and be too organised at the back."

Exiles are managed by Nick Biondi, who was assistant last season and took over when Grant Wilson had to undergo heart surgery during the summer. Wilson is now coach.

Dickerson will tempt providence no further than to admit that Exiles have a chance of promotion. They currently top the Second Division with 11 wins, one draw and two defeats, while the reserves are also doing well and are in the top three in Division Four.

Why have Exiles, who play their home games at Rushmere Sports Centre, survived when so many similar Ipswich-based junior Saturday clubs have bitten the dust over the last 20 years?

Dickerson has the answer. He replied: "First of all we have some very loyal club men with chairman Brian Smith a prime example of that.

"And secondly, we benefit from encouraging our youth sides. We manage to keep some of our young players and they become the nucleus of our adult teams.

"A number leave, like Nick Biondi, and play senior football before returning."

Exiles beat Division Five AFC Hoxne in the previous round and are looking forward to making their first big impact on the Omnico Cup tomorrow.

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