SWPL Division 1 East Saturday 23rd February 2013
Mark Burdus’ right footed wonder strike from 40 yards,five minutes from time,earned Town a share of the spoils at The Recreation Ground in the centre of Newton Abbot. With their hosts occupying second place in the league it was going to take a massive effort from the men in green. The free-scoring Spurs side gained the initiative early on and Town keeper Jack Burgess was never going to get too cold as his defence tried to stem the steady flow of attacks. The Vikings were struggling to play any football on a bumpy pitch and possession was wasted time and again. However on 25 minutes Matt Rasmussen managed to deceive his marker inside the penalty area and from a tight angle rifled in a left footed shot into the far corner past the startled Ross Belotti. Unfortunately the lead lasted two minutes as Spurs were awarded a penalty and top scorer Adam Dyson drilled in the equaliser. The hosts were now playing well and Burgess did brilliantly to deny Dyson adding to his tally. Spurs gained the lead on 35 minutes when slack marking from a corner resulted in a deflected effort ending in the Vikings net. Half time was approaching as skipper Mike Stamp received the ball 30 yards out and he made no mistake as he curled in with his favoured right foot into the far corner. Half time had arrived and the mood in each dressing room would have been one of disbelief. For all their pressure two goals was scant reward for some good football from the home side, with Town only having two chances and dispatching both, clinically. Funny old game some might say!
The second half was a more even affair and chances at both ends went begging before the prolific Dyson was again on hand to smash his second goal with 20 minutes left. The Vikings made some adjustments and kept trying to chase the equaliser as Spurs players were guilty of time wasting and were clearly hanging on to their slender lead. From a free kick swung into the Spurs penalty area Mark Badcock looked to have won a penalty as he was clearly fouled, only for the official to wave play on. Luck had again played its part, unfortunately bad luck has often featured for this set of players this season, and so it seemed that the Vikings efforts were in vain until Burdus’ equaliser saved the day
I can’t praise the players enough after another gritty performance. We didn’t play as well as we can but the side never gave in. In the first half Spurs could of been out of sight as they coped with the surface a lot better than us, but goals win points and we were lethal in that department!
This Peninsula league is a strange one this season, with most sides capable of beating each other on any given day, Exmouth Town apart, obviously.
A special mention for Paul Newbury our referees assistant (linesman to everyone else) who needed treatment on his achilles late on in the game but managed to see it through, as did the 15 players who represented the Vikings today, and showed all that is good about Sidmouth Town Football Club.
Next up is a home tie versus Teignmouth 3pm k.o.
Finally, can I take this opportunity, on behalf of the club, to say thank you and farewell to Lee Glanville who after 25 years of sports reporting with the Sidmouth Herald has decided to move on to ‘pastures new’. We wish you and Lawrence well and will look out for your point to point results, good luck.