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Sidmouth played host to local rivals Honiton already knowing they were relegated on Wednesday evening and shared the honours in another entertaining encounter. The game had only been going for 2 minutes when a Honiton player fell awkwardly and dislocated his shoulder causing play to be suspended for 20 minutes after the restart both teams were going for it, Sidmouth opened the scoring with a fine strike by Tim Lister after good work by Rich Johnson. Honiton came back strongly and 2 quick goals saw the lead swing in their favour, but again the hosts showed good character to get level through Anthony Griffiths and half time came 2-2. The second half saw end to end football with strong challenges going in from both sides, Honiton regained the lead when a thunderous free kick from Darren Witt hit the back of the net, again the Vikings came back hitting the bar and after several decent saves from both keepers Andrew Thompson bundled the ball home for a deserved equaliser and share of the points.
Nick Ogden was pleased with the battle and writes: Honiton play a particular way and to their strengths with Tim Genders up front giving us constant problems, but we created plenty of problems for them too and a draw was a fair result.
End of Season Review
Oggy writes: It’s been a long hard season and the players deserve a lot of credit for seeing it through, yes we came up short but I’m still very proud of the players for the effort shown. It’s sad that we couldn’t stay up but it certainly wasn’t from lack of trying, we are all really down about it but the important thing is we regroup and come back stronger next season. As the manager I take full responsibility for this season and can only apologize to the club for my failure. I would like to thank the committee and everyone for their support and Graham for his help these last 2 years, also Paddy and Jason Stiling.
The Vikings played host to their mid table visitors knowing that the dreaded “wooden spoon” was not to be theirs as Crediton United had replaced them at the foot of the table.
On a superbly prepared surface it was the hosts who settled into the game first and chances were made and not taken. Okey were playing counter attacking football and the Viking defence looked solid, the opening goal on 30 mins was delivered by Dave Green as he lobbed the visiting keeper after being played in by Andy Isaacs, this was scant reward for a first half dominated by Town and 1-0 at half time was not a true reflection on their superiority.
The large crowd, mostly Veteran Vikings, roared Sidmouth on and a second goal was imminent as Jack Burgess was never seriously called upon in the Town goal, on 55 minutes a Darren Thomas free kick was fumbled by the Okey keeper and Matt Rasmussen nodded in the rebound to double their lead. Town still created chances with Green somehow clearing the crossbar from a yard out! Every story needs a villain so enter the referee, on 65 mins he awarded the softest penalty anyone present had ever seen. The visiting team were embarrassed to accept their gift from the official and were actually laughing as a lifeline was offered up, 2-1 the crowd had seen this so often before. Okey drew level when some chaotic defending saw the ball deflect past Burgess to give Okey the upper hand. However the never say die spirit of the Vikings was to prevail as a long clearance by Burgess was rammed home by Rasmussen to give Town another 3 points and finish the season in style.
Paddy writes: We played some great football and seriously could have trebled the scoreline!
The players deserve a massive pat on the back as the spirit amongst them is unbelievable. It takes a huge amount of guts to keep going when things haven’t been going well and they never not once this season have let the club down.
I wish you all a nice “summer” and hope to see everyone in 7 weeks time for Pre Season Training!
Full match report to follow.
Sidmouth went into this crunch match with confidence high after their previous match but unfortunately finished it in despair. They again picked an attacking formation and were totally dominant in a good first half creating a hatful of chances which were either wide, high or straight at the visiting keeper, half time arrived goalless. The second half was a similar picture until the defence stopped expecting an offside decision and a visiting midfielder ran from deep and put the ball over Scott Newbery to gain an undeserved lead. Within minutes things had got worse when a long punt was well finished for 2-0. The hosts made changes and in effect were playing with 4 up front but try as they might they couldn’t score and it ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
Oggy writes: bitterly disappointed that in our last three games we have created more chances than the rest of the season put together so to only have 3 points and 2 goals to show for it sort of sums up our year. We still have 2 games to try and put this right and I would hope the players are big enough for the fight, We all need to be arriving at the ground prepared mentally and motivated, not just some of us ALL of us.
Town lost again by the single goal in a fairly drab game that saw both sides forced to field teams unrecognisable from their norm. With young Scott Newbery making his debut in the Vikings goal and Doug Still starting in midfield the team certainly had a touch of youth to it. Civil settled into their passing game as the Vikings tried to stay compact and thus make it difficult to play through them. Newbury was the busier of the two keepers as Town struggled to create much, although twice early on Still provided opportunities for Hudson who flashed his headers narrowly wide, as half time loomed a Civil counter attack saw the ball played out to their right hand side and as the visiting player looked to cross it to the far post the wind aided the slightly miss hit centre giving Newbery no chance as it flew over his outstretched arms and into the far corner. Lady Luck has certainly not been kind to the Vikings this season as bad decisions, miss hit shots & mistakes have all resulted in goals against some of which have been winners as was the case again yesterday. The decent sized crowd were hoping for one chance to fall and this came when after good pressure from Still, Hudson and Jordan Stickland saw the latter 10 yards out with the keeper to beat only for his left foot effort to be blocked by Civils goalie. Town never gave in but it was Civil who looked more likely to trouble the scoreboard as Newbery twice made good saves. A good effort by all the players fell a little short of quality in the final third.
Sidmouth bounced back from Saturday’s disappointment to Stun league champions Elmore 2-0, In an end to end 1st half it was the hosts that created the better chances with the outstanding Kieran Fayter-small going closest, when Elmore did look threatening the Vikings defence held firm and looked solid but the half ended 0-0. The pattern of play continued to swing one way then another until Doug Still opened the scoring with a fantastic finish then it became pretty one sided and Sidmouth extended their lead when Kieran Fayter-Small refused to give up a lost cause and got the killer second. Elmore then pushed forward more but still the hosts were looking solid, gaps were appearing in the visitors back line and Sidmouth could easily have added a couple more but it stayed 2-0 and a thoroughly deserved 3 points.
Nick Ogden was delighted and rightfully proud of his sides efforts and writes: Massive win for us in our fight to beat the drop and every player played their part from front to back, we wanted it more than them and it showed, Kieran and Huw (Johnson) in midfield put in unbelievable shifts and that inspired the rest to step up. But it’s only the first step of four in our quest so we must keep our feet on the ground and concentrate on the job at hand, our task remains the same, get enough points to be safe and then we can look back and enjoy this. The reason we all love the game is from the lows of Saturday at Chagford to the highs of this game, we worked hard and got our reward