Fresha Devon & Exeter League Div 8 Saturday 25th October
The fixture list decreed that just 3 weeks after a closely fought home draw Sidmouth 3rds were to head off to play Colyton’s 2nd team in the return fixture.
Hopes of a first competitive victory were high. Although Colyton were 2nd in the table Sidmouth’s performance in the home game gave them real hope of upsetting the form book. And with Mike Stamp having a gentle re-introduction to competitive football after a leisurely summer away the 3rds looked well equipped to handle the absence of their experienced backbone of Nicolle and Johnson.Sidmouth made a very bright start pressing Colyton back and depriving them of possession. A series of free kicks and corners were expertly taken by Sidmouth’s, Jamie Briggs. One of these led to a goalmouth scramble with Jack Scrivens smashing home the loose ball – the goal very much bringing to mind Robin Van Persie’s against Chelsea the following day. Despite this being his first goal in adult football Jack’s reaction was altogether more nonchalant than RVP’s and he managed to hold back from throwing his shirt to the expectant crowd! Sadly the lead barely lasted 2 minutes before Colyton’s tricky right winger raced away to blast an unstoppable shot past a despairing Adam Bartlett in the Sidmouth goal.But Sidmouth were in determined mood and Arnie Onaki soon restored their lead with a fine headed goal.
Sidmouth ended the 1st half very much under the cosh. But despite that their manager Ian Peacock decided against his controversial (and frankly disastrous) ploy of making wholesale half-time substitutions. Instead he contented himself with changing Sidmouth’s formation to 4-3-3. Despite this cunning plan Sidmouth’s 2nd half got off to the worst possible start as Colyton equalised in the opening moments. Thereafter the game could have gone either way. But just as Arnie Onaki looked to be tiring he managed a wonderful long range effort to restore Sidmouth’s lead.Good chances continued to come at both ends. A particularly dazzling run from right back Ollie Pinnock could have made the last few minutes more comfortable for the Sidmouth supporters but sadly the run was followed by a rather less dazzling finish! But a jubilant Sidmouth team still managed to hold on to win 3-2 and secure their first victory. Indeed for many of the players this marked a first victory in adult football.
Choosing a man of the match was unusually difficult. Mike Stamp caught the eye with some determined defending and impeccable organisational skills. Arnie’s goals would ordinarily have swung it for him. But ultimately it was decided that the man of the match award would go to Jamie Briggs whose sheer will and determination stood out throughout.