Carlsberg SWPL Division 1 East Saturday 28th March
A well deserved stoppage time equaliser at Manstone Lane gave the home-side a share of the spoils against the visitors, who had started the day at the top of the league.
With Darren Thomas, Mark Burdus, Ashley Small, Captain Aaron Doble and Jake Boyland all missing, the Vikings called up second team players Damien Armes, Matt Colson, Will Jenkins, seasoned campaigner Antony Griffiths, and youngster Olly Binion. Having defeated two of their title rivals in their last two games the in-form visitors found the home side in defiant mood and were unable to break down a resolute defence of Mike Pidgeon, Jamie Newbery, Antony Griffiths and Cameron Vere. The visitors had the lion’s share of possession in the first half, but failed to trouble Robbie Powell in the Vikings goal. Sidmouth remained well organised and disciplined and always looked to hit the visitors on the break at pace. With either side creating any clear cut chances, Sidmouth went in at halftime the happier of the two sides as their game plan to frustrate the visitors by denying them time and space was clearly working and Galmpton desperately needed to find a plan b, if they were to remain top of the league by 5pm.
Sidmouth had hoped that for the second half the league leaders would become nervy and start opening up a little and perhaps leave some holes in the defence for Pavey, Pitter, Cox & Jenkins to exploit. However, all of the great first half work from the Vikings was undone inside the 1st 10 minutes of the re-start, Galmptons Dan Rankin picked up on a poor Clearance by Vere and slotted well passed Powell. To Sidmouth’s credit they did not lose any of their believe and this was mainly down to Jordon Cooper & Gary Dixon who worked tirelessly in midfield ensuring that Galmpton would not over run them and take control of the game. On the 70th minute the Vikings should have been level. Mark Pavey missed a gilt edge chance, the fleet footed forward found himself unmarked 12 yards out from goal but unfortunately headed over the cross-bar with just the goal keeper to beat. The Vikings kept believing that they would get another chance and by now were on the front foot as the visitors were getting pinned back in their half as full-backs Pidgeon and Newbery were marauding up and down the flanks.
The all important chance fell on the 91st minute. The young Vikings were awarded a free kick 25 yards out from goal, the all important task of delivering a great ball in fell to Tony Cox, Cox whipped in a terrific ball into the box which found 16 year old Jamie Newbery at the far post, Newbery powerfully headed a goal bound effort, even though the visiting custodian got his hands to the ball, the sheer power of the header prevented him from being able to keep the ball out of the goal. The goal was Newbery’s first senior goal but more importantly it was a just reward for a professional performance from a well organised and disciplined Sidmouth team.
Final Score 1-1
Sidmouth from: Powell, Newbery, Vere (c), Griffiths, Pidgeon, Cox, Dixon, Cooper, Pavey, Jenkins & Pitter. Used sub: Armes. Unused Subs: Colson & Binion.