Cullompton 2nds 0 Sidmouth Town 2nds 1
Fresha Devon & Exeter League Div 8 Saturday 25th April 2015
Sidmouth 3rds headed off on the long journey to Bampton for their final away game of the season.The game promised to be a good test of the teams progress in what was,for most of the team, their first season in adult football. Bampton had already knocked the 3rds out of the cup before the league season started. And then Bampton won the league match at Sidford
before Christmas Sidmouth lost the toss and were forced to play up the slope and into the wind in the first half. Sidmouth had to resist early pressure which they did with some determined defending from right back Ollie Pinnock particularly catching the eye.
Sidmouth soon began to play some good passing football and a smart move was finished off well with a typically powerful shot by Josh Worthington who was making a very welcome return to the side following surgery. As the half drew to a close Bampton increased the pressure and were rewarded with 2 goals in quick succession. The first being the result of a freak bounce on the rather agricultural pitch. The second being the result of some lax marking.
But with the change of ends Sidmouth began to dominate proceedings without really showing the composure that would surely have secured the victory by a much more comfortable margin. A series of good chances were spurned before the Sidmouth management team of Peacock and Nicolle made the substitution and tactical alteration that was to change the game. As the clock ticked down man of the match Carl Baldwin beat the Bampton full back before laying the ball back to Arnie Onaki who emphatically smashed the ball home from close range.
Then with the referee checking his watch Sidmouth keeper Adam Bartlett cleared well. Joe Gosse saw the on rushing Bampton keeper coming off his line and had the presence of mind to head the ball over the on-rushing keeper and into the Bampton net. Aside from some very enthusiastic celebrations that was virtually the last action of the game. A vey untypical
“route one” goal but a great way for Sidmouth 3rds to end their season’s travels.
The victory did serve to underline the huge progress made by this new team. In what was for many their first season of adult football the youngsters can be especially proud of their efforts.
The season ends this coming Saturday with a home game at Sidford when the 3rds will host Open Space from Exeter.
Fresha Devon & Exeter League Div 2 Saturday 18th April 2015
Saturday saw the Vikings second string entertain third from bottom Culm United. A confident Town dispatched relegation-threatened Culm, earning the right by doing all the ugly, attritional stuff in the first half, playing the percentages whilst the visitors looked dangerous on the break. Indeed it was Culm who passed the ball better but a strong performance from the home back line negated any threat they posed .Going forward the Vikings looked to Borja Andrade, in his final game for the club, and the latest 16 year old to make his bow for the Resrves, Joe Gosse and both threatened but it was main striker Rich Johnson who opened the scoring with a quality turn and shot that left the visiting keeper no chance.
The second half saw the Vikings up their energy although the first action was at the Vikings end as Dec Lines was forced to save with his feet to prevent the visitors from equalising. Substitute Sam Marriott combined with fellow 16 year old Gosse, the latter finishing cleverly for a debut goal. Culm continued to pass the ball around their box and a wayward pass saw Johnson react the quickest to add his second. From this point Town dominated. Gosse twice went close before Skipper Damien Armes weighted free-kick was met by the head of Marriott to make it four.
The debate still rages as to whether Mark Burdus did get a touch to Jean-Paul Staniforth’s acrobatic goal-bound effort that brought an end to the scoring.
As well as the Vikings have played in recent weeks with everyone contributing. Gosse earned the Man of the Match honours for a performance of energy, composure and knowledge. The Vikings travel to Cullompton midweek, entertain Chumleigh on Saturday before travelling to Crediton Monday night.
Fresha Devon & Exeter League Div 2 Wednesday 15th April 2015
Sidmouth Town 2nds welcomed neighbours Newton Poppleford in a midweek fixture. With no sign of any April showers the pitches are becoming very hard and uneven in bounce, factors the Vikings struggled to come to terms with in this game. A spirited display from the visitors and a lack of energy in the home side’s attacking play forced a stalemate in the first half. The Popples looking just as likely to break the deadlock.
Ten minutes into the second half a triple substitution saw the Vikings pose more threat and tighten up at the back. A succession of corners culminated in Will Jenkins excellent delivery was met by late arrival Jake Boyland’s header to put the home side ahead. Rikki Pitter twisted and turned until he found the room to shoot home from inside the box for a two-goal cushion.
Jenkins added a third towards the end with a half-volley on the turn that nestled in the corner past an unsighted keeper. Gary Dixon was the only starter to shine whilst all three substitutes had a telling impact on the game as a whole. Not a pretty game but another 3 points.
Carlsberg SWPL Division 1 East Saturday 18th April
Adam Dysons late equaliser ensured Newton Abbot Spurs gained a creditable point from the visiting Vikings at The Rec on a sunny spring day in Newton Abbot. The game itself was one of very few clear cut chances with defences on top. Add to that a hard bobbly pitch and a swirling wind the game lacked any real quality for the spectators. Spurs almost took the lead on thirteen minutes, Chris Darke’s corner was met by a glancing header from Roles but he saw his effort cleared off the line.The Vikings took the lead with their first meaningful attack on eighteen minutes. A well worked right wing corner routine, delivered by Adam Kana’ah was met by an unmarked Cameron Vere, his header was blocked but Riki Pitter was on hand to slot home the loose ball from close range. Pitter almost doubled the away sides advantage on the half hour mark but was thwarted by a last ditch tackle by Spurs Chris Metters.
The second half saw much of the same Sidmouth well organised and looking very solid as a unit, whilst NAS played percentage football (long ball!!!) On the 65th minute Spurs skipper Kevin Dadd was somewhat fortunate to stay on the pitch after pulling back Pitter as he raced clear, to the utter dismay of both sets of management & spectators Dadd only received a talking to from the referee despite being booked for a similar challenge in the first half. It took until the seventy fourth minute for the next shot in anger, Sidmouths fleet footed front man Mark Pavey firing over from twenty five yards out. Moments later Ben Jones lacked the composure to test Sidmouths goal keeper Charlie Ledger when in a good position. NAS were denied by goal line clearance on the 80th minute when young Jamie Newbery had his wits about him to cover the goal line when a deflected shot deceived Ledger. Five minutes later a Metters shot tested the greens Ledger, the former Devon County Under 16’s & 18’s keeper who has been out injured for the past two months with a broken thumb showed no sign of any ‘ring rust’ by producing a terrific instinctive reflex save to deny NAS. The home side would finally made the breakthrough just three minutes from the end of normal time through their top scorer Dyson. Deep inside his own half Sidmouth’s Tony Cox opted to play a short throw in, when ideally the throw should have been played long and cleared up the field to run the clock down, however Cox’s throw to Gary Dixon was poor and Dixon was duly tackled by NAS Matt Williams who then found Metters and despite seeing his first effort blocked, Dyson volleyed home the rebound to earn his side a share of the spoils and to take his personal goal tally to 24 for the season.
Sidmouth will be bitterly disappointed to have not claimed all three points from this game, especially having led for so long. However, with two league games remaining and two cup Semi finals to look forward to the Vikings will look at the major positives which are: they extend their current form to only losing two games in the last ten games and have also accrued the most points tally and highest league position the club has ever achieved in the Southwest Peninsula League.
Sidmouth From: Ledger, Cox, Vere(C), Newbery, Pidgeon, Kana’ah, Small, Dixon, Cooper, Pavey & Pitter: Unused Subs: Iddi & Forsyth.
Fresha Devon & Exeter League Div 2 Saturday 11th April 2015
With a bare 11 it was with some trepidation that the Vikings second string welcomed their Newtown counterparts. The previous encounter had produced a lively eight-goal game against a decent side who succumbed to the force of nature that is ‘Fez’.
Fortunately Newtown were also suffering the woes of player availability arriving also with a bare 11 and no-one to run their line. Thankfully Dave Ogley stepped manfully into the breach and spare the lottery of the referee having to make the assistants decisions. As you may expect the opening exchanges saw both sides struggling to adjust to their situations. The hosts though solid at the back struggled to create much going forward, the departing Tim Lister coming closest to breaking the deadlock with a smart header.
The second half started with a flurry of Sidmouth goals that effectively ended the contest. Rich Johnson’s instinctive strike was doubled by a crisp volley into the corner from Borja Andrade and on fifteen minutes it was three as last minute inclusion, Darren Thomas put a curling free-kick into an area defenders do not want to go ,and under pressure from Johnson, the Newtown centre-half obliged heading into his own net. At this point the home side stopped playing and with no personnel to introduce the game stagnated until the simplest bit of football saw Andrade poach his 2nd for the final goal of the game. The Spaniard again impressed just shading the Man of the Match award from the injured Thomas and will be sorely missed as he heads home after his final game on Saturday.
Fresha Devon & Exeter League Div 2 Wednesday 8th April 2015
A meeting between two sides hoping for a top 3 finish made for a game of intensity from start to finish. Colyton, who were playing their final league game bore no resemblance to the side the Vikings comfortably beat earlier this season. After a tight cagey opening period, the hosts gradually played more in the visitor half and looked the more likely to threaten the scorerline. Ten minutes before the break the in-form Andrew Lord flighted another assist, headed home at the far post by Rikki Pitter.
The second half produced more of the same intensity, Sidmouth having to defend their box for longer periods. From a Colyton corner keeper Robby Powell caught and then distributed to the right flank on half way, finding Pitter who first out-muscled and then out-ran the visitors defence before squaring to Man of the Match, Will Jenkins to dispatch the cleanest of breakaway goals. In the final ten minutes the visitors pulled one back after a lapse at the back. The final minutes were played in near-darkness and but for three consecutive blocks from Jamie Newberry Colyton may have found an equaliser. The Vikings rearguard saw the game to its conclusion and well-earned three points.