Sidmouth Town 0 – Stoke Gabriel 4

Carlsberg SWPL Division 1 East Saturday 29th October 2016

The Vikings were dealt two major blows on the morning of the game with goal keeper Jack Burgess (a fireman) having to withdraw due to work commitments and new signing Dexter Booth having to delay his debut due to a foot infection.  Sidmouth called in former Sidbury Utd goalkeeper Jamie Harvey to replace Burgess and 2nd teamer Matt Ogley to replace Booth.

From the 1st whistle Stoke were relentless but found the back four of Sidmouth in good form and expertly supported by Harvey who went on to put in a man of the match performance.  Stokes 1st goal on the 25th minute had a touch of fortune about it, from a corner kick the ball fell to Sidmouth’s Dan Evans who was guarding the back post, inexplicitly Evans made a complete hash of his clearance and volleyed past the stranded Harvey.  This was a bitter blow for the Vikings who had defended well up to this point.  The goal saw the visitors raise their game even more and they soon found the 2nd after some tremendous wing play.

Halftime 0 – 2

Sidmouth started the second half really well and asked the away defence some serious questions, however the visitors stood firm and this enabled them to frustrate the greens and hit them twice on the break with un-earing pace and power.  On the 65th minute Sidmouth introduced young Ogley who rose to the occasion in central midfield demonstrating some excellent passing skills and some tenacious tackling that really caught the eye.  Stoke continued to press and only exceptional goalkeeping from Harvey and last ditch tackles from Jamie Newbery saved the Vikings from a ‘right old hammering’.

On the day Sidmouth played quite well but found Stoke Gabriel far too strong, with Manager Josh Stunell commenting “whoever finishes higher than Stoke Gabriel will win the league in my opinion.  In my three seasons in charge at the club two teams have been far too good, the Uni side two seasons ago and this lot today, fair play to them”  

Sidmouth from: Harvey, White, Newbery (C), Clampin, Wellman, Evans, Jones, Antat, Binion, Burrows & Densham.  Used Subs: Dobinson, Ogley & Badcott.

Start Man – Jamie Harvey

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Bickleigh 2nds 2 –  Sidmouth Town 3rds 5

Macron D&E League Div 7 Saturday 29th October 2016

Sidmouth travelled to mid-Devon for the 2nd weekend on the trot to play Bickleigh 2nds against whom they had struggled in both of the previous season’s fixtures.

Sidmouth are beginning to make a habit of starting slowly and this week’s game was to be no exception. Bickleigh began well and were well and truly under the cosh as a well organised Bickleigh brought relentless pressure to bear on the Sidmouth goal. A Bickleigh goal seemed inevitable and it duly arrived after 15 minutes. Thankfully the Bickleigh lead seemed to stir Sidmouth from their slumbers. All of a sudden there was a renewed energy to Sidmouth’s play with the well timed runs of Ollie Turton causing particular problems for Bickleigh. One such run was rewarded with a penalty in Sidmouth’s favour. Up stepped team captain Ben Squance to restore parity. Ben had taken over penalty taking duties having previously never failed to miss. What he had failed to mention is that he had never previously scored either. Suffice it to say that Ben’s proud record of having never previously troubled the scorers never looked remotely in danger! But any fears that this would turn out to be one of those days soon fell away. Another piece of magic from Ollie Turton saw him curl a super right footed shot past the diving Bickleigh keeper. Moments later a thunderbolt volley from Richard Johnson put Sidmouth on top. And after Sidmouth extended their lead with a deflected header by Ben Miller Bickleigh were suddenly in disarray. At this point Sidmouth looked to be coasting with Bickleigh chasing shadows. Bickleigh would have been truly glad to reach half time at 3-1 down.

Bickleigh again looked a different team in the opening moments of the 2nd half. A breakdown in defensive communication led to a Bickleigh goal and all of a sudden the game looked finely balanced. But just as the Sidmouth management began to fret another wonderful goal, this time from a long range Al Forsyth shot, eased Sidmouth nerves. Suddenly Sidmouth looked imperious again and in the closing moments another well placed shot from Ollie Turton extended the Sidmouth lead and gave the scoreline a rather more comfortable appearance. Special praise must go to Al Forsyth whose energy and determination in central midfield was the bedrock of this victory. But the man of the match award went to Ollie Turton whose goals and intelligently judged runs changed the course of the game.

This coming Saturday Sidmouth host Exmouth Spartans at Manstone Lane for what is likely to be a very competitive league game.

University 0 – Sidmouth Town Res 0

Macron D&E League Division 1 Saturday 29th October 2016

Town came away from the University sports hub in Topsham with a hard earned point. The University side dominated possession on their superb wide pitch. The Vikings set up to be solid and to a man they showed a desire not to be defeated against all the odds, Scott Hughes playing as a lone striker was tireless and was a great outlet at times Ferenc Bodor was always a threat on the counter attack and Will Jenkins was playing through the pain barrier as the medical bag was used time and time again. The ever popular Alex Raistrick went close with a header and in the middle of the pitch the tenacious Ben Farrington was snapping away at the hosts ankles. Skipper Damien Armes was leading by example and was caught with an awful challenge midway through the second half but bravely carried on. Matt Colson had his hands full with a pacey winger and stopped him playing before withdrawing at half time to be replaced by Theo Burgess who carried on where Colson left off.

Ollie Jarrett was also tested but stuck to his task and will have learned a lot from this game. The centre half pairing of Mike Pidgeon and Anthony Griffiths refused to be beaten and last ditch tackles by Pidgeon several times frustrated the University forwards however the tackle of the day was made by Griffiths as the no10 was about to race clear Griff timed his challenge to perfection taking the ball off him and wiping him out fairly at the same time, Adam Bartlett produced a few excellent saves and grew in confidence as the game went on.

A mention for young Matt Skelding who was called in at late notice and was part of the team running the line and appreciated that it was too tight to bring him on.

A special day for the club as the draw was a victory in the sense that hard work spirit, togetherness, heart and a willingness to not let the team down was apparent throughout the 13 players who represented Sidmouth Town FC

The management trio of Gary Bargery, Brendon Willey and Paddy Thomas were rightly proud of all the players as they showed tremendous spirit that will hopefully see positive results in the future.

A Devon Senior Cup tie away to Witheridge is the next fixture for the Vikings 2pm KO

Brixham AFC 2 – Sidmouth Town 1

Carlsberg SWPL Division 1 East Saturday 22nd October 2016

Sidmouth were disappointed that they were forced into five changes, due to unavailability of Dan Evans, Ben Burrows, James Clampin, Dan Norman & Brendon Green.  That said the Vikings were still able to name a strong squad that included talented local teenagers Ollie Jarrett & Tom Badcott in a bid to keep up their decent league form.

The Vikings were far too slow out of the traps and were one goal down inside the 1st five minutes as they struggled to deal with the pacey forwards.  Brixham scored a 2nd on the 20th minute a terrifically executed lob out foxed Vikings Keeper Jack Burgess.  Sidmouth had to dig deep as they ran the risk of getting steam rolled.  By the half hour mark Sidmouth started to get a foothold in the game Shaun Densham raced clear on the 35th minute only to be hauled down on the edge of the 18 yard box the offending player rightly received a straight red card.  Teenager Tyler Wellman curled the resulting free kick into the top right hand corner 1-2.   On the 40th minute Sidmouth lost their talented striker Jamie Orchard who was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury.  Sidmouth spent the remainder of the half completely on top and were disappointed to hear the halftime whistle.

Halftime 2-1

Within a minute of the restart Nathan Antat missed a glorious chance to level the scores, the former Devon U18 skipper dragged his shot wide with just the keeper to beat.  After the initial scare Brixham set their formation to be compact and tried to hit Sidmouth on the break, the greens failed to produce enough quality to punish the ten men of Brixham and if anything the home side had the better chances in the second half and only a couple of last ditched tackles from Jamie Newbery and some smart stops from Burgess kept Sidmouth in the game.  Sidmouth huffed and puffed but failed to create any clear cut chances.  Brixham deserve a lot of credit as they worked tirelessly to frustrate the visitors.

On the day Sidmouth were below par, that said Connor Swingler & Tyler Wellman were excellent.  Next up is the much fancied Stoke Gabriel, Sidmouth will need everyone available and on top form to upset the highflying visitors.

Final Score 2-1

Sidmouth From: Burgess, Badcott, Jones, Newbery (C), White, Swingler, Binion, Wellman, Antat, Orchard & Densham.  Used Subs Jarrett & Dobinson  

Star Man – Connor Swingler

Cheriton Fitzpaine 1 – Sidmouth Town 3rds 3

 Macron D&E League Div 7 Saturday 22nd October 2016

The most striking thing about the first part of Sidmouth’s league match at Cheriton Fitzpaine was Jake Sellick’s choice of goal keeping kit. A very fetching combination of salmon pink and mauve brought memories of Eddie the Eagle and 1980s ski wear flooding back!

Both teams looked well matched and neither keeper was really tested in the early exchanges. after a period of growing Sidmouth pressure Richard Johnson dropped deep to collect the ball and his beautiful pass released Ollie Newton on the right-wing. Ollie’s cross fell to Joe Gosse who made no mistake. 

Sidmouth went in to half time with a slender 1 nil lead. The half time talk focused on the importance of the next goal. And thankfully that goal went Sidmouth’s way. James Hiscox received the ball following an attacking throw in. James’s long cross was received by Ollie Newton. Ollie beat his full back again but his shot was parried but only as far Richard Johnson who finished smartly. Shortly thereafter a long corner from the Sidmouth right reached Ben Farringdon who was making his debut for the 3rds. Ben showed the class which will surely see him return to 1st team contention in due course. A sublime piece of skill sent the Cheriton full back the wrong way before Ben’s shot hit with vicious side spin rocketed into the top left corner of the net. Cheriton pulled a goal back but what had been a competitive but fair game ended on a sour note as a Cheriton player saw red for a high tackle.

The man of the match award went to Al Forsyth whose determination, positioning and communication really stood out again.

A hard fought win by Sidmouth sees them edge into the upper echelons of Division 7. Sidmouth will need a similar performance if they are to continue their winning run at Bickleigh next Saturday.

Sidmouth Town 2 – Wellington Town 2

Macron D&E League Division 1 Saturday 22nd October 2016

The Vikings grabbed a point after a lethargic performance at home, a dismal opening period was made worse when Mike Pidgeon was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball on the goal line, a penalty was awarded and it was 0-1. Within minutes the lead was doubled when awful defending saw their striker in ten yards of space in the penalty area and he calmly slotted in, Kyle Blair had a couple of decent chances at the opposite end but couldn’t take them.

After regrouping at the interval Town responded by taking the game to the visitors Ferenc Bodor was gradually getting into the game and Riki Pitter was pulling the strings, it saw Town dominate but still not play to their strengths all too often the final ball was poor and it was spread evenly throughout the team, Pitter got the all-important first goal with a direct free kick now confidence was flowing and with 20 minutes gone Matt Colson volleyed in from Bodors corner. Wellington were on the ropes but the Vikings could not find a winner and a draw was probably as much as they deserved. 

Town need to realise you must prepare properly and play for 90 minutes, a very disappointing performance in possession of the ball the passing was awful and it was embarrassing at times.

Credit to the players we asked at the interval for a response and they clawed their way back into the game to claim a valuable point.

Next week sees the Vikings away to the University 3pm.

Colyton 2nds 2 – Sidmouth 3rds 7

Macron D&E League Division 7 Saturday 15th October 2016

As Sidmouth’s game at Colyton kicked off in cold and lashing rain it seemed as if winter had finally arrived. But thankfully the football from Sidmouth’s 3rd team continued to flourish despite the conditions.

Sidmouth took a while to settle but Richard Johnson received a long ball from midfield and looked up to place an inch perfect cross for Al Forsyth to slot beneath the Colyton keeper

Sidmouth’s pre-match talk had emphasised the importance of pressing home an advantage but sadly the Colyton equaliser owed much to Sidmouth’s failure to follow the old adage of playing to the whistle. A long ball out from the Colyton full back looked set to go out for a Sidmouth throw before being held up in the strong cross wind. As Sidmouth readied themselves for the expected throw in the Colyton forward gratefully nipped in before a fine chipped shot into the Sidmouth goal.

Sidmouth nevertheless continued to maintain the pressure and were awarded a free kick just outside the Colyton penalty area. Connor Murphy’s beautifully placed free kick sailed into the top right corner giving the Colyton keeper absolutely no chance.

Shortly thereafter Ollie Turton rode a clear foul from the Colyton keeper but rather than go down for the certain penalty he managed to keep his footing to score and extend the Sidmouth lead. Ollie then capped an impressive first half when his deflected shot on the turn left the Colyton keeper going the wrong way.

A 4-1 halftime lead felt like a fair reflection of the play but Sidmouth began the 2nd half as though they thought they would coast to a comfortable victory. Soon afterwards a scrambled goal from Colyton ought to have shaken Sidmouth from their complacency. The Colyton goal was then followed by what was to be the match changing moment when with an open goal beckoning the Colyton attacker contrived to balloon his shot over the bar.

A raft of Sidmouth substitutions and a tactical change to introduce more pace up front then changed the course of the game.

Joe Gosse chased down a Sidmouth clearance and his deft touch went past the Colyton keeper to restore Sidmouth’s cushion.

Then a well worked family routine saw a Joe Gosse corner laid deep to man of the match Ben Gosse whose whipped cross was met with a  bullet header into the bottom corner by Keiran Fayter-Small.

Joe Gosse then beat the Colyton off-side trap before selflessly laying the ball off to Jake Sellick who gleefully tapped the ball into the empty Colyton net.

All in all still plenty of room for improvement but certainly a result to warm the hearts on an otherwise wintry day.