Alphington 1 Sidmouth Town 0 aet

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The Vikings went out of the Graddon Devon Premier Cup after a goal deep into the second half of extra time. On a sticky pitch it was the home side who got on top and Town, looking a little leggy, had to withstand a fair amount of pressure.

That said the defence stood firm and for all their early possession, the Alphas never really threatened the visitors’ goal. It seemed clear that it was going to be physical - after Alex Raistrick and Sam Baker were knocked to the ground off the ball in separate incidents, with the official taking no action - it was obvious no protection was forthcoming. Cue a late high tackle on Darren Thomas on 20 minutes and that was the end of his game. No action was taken against the perpetrator.

Town started playing a lot better although neither keeper was called into action too much. The second half was much the same with the home side creating more chances but the Vikings working hard to protect their clean sheet.

At the other end Matt Rasmussen worked tirelessly to try and find an opening. Town forced a considerable number of corners but couldn’t test the home goal. With the night drawing in into extra time it went.

Sidmouth kicked off and went straight for the kill with Stamp, Hudson and Rasmussen fashioning a chance that went narrowly wide. Alphington looked leg-weary and Town enjoyed their best spell of the game. More pressure saw first Alex Raistrick head over, then Mike Stamp head wide as the Vikings were on the up. Alphington, on the counter attack, forced Town back and from one of these breaks came closest with the bar being struck with Burgess well beaten. Back came Town with Lord forcing a fine save from his headed effort. With penalties looming Alphington scored the winner when a free kick was headed in at the far post to leave the Vikings deflated after a superb workmanlike effort.

Manager Paddy Thomas said: “Each player in the squad gave their maximum in terms of effort, determination and attitude. We have played better this season, against superior sides,but scoring is our major problem. Our fitness was excellent and I think we deserved to get down to penalties given the fact that we held them for so long.

“Twice now we have had this official and twice we have had a player carried off with inappropriate action taken!”

Sidmouth Town 1st XI have no game on Saturday, but on the 17th they host Stoke Gabriel, 2.15 ko.

The Reserves are away to Topsham Town Reserves next Saturday 2.15 ko.

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