Bow 1, Sidbury United 1

United returned from the long trip to the reigning Fresha One champions Bow having become the first team this season to deny them a home victory in a league encounter.

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The Mid Devon side has a pitch smaller than most and with the elements at their worst with gale-force winds and rain; it was never going to be a contest good on the eye from a footballing perspective!

Sidbury boss Jeremy Schofield championed his side pre-match that the conditions made for a change of tactic and he urged his team to forget their passing principles and instead opt to play percentage football, putting the ball consistently into good areas and hope for mistakes by the home side!

The first 20 mins saw United have the better of play and, going up hill they managed to keep Bow on the edge of their own 18-yard line.

The host game plan was to adopt a physical approach and the challenges came in thick and fast!

The deadlock was broken when a United corner was cleared to the edge of the area from where Charlie Cox volleyed it back past the goalkeeper!

The remainder of the first half saw United retained the ball well and the hosts found it hard to muster even a single raid on the visitors’ goal.

There was a gilt-edged chance spurned to double the lead when Dave Green opted to shoot and saw the keeper save when perhaps a squared ball would have presented a team mate with a simple tap-in!

After the break it was a reverse of the first 45 minutes action. The hosts now had the elements in their favour and it was a backs-to-the-wall operation for the United midfield and defence!

The equaliser arrived from a corner with the ball rifled home after a part-clearance.

United thought they ought to have had a penalty when Ash Small was felled in the area. A home player reacted badly to what he felt was an over-reaction by Small and he promptly saw red for his actions!

The ten men of Bow finished the stronger, but the disciplined ranks of the United defence ensured that honours ended even after a titanic battle between two of the sections leading sides.

Manager Schofield said: “That’s a very good point to bank as they (Bow) play their pitch so well and area good team. If you are going to win at Bow you need everything to go their way. I do feel they were fortunate not to have more players see red, but that happens in this game. I am very content with the point.”

Tomorrow (Saturday) United entertain Alphington (2.15pm).

P W D L F A Pts

Elmore 14 13 0 1 52 11 39

Sidbury United 15 11 1 3 47 16 34

Witheridge 15 10 2 3 37 22 32

Bow AAC 12 8 3 1 39 12 27

Alphington 14 8 2 4 32 23 26

Wellington Town 14 8 1 5 36 23 25

University 11 6 3 2 30 15 21

East Budleigh 15 6 3 6 23 20 21

Exmouth Amateurs 16 6 0 10 30 37 18

Beacon Knights 11 5 1 5 22 23 16

Bickleigh 12 4 1 7 24 34 13

Heavitree United 16 3 2 11 26 39 11

Tipton St John 14 3 2 9 19 39 11

Cullompton Rangers 14 2 3 9 19 43 9

Newton Poppleford 17 0 0 17 11 90 0

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