Sidmouth Town Reserves deserve so much more than a point from Heavies trip

PUBLISHED: 16:13 12 November 2017

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Newton Poppleford 1st team. Ref shsp 45 17TI 3305. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Newton Poppleford 1st team. Ref shsp 45 17TI 3305. Picture: Terry Ife


On a muddy Wingfield Park pitch, used earlier in the day by an Under-9 side, Sidmouth Town Reserves produced arguably their best footballing performance of the season as they shared six goals with hosts Heavitree United.

Before kick-off, joint Town second team bosses Gary Bargery and Paddy Thomas much have looked at the surface and then considered just how youthful their side was, and pondered how they might cope with the physical nature of the contest they would be about to face.

Town began well playing some terrific team football. Chances were created, butt not taken and, as is so often the case, the opposition struck first, scoring with their first shot on target – Vikings glovesman Jake Sellick unable to hold on to a football that was more akin to a slippery bar of soap!

Town levelled before the break through Scott Hughes and, in the second half, moved into a comfortable 3-1 lead.

However, there followed an incident that joint boss Paddy Thomas felt was the most bizarre situation he had seen in a football career that has spanned some 40 years!

Town were making a substitution with Russ Coombes making way for Nick Gingell. During the process of the substitution the home team took a quick free-kick – with the departing Coombes still on the pitch a full 30 yards from the touchline! The match official allowed play to continue and the ball travelled towards Coombes who was promptly booked! Thomas said: “It really was an absolute ‘shocker’ of a decision and worse was to follow when a clear offside was overruled, for no reason, and then central defender Matt Colson handled the ball in the penalty area and was sent off.”

Colson, who until his dismissal had spent the game denying the Heavies centre forward a kick, can consider himself very unlucky to have seen red. A man to the good, the home side grew in strength and ultimately escaped from the contest with a share of then spoils.

Thomas said post match: “Pride is the overriding factor here! We have some very talented players in the club. They can all play football and the desire to play for Sidmouth Town FC needs to happen every week, as for the match official, what can I say? I have, frankly, never seen anything like it!”

On Saturday (November 18), Town Reserves are back in Exeter with a game at Alphington Reserves (2.15pm).

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