Sidmouth Town have plenty of reason to view the new year with greater expectation than they might have looked at the beginning of 2013, writes Steve Birley.

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The Vikings made a reasonable start to their South West Peninsula League, Eastern Division season and went into their Boxing Day game at Budleigh Salterton just places and five points shy of the Greenway Lane side who sit sixth in the table!

It’s testament to the job that Town boss Paddy Thomas is doing at Manstone Lane that the Vikings are seemingly upwardly mobile and looking towards a top six finish!

For the likeable Thomas is a case of a job half done. He says: “It’s certainly progress, but there’s still much to do though I am a realist and its got to be a slow process. That does not mean a painfully slow job either and sometimes I would, like to see us make quicker progress. One of my biggest bug bears is if and when players are not seemingly listening to the words of advise and wisdom they are given. To be fair to the boys I have not had to moan too often about that this season. They are an honest bunch and seem to be giving their all week in and week out and, which is so very important, look to be enjoying going about their business.”

enjoying doing what they. It is tough for club’s like ours in as much as we play at a level where money does have a say and here at Manstone Lane we are trying to keep it as more of a family club with players ‘wanting’ to wear the jersey.”

The Vikings are not back in action until a January 11 trip to Plymstock United.

The Manstone Lane faithful are going to be starved of seeing their favourites in action over the coming months for the senior side has just two home games between now and March!

They entertain Teignmouth Town on February 1 and a week later host Galmpton. After that they are next at home on March 2!

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