Friday, April 25, 2014
Bickleigh 1, Sidbury United 4
Sidbury travelled to Mid Devon knowing that a 19th victory of the league season would all but ensure their top three finish in Fresha League Division One and with it promotion to the Premier Division next season.
On what was a good surface United made an impressive start and were ahead inside four minutes when leading scorer Adam Connett was once again in the right place at the right time to turn the ball home.
Within minutes it was 2-0 when a long up-field kick from United goalkeeper Harvey saw Small deny the home centre half the opportunity to head clear and the ball bounced through to winger Kees Willis who toe-poked it pat the on-rushing home gloves man.
The Sidbury game plan was clearly to press the ball high up then pitch and it worked to such an effect that the home side were rarely able to venture out of their own half!
The United from three of Small, Connett and Willis continually won the ball in the final third. On the odd occasion it got past them it was quickly snapped up by the midfield tri of Matthews, Cox and Rusu.
In the 20th minute it became 3-0 with Small cleverly rolling his marker to then outpace him and lift the ball over the keeper. It was desperately cleared by a recovering defender only for the ball to fall to Willis who slammed it home.
Ten minutes later it was 4-0 and Willis had a hat-trick as he got clear and his cross-cum-shot looped over the home keeper and into the net.
The second half saw the Mid Devon side change their shape and their tactic of sitting deeper, denying space, worked a treat and Sidbury struggled to find the momentum that had served them so well in the first 45 minutes.
With 10 minutes remaining the home side got a consolation when a mistake from Rusu gifted a free shot with United keeper Harvey put of position.
Sidbury boss Schofield said: “We made such a powerful start that the game was done and dusted by the thirty minute mark. The pace of our play was such that it was always going to be hard for us to maintain as the game wore on. I’m lucky to have a bunch of players who are willing to work so hard for each other and it’s easier to score if you win the ball high. We are all excited about the future and I really hope this set of lads get a crack at Fresha top flight football.”
Sidbury have this Saturday off and complete their season’s league campaign on Saturday (May 3) at Heavitree United.