Sidmouth and Ottery 2, Taunton Vale 3

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On the back of a decent run of form, taking 10 points from a possible 12, Sidmouth and Ottery were understandably confident of giving a good account of themselves versus Taunton Vale A last weekend, writes Peter Baker.

Fielding a familiar looking lineup, welcoming back Duncan Gracie into midfield, the home side enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges and looked much the more likely to score. However, it was Taunton Vale that took the lead with a soft shot which crept in between goalkeeper Jonty Hoar and his near post.

The visitors doubled their lead when a quick counter attack caught the home side out much against the run of play.

With a number of other games cancelled owing to the inclement weather, a hardy crowd took to the sideline to cheer the home side on. Buoyed by this, a determined looking SOHC team took the game to Taunton in the second half. Nursing a groin strain, but soldiering on nonetheless Peter Baker was not his usual mobile self, but still looked a threat on the left. Not to be outdone by young Baker, Scott Rowson shone, having made the right half position his own, creating space and opening up the pitch with some well-weighted passes.

In recent weeks, SOHC have really honed their short corner routine and reduced the deficit via a set play with Andrew Welch popping up to scramble the ball home. James Harris made it 2-2 from another short corner – his first league goal of the season – with a handy drag flick.

Mention must go to Sam King and Mikey Bell who, despite their tender years, continue to cause defences problems and are without doubt stars of the future.

Having taken some time to come together as a group, the team is now settled and have all become mates. The bond is clear for all to see and has been reflected in recent results.

That said, the enjoyable run of form suffered a hopefully momentary setback with Taunton grabbing a third goal and running out the fortunate winners in a keenly contested and good spirited game.

SOHC travel to Plymouth this week to take on PGSOB.

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