Sidmouth begin 2014 with tomorrow’s Blackmore game against North Petherton (2.30pm), writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

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Chiefs’ coach Stephen Kruger is confident the new year will bring an upturn in fortunes for his side who have had a torrid time in their South West One season to date wining just one league game so far, that a victory against fellow strugglers Coney Hill.

The Chiefs currently trail third and fourth bottom Bideford and Wadebridge by 19 points in their bid to avoid returning to the Western Counties Division for the first time since 2008.

The Chiefs go into the North Petherton game after back-to-back wins with a cup success over Tiverton followed by Boxing Day’s 10-5 triumph over a strong Presidents XV.

Kruger said of the festive win: “We played well to beat one of the strongest sides we will play this season. The Presidents XV had some very good players in it – Sam Medham and Ollie Payne (from Exmouth), Tom Whelan (Esher) and the two Taunton lads who used to play for us, Ben Turner and Sam Richardson. Beating them proved we are turning the corner. I include the Coney Hill abandonment as a win (Chiefs were 12-5 up when the match was abandoned owing to injury) and so we are going into the Petherton fixture looking for a fourth straight win.”

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