Clay brothers give Sidmouth Town boost for trip to St Martins

Sidmouth Town squad for the 2017/18 season

Sidmouth Town squad for the 2017/18 season - Credit: Archant

It will be a case of ‘brothers-in-arms’ tomorrow (Saturday) for Sidmouth Town when, for the first time in a league game, brothers Ben and Danny Clay will line up together for their home town club

The Vikings travel to St Martins who, along with Town, are one of four teams in the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division still to win a game this fledgling season.

Town boss Josh Stunell is not losing any sleep over his side’s three-games-without-a-win start to the league campaign.

He says: “I am very happy with the squad we have put together. The issue is that good old chestnut of availability and the fact that our success, as a team, can only come to fruition if we have good availability. Take last Saturday, we missed three key players - Danny Clay (suspended) Johnny Holding (holiday) and Ashley Small (work) and, in many of the games this season, the margin between success and failure will be mighty thin with the difference, on many occasions, being that little bit of extra quality either in the final third or our defensive third.”

He continued: “Against Bovey we spurned a couple of chances that the likes of Ash [Small] would surely have buried and so, instead of a 3-2 win, we suffer a 2-1 reversal.”

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Tomorrow;’s trip to St Martins sees a first outing for Danny Clay, who has now completed a three-match ban.

Stunell says: “Danny brings so much to the team that I am sure we will see a much more dynamic performance with him in the midst of it all.

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“Johnny [Holding] is also back with us and he brings genuine quality into our ranks while Ash [Small] epitomises what I want from an all-round team player.”

Town are back in action just days after the St Martins encounter when they visit a Honiton Town side that are also without a win to date and sit bottom of the early season table having lost their first three games.

Last Tuesday evening Honiton Town staged their first-ever game at this level when Budleigh Salterton were the visitors and there was a crowd of almost 200 at Mountbatten Park.

Stunell says of his sides midweek visit to Honiton: “It is sure to be a great atmosphere. I was so pleased that Honiton got promotion as I feel it really adds something to the local football scene.

“To have all these East Devon derbies attracts great interest. They are great games to play in and of course, they provide a terrific profile for the shirt sponsors and other businesses linked to the clubs.”

So, two games, in the short space of just under 80 hours against teams yet to win suggests that opportunity knocks for Town to kick-start their season.

Stunell agrees, saying: “Yes, this is a great chance for us to get our season up and running. In the three games so far we have been a whisker away from taking all three points each time. Once we get that first win you will see us grow in confidence.”

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