Clay set to stay - Sidbury

Sidbury Utd's promotion hopes took a serious knock last Saturday against a side that sits in the bottom half of the table, writes Mel Coombs.

Sidbury Utd's promotion hopes took a serious knock last Saturday against a side that sits in the bottom half of the table.It's not the first time that they have thrown away the lead in the last few seconds of a game. They did it against North Tawton, and again in a match they should have won comfortably.Matt Rasmussen opened the scoring in the first minute when he pounced on an error from the keeper to head home, but it was almost as if they scored too early. There were several chances to extend their lead but, once again, failure to put the opposition out of sight reared its ugly head. A combination of easy chances missed, the ball hitting the stanchions and a couple of saves from the keeper led to the Seagulls scratching their heads in disbelief at half time.The next 45 minutes provided five goals that have left Sidbury with a difficult run in to the season. Newtown levelled from a well struck free kick. Russell Coombs restored the lead minutes later but, instead of going on to win the game, they let the away side back in.Unusually Sidbury conceded from a corner as they allowed the Newtown striker a free header in the six yard box. The sign of a good side is in their never-say-die attitude. Coombs added his second and restored the lead. He was enjoying himself and, but for the outstanding saves the Newtown keeper was making, the midfielder-turned-striker would have had at least six goals.Another sign of a good side is knowing how to hang onto a slender lead in the dying seconds of a game. Sadly this is one aspect the young Seagulls have yet to master as, with the last kick of the game, Newtown rescued a point when the Sidbury defence must have had about six chances to clear the ball.The news that Bow had lost again to Upottery and Halwill had won at Dawlish did little to brighten anyone's spirits.Manager Mel Coombs said: "We have had two great results recently and perhaps a little complacency set in. The comments in the paper last week about Ben Clay's imminent move to Sidmouth didn't help but I'm not really one for excuses. At the end of the day we just lost our composure along with two vital points. You do learn from mistakes and I hope we haven't done ourselves too much damage. I would like to thank the person who wrote us a letter about the Ben Clay situation. It's nice to know that we get some recognition for the hard work that everyone puts in at this club."I was delighted when Ben told me on Sunday he would be staying at club for the rest of the season. He's not going to rush things and he agreed to sit down and discuss his plans for next season with me." Star man: Ben Woolley.Squad: W Conibere, S Coombs, B Woolley, B Clay, P Godbeer, D Churchill, K F-Small, S Popham, P Grover, M Rasmussen, R Coombs. Subs used: K Dorman, D Norman, Sub not used: D Seldon Att: 45.

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