Clay stars as Town serve up ‘best team show of the season’

Sidmouth Town at home to Central. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1114. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to Central. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1114. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town served up their best all-round team performance of the season as they confidently defeated Crediton United 2-1 at Manstone Lane.

Sidmouth Town at home to Central. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1110. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to Central. Ref shsp 14 19TI 1110. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The first half of the contest saw both teams probing the other’s defence, but half-time arrived with neither back line having been breached.

However, the visitors did miss a terrific opportunity to take the lead. Town joint boss Kev Tooze said: “It really was a golden opportunity and the ball, fortunately for us, bobbled at the last moment and the chance was gone.”

He continued: “That said, had they scored it would have been an injustice for we bossed large parts of the first half and if anyone deserved to take an advantage into half-time then it was us!”

During the interval, the Town joint managers, Tooze and Danny Burwood, asked their players to look to get behind the last man, something they had not been looking to do in the first half and, within 30 seconds of the restart, a cross into the box saw Ollie Jarrett dart in front of his defender to volley the ball home.

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Once ahead, Town began to play with real composure and they could – indeed should –have gone two up, but Jarrett inexplicably spurned a chance.

Tooze said: “It was one of those ‘easier to score than miss’ moments, but, to be fair, Ollie [Jarrett] is not afraid to get himself into those positions – it is a strength of his game.”

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Town rang the changes on the hour mark by introducing teenager Eliot Keirle and he made an instant impact, taking the ball round the Crediton goalkeeper before rolling the ball into the empty net. There was a late consolation for Crediton United, but this was a hugely impressive Town display that fully warranted them picking up an eighth home win of the league season.

As for the post match thoughts of joint boss Tooze, he said: “Ben Clay was outstanding.

“He was at the heart of everything we did and I’d have to add to that, that this team performance was the best I have seen from the lads this season.”

Tomorrow (Saturday), Town are again in home action when they entertain Sidmouth Town (3pm).

Tooze says: “We are at full strength in terms of player availability and it’s going to be tough task as to who to leave out. We want the lads to see out this season in confident form and more of the same from last Saturday is what we will be hoping for against St Martins.”

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