Club stalwarts boost Vikings’ end of season run

Sidmouth Town 2, University 1

Sidmouth Town hosted a University side that were two places below them in the league table minus leading scorer Andrew Thomson and his strike partner Andy Isaac, writes Paddy Thomas.

But the side are nothing if not gutsy and the weakened squad took to the pitch hoping to avenge a 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture. Without a recognised striker in the squad, it was left to the ever-reliable Simon Hudson to lead the line.

Sidmouth started brightly on a difficult surface and were in control, when, from losing the ball on the edge of the opposition’s box, the counter-attacking Uni side struck with a low drive past Luke Ashford from Ben Nash, their top scorer.

This unsettled Sidmouth and it took them a while to regain their composure. Twice in quick succession Hudson had a couple of chances to draw Town level but couldn’t find his usual finish. Then, from a deep, long ball from Ashford, whose kicking was immaculate all game, Hudson climbed above the visitors’ keeper to glance his header into the net and draw the sides level by half time.

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The second half was a scrappy affair with Sidmouth carving out the clearer chances but the Uni side were always looking dangerous on the break.

With the introduction of Jack Knight and Nathan Brace Sidmouth were gradually turning the screw and it was no surprise when they took the lead on 75 minutes. Hudson, dropping deep, received the ball some 40 yards out, took a touch and drilled a right foot shot low to the keeper’s left which he could only parry out to the ever-alert Knight. He was on it like a flash scoring from an acute angle to put the home side deservedly in front. Town saw out the remaining 20 minutes and could have increased their lead with Adam Whitty going close as did Knight who flashed a half volley inches wide.

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The team spirit at the club is fantastic and the likes of Ashford, Tarr, Stamp, Thomson and Hudson have a deep affinity with the club that money can’t buy. With the addition of a few young lads that have shown they can play, the future is looking bright. Simon Hudson again showed his quality with quick-thinking compensating for slower legs!

Sidmouth as a club are very fortunate to have him on board.

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