Gannon league hat-trick

As the threat of relegation is starting to become a reality, last weekend's game versus Minehead really was a six pointer.

As the threat of relegation is starting to become a reality, last weekend's game versus Minehead really was a six pointer. With Andrew Welch having taken on the captaincy midweek, the change in management structure led to a change in personnel, formation and set plays. And much like Harry Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur, somehow Welch managed to get a win out of his team for the first time this season.Bobby Brown regained his place in the first team and slotted in at left half. The youngster was midway through an exceptional first half when he took a nasty blow to the ankle by the ball. Lesser players would have probably limped off, but having recently taken up competitive weight training, Brown coped with the pain and played out the rest of the game in the centre forward position.The visitors took a 2-0 lead into half time and were in control of the game but were not playing particularly well. Numerous chances went begging despite the efforts of Chris Lewis and Byron Fitzgerald up front.In contrast, it was one of Sidmouth's most senior players who stepped up and slotted two short corners past the helpless Minehead keeper. Having being ever present in the first team for close to 20 years now, there is no doubting Paul Gannon's contribution to the team over the years, but his two goals from penalty corners were invaluable given the woeful start the Sidmothians have made to the season so far.Minehead made a spirited start to the second half and quickly pulled a goal back. At 2-1 the predominately young visiting team could easily have squandered their hard earned lead. Holding midfielder Scott Rowson looked to restore some composure throughout the team by controlling the middle of the park and distributing the ball creatively. Sustained periods of pressure proved to be Sidmouth's undoing as the hosts managed to level the score by turning a defensive problem into an attacking opportunity via a quick counter attack. This saw the game finely poised at 2-2 and seemingly Welch's men had thrown away what looked to be their first victory of the season. However it was that man Gannon again who, clearly worried that the Man of the Match award might be going the way of one of his defensive partners, stepped up and struck his third goal, earning his hat trick and Sidmouth three points much to the relief of Welch, his teammates and the travelling Sidmouth fans.This week, Sidmouth take on East Devon at home, 1:30pm start.

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