Garrick and Moore make fine debuts in Sidmouth thirds’ success
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Sidmouth thirds travelled to Cranbrook on the back of a five match-winning run that had propelled them to the higher reaches of the Macron League Division Six table.
A good mix of experience and up-and-coming young talent had seen the Vikings score 33 goals before this match.
However, in recent seasons Cranbrook have always proved something of a bogey team to the Sidmouth thirds and it seemed as if a challenging afternoon was on the cards for the Vikings given the difficult weather conditions.
Cranbrook struck first when a fortunate ricochet left the Cranbrook attacker free to shoot past Scott Newbery in the Sidmouth goal.
Sidmouth, with the experienced pairing of Staniforth and Burdus providing a solid midfield base giving licence to some skilful and determined running around them, gradually took a foothold in the game.
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The equaliser arrived when a fine run and cross from Blake Blackwood was met by debut playing Tom Moore, who rose above everyone else in the area to nod the ball home.
The lead was gained when a left wing raid and cross from Mark Burdus was met with a Richard Johnson header and, in the closing stages of the half, a wonderful diagonal ball from the excellent Ben Goodier was struck on the volley by Blackwood to send Town into the break with a 3-1 lead.
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The half-time talk focussed on the importance of resisting the likely Cranbrook fight-back. That objective was emphatically met when Richard Johnson hit a monstrous shot from his own half past the stranded keeper ‘a-la David Beckham’ against Wimbledon all those years ago.
To Cranbrook’s credit they refused to accept the seemingly inevitable defeat. Poor marking at a corner allowed them to pull one goal back to make it 4-2 and a long-range effort saw them net a third, but another assist from Goodier gave Burdus the easiest of chances to complete the scoring and seal a 5-3 success.
Special credit must go to young Toby Garrick and Tom Moore whose excellent debuts were all the more impressive after Sidmouth started so poorly against strong opposition.
Ultimately, though, the victory was borne of a great team effort so despite a series of excellent individual performances manager Ian Peacock declined to single out any one player as a ‘Man of the Match’.
This Saturday (November 18), the Town thirds host Bampton at Sidford (2.15pm).