Great effort from Men’s 1sts

Sidmouth Men’s 1st XI 2, ECV Hornets A 2

Skipper Ian Brown had to make some tough selection decisions for this game with probably his first week of full availability this season, writes Charles Plowden.

The promising form of new boys Robinson and Bunn keeping some of the 1st XI squad members waiting for a call up. With the season coming to its final stages there are only three points difference between Sidmouth and Hornets for a return to Premier league hockey again. Exeter-based Hornets gave Sidmouth a masterclass in finishing in the earlier fixture to inflict Sidmouth’s heaviest defeat of the season so far.

History looked like repeating itself when against the run of play Hornets took an early lead through their dangerous centre forward who expertly finished from a tight angle. Sidmouth were on the backfoot for a while with Hill making some timely saves to help steady the team.

Sidmouth’s midfield of Devine, Baker, Joy and Welch built a platform and used the clever running of Pidgeon playing a “Thierry Henry” role to supply the younger forwards of Please and Bunn. Sidmouth had a penalty corner disallowed, one of two goals disallowed in the game as the pressure on the Hornet’s defence took its toll. It was left to Rowson to tidy up a messy corner routine and drill the ball home to level the scores going into the second half.

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Left half Robinson was providing plenty of service to the forwards when controversially a second Sidmouth goal was disallowed. But, in the best move of the match, great skill by Welch and Devine released Baker at the top of the circle who dispatched a sublime strike for Sidmouth to take the lead. Sidmouth looked to have the three points in the bag when their nemesis the Hornet’s striker cleverly won a penalty flick which was put away to level the scores. Sidmouth nearly got the last minute winner when Pidgeon’s effort was superbly saved.

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