Held heads high against tipped for top Stoke

Sidmouth Town 2, Stoke Gabriel 5

sidmouth Town hosted Stoke Gabriel who many people tipped to be champions this season.

The visitors started the game much the sharper of the two sides. This was no surprise to The Vikings as Stoke were gunning for revenge from the reverse fixture last month in which Town won 3-2.

Two quick goals from Stoke saw them rightly in front and, thankfully, Sidmouth realised they were in a game and woke up, albeit 20 mins too late.

Town thought they had grabbed a goal back when Andy Isaac’s header appeared to have crossed the line by a distance only for the away team’s linesman to keep his flag down, so no goal given.

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Shortly before the interval, Stoke increased their lead with a dipping volley that gave Luke Ashford no chance.

Sidmouth gave a better account of themselves in the second half but couldn’t prevent a couple of mistakes being punished by the visitors to give them a 5-0 lead.

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Town, to their credit, refused to give up and two late goals from Andy Isaac and Andrew Thomson from the penalty spot gave the scoreline a more respectable look.

Manager Paddy Thomas said: “We didn’t turn up for the first 20 minutes and gave ourselves too much to do. We have had a couple of injuries/suspensions and the squad for Saturday was a little short numbers wise.

“Our next game is March 14, away to Ottery St Mary and we need to improve massively if we are to get anything from that game.

“Hopefully a few players can get some physio on their injuries and come back refreshed.”

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