Hughes a clever lad as sub changes the game

Sidmouth Town at home to St Martins. Ref shsp 01-17TI 4755. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to St Martins. Ref shsp 01-17TI 4755. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town Reserves moved up to second in the Macron League Division One table with a gutsy performance that ultimately saw them win 3-1 against a much improved Bickleigh outfit.

On a heavy pitch that quickly became unplayable through the middle, Town didn’t settle at all.

With a very youthful side in action, it quickly became apparent that the Vikings were not comfortable as they were unable to play their normal passing game in the conditions.

It was the Mid Devon side that opened the scoring when a cross-cum-shot deceived Jack Burgess in the Town goal.

The home response was good; Will Jenkins tested the keeper with a rasping effort from distance before Kyle Blair should have made the goalkeeper work after some great approach play.

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The pressure eventually told and Ben Miller drew Town level, prodding home at the far post to make it 1-1 at the interval.

After regrouping at half-time the Vikings improved slightly, but the game was in the balance as neither side played particularly well

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Bickleigh hit the post midway through the half , while, at the other end of the pitch, the Vikings rarely troubled the away side!

Town were forced into a couple of enforced changes and a tweaking of formation led to Town looking more comfortable with their general play.

One of the changes, Scott Hughes, suffering from illness, was the key to the course of the game changing.

The youngster has made a massive impact at his hometown club and he was pivotal in the team grabbing all three points

Being alert, he was first to the ball as the goalkeeper took his legs away from him resulting in a penalty

Up stepped Will Jenkins to send the glovesman the wrong way and edge Town in front.

With the experienced JP Staniforth making way for the equally experienced Nick Gingell the defence had an organiser for the youngsters to learn from.

The hard-working Kyle Blair secured the game with a fantastic shot from 25 yards that flew into the net.

One of the Town Reserves’ joint managers, Paddy Thomas said: “It’s never easy after having a break as it upsets the fitness and mentality of the players.

“We have a very talented group of young players at the club and they are learning every week that tricks and flicks don’t win games

Winning ugly is not pleasant to watch, but the lads kept going and found a way, through team spirit and perseverance, to win a tough game.”

On Saturday (January 14), Town entertain Lyme Regis (2.15pm).

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