Jarrett late goal nets Town a home point

The Sidmouth Town matchday programme cover

The Sidmouth Town matchday programme cover - Credit: Archant

An Ollie Jarrett goal, deep into added time, gave Sidmouth Town a richly deserved share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw after an entertaining encounter with Torridgeside under the Manstone Lane floodlights.

Torridgeside began the game with the confidence of a side that had won their opening game of the new campaign, 4-2, at home to University of Exeter.

However, Town, who were edged out 1-0 in their opening match at Axminster Town last Friday, were equal to the best of the visitors’ attacking intent, until the 33rd minute, when Nathan Walter rose highest in the home penalty area to head a set piece past Robbie Powell.

Town, making their first home start under new boss Richard Pears – who rang the changes in the second half, introducing all three substitutes – were the greater force after the break, dominating long periods of the game.

However, it looked as if their efforts would be thwarted, particularly after an 88th minute effort cannoned back off the cross bar!

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Undaunted, and prompted by the new boss on the touchline, Town continued to press and, in the fourth minute of what were six additional minutes, Ollie Jarrett drilled the ball home from eight yards out to seal the home side a deserved point.

Town boss Richard Pears said: “A draw is no more than we deserved, especially given our second-half performance.

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“We were disappointed to be behind at the break, especially as it was conceded at a set piece!

“After the break, we improved significantly and the three changes all made an impact. We were so unfortunate not to level when the ball hit the bar, but the way the lads were playing I felt sure we would still get another chance, and so we did.”

In terms of his side’s general performance on the night, Pears said: “We were so much better than we had been on the Friday night before when, quite frankly, we froze at Axminster Town. That happens in football and the positive thing for me was how we responded to being behind at the break.

“The lads are to be commended for staying positive and continuing to do what we asked of them, which was to take the game to the opposition at every opportunity after the break, and, in the end, we got our just rewards.”

In terms of individuals, Pears had particular praise for Martin Hancock, of whom he said: “Martin was excellent up top, strong and brave and he carried a constant threat to their back line.”

Tomorrow (Saturday) Town entertain Newton Abbot Spurs with the Manstone Lane match kicking off at 3pm and they are straight back in action on Monday evening (August 20) when they continue their tough start to the season with a trip to University of Exeter.

Town boss Pears is clear as to what he is looking for from the next two games.

He says: “With the point we got against a good Torridgeside outfit I am now looking for us to push on and will be looking for six points from the next two games.”

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