King double gives men’s first team fighting chance of avoiding the drop

Sidmouth and Ottery A at home to Okehampton. Ref shsp 08-17TI 7470. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth and Ottery A at home to Okehampton. Ref shsp 08-17TI 7470. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club (SOHC) men’s first team were involved a thrilling encounter with hosts Taunton Vale, a game that saw them trail at the break, then lose a man before ending as winners by the odd goal in seven.

The first half was played out mostly in the middle third of the pitch at Taunton with just the one goat scored leaving the home side leading at the break.

During the interval the team had a deep conversation about how they could find a foothold in the game and, from the restart they played with some terrific tempo.

Goals from the outstanding Charlie King and Nick Mansfield saw them into a 2-1 lead.

Taunton Vale hit back, but the lead was swiftly restored when Sam Cortinhas won a short corner that allowed Man of the Match King to double his tally.

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With a two goal advantage, SOHC relaxed and played some delightful hockey until a frenetic last five minutes when the hosts got a third, but even the loss of one of their number to a sending off did not come between SOHC and a richly deserved first away success of the Central One league season.

What’s more, the victory, a fourth of the campaign for the team gives them a fighting chance of avoiding the drop.

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With four matches remaining they are still bottom of the table, but they are not just three points shy of fourth bottom City of Bath A.

This coming weekend they have matches on both Saturday and Sunday that gives them a terrific chance of sitting outside the bottom two in the next published table.

On Saturday (March 11) they meet Wooton Bassett at Sidmouth and a victory would see them move to within two points of the Wiltshire side who they would then climb above with a win on Sunday when they host City of Bath A (1pm).

The final two matches of the season for the men’s senior side are a March 18 visit to Team Bath before they bring then curtain down on the season on Saturday, March 25 with a home game against Old Bristol.

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