Kubaczka stars as Sidmouth Raiders U15s win well at Whipton

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Raiders Under-15s continued their winning run after coming through a fiercely fought and passionate encounter against Exeter-based rivals Whipton Youth, a contest Raiders eventually won 3-2.

With their regular goalkeeper this season, Freddie Whitelock, out through injury, it meant that ‘Mr Versatility’, Owen Baldwin, returned to his former position of glovesman.

On an uneven surface, the early exchanges saw plenty of end-to-end football and the deadlock was finally broken after 20 minutes when Whipton went ahead.

The Raiders’ response was good – and positive – and parity was swiftly restored when Frank Long and Joel Evans combined to open up the home defence and it was Evans who drilled the ball home to make it 1-1.

A heavy challenge on Raiders’ midfielder Cory Rogers led to a reshuffle of playing positions and team boss Mark O’Connor brought Miles Lewis back into the fray just before half-time.

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The start of the second half saw Raiders play with an even higher tempo to their game and they began to dominate.

The lead was regained when a delightful flick from Josh O’Connor sent Ryan Kubaczka clear and, as the home glovesman advanced, Kubaczka tucked the ball beyond him to make it 2-1.

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The one-goal lead was soon doubled as Kubaczka was fed the ball out wide on the left from where the youngster cut inside before rifling the ball home.

There was to be one more goal – scored by the home side with what was almost the final kick of the contest – but the outcome was never in doubt and Raiders fully deserved their victory.

In what was an encouraging all-round team display, centre backs Zac Lascelles and Ethan Gribble – who look to have forged an excellent partnership and understanding – impressed throughout.

Reuben Bennett had a fine game and is clearly back to his busy best in the right back berth.

Yan Mercan is also looking very comfortable in the centre forward slot and was unlucky not to get on the core sheet again.

As for the Raiders’ Man of the Match award, that goes to Ryan Kubaczka for a brilliantly taken brace, and his all-round shift that delivered skill, determination and confidence.

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