Lack of discipline a factor in Town defeat

Sidmouth Town at home to Axminster. Ref shsp 43 18TI 3329. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to Axminster. Ref shsp 43 18TI 3329. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town head into tomorrow’s Devon Premier Cup tie at South West Peninsula League Western Division outfit Holsworthy looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s Eastern Division 6-1 defeat at high-flying Stoke Gabriel.

The five-goal margin of defeat in South Devon was a tad harsh on the Vikings, who put in a good first 45 minutes during which time they twice hit the frame of the goal before conceding a late penalty – and a contentious one too – to trail 1-0 at the break.

In the second half Town lost Dan Churchill to a red card and the 10-men found the large pitch at Stoke Gabriel not to their liking and slipped to a heavy defeat.

There was a ray of sunshine on an otherwise gloomy afternoon for the Town faithful watching in South Devon and that was a late consolation with a goal from Harry Taylor, his first for the club.

Joint boss Kevin Tooze said: “The late first half goal killed us. To be fair to the lads, they put a fine shift in for the first 45 minutes and we did hit the frame of the goal twice before Danny [Clay] was adjudged to have brought their fellow down for the spot kick. Had we got the lads in at 0-0 then it would have been a very different half-time chat. As it was, that goal knocked us for six and, it has to be said, sadly, our indiscipline cost us in the second half.”

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Tooze has no complaints over the red card, of which he said: “You could make a claim for it being harsh on Dan [Churchill], but the fact is if you raise your hands and the man in charge sees it then, by the letter of the law, you are heading off. The general lack of discipline throughout the second half hurt us and that’s an area we need to sharpen up on. We have got some very good footballers in our ranks, but even the best of players can be undone by bad discipline. Hopefully the lads will take this one on the chin, accept the self-discipline on the day was poor, and look to make improvements in that area.”

Speaking about the big playing surface at Stoke Gabriel, Tooze said: “They [Stoke Gabriel] play their pitch very well. On such large pitches, if you are a good team then you can out pass the opposition and suddenly, when you are starved of the ball for long periods, the pitch becomes even bigger as you spend time ‘chasing shadows’, which is what happened to some of our lads.”

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He continued: “Our away form worries me. I can’t yet put my finger on what it is. I know at Manstone Lane we are spoilt with an excellent playing surface, but the players need to come to terms with the need to deliver away from home as well as at home. I don’t know if it’s a confidence thing, or too many simply don’t like travelling, but it is something we need to sort – and soon!”

Tomorrow’s cup tie at Holsworthy, who sit fifth in the SWP League Western Division, kicks off at 2pm.

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