Mathews stars on Sidbury United debut

Sidbury United 2, East Budleigh 0 Sidbury United bagged an eighth win of the season to stay top of the Fresha League Division One table.

On a day when many games fell to the weather United took to the pitch knowing that they could put some daylight between them and the other leading sides in the section.

United were forced into a number of changes to the team that had taken to the pitch seven days before.

With central defensive duo Dan McCann and Richard Bacon both missing, skipper Russ Coombes tucked in from his regular left back berth to form a central defensive partnership with regular midfielder Glen Salter.

From the first minute United seized control and kept possession of the ball for long periods.

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However, despite enjoying the lion’s share of the ball United were not able to create many clear-cut chances, and, in the opening exchanges just one shot was on target and that came from the visitors! A long clearance dropped over the centre half and the Budleigh striker’s attempted lob over keeper Harvey was comfortably held by the United gloves man.

The deadlock was broken just before the break when, after a corner was cleared as far as Ash Small he retuned the ball to the six-yard box where Dan Gale met it to head past the visiting keeper.

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There was still time before the break for Adam Connett to miss from close range and then be denied by a smart save with a shot from the edge of the area.

United again bossed from the restart with new signing Tom Mathews central to much of the good play, linking well with Gale and Cox.

Charlie Cox doubled the lead with crisp half-volley that dipped into the roof of the net from 20-yards.

There should have been further United goals particularly when Small missed the target from three-yards after fine approach play from Pete Grover.

The visitors threw everything they had at United in the final 15 minutes, but the home defence of Hannaford, Coombes, Salter and Lane and the relentless work rate of the Drews of Sidbury Man of the Match award, new man Mathews, United were able to see the game out in some comfort.

Boss Jeremy Schofield said: “I am happy that we kept the winning run going and I was delighted with the application from all the players in this game, particularly those who were asked to play out of their regular positions. What is clear now is that when everyone is fully fit and available we have around 20 or so players who could all do a job from the start, that means selection headaches to come, but that’s a very good sort of headache!”

Saturday is a huge day in Fresha League Division One with the top four all playing each other with United entertaining Wellington and Bow hosting Elmore.

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