Mclean stars as Town lose derby at Axminster

Budleigh awat at Sidmouth. Ref exsp 53-16TI 4549. Picture: Terry Ife

Budleigh awat at Sidmouth. Ref exsp 53-16TI 4549. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town suffered a disappointing defeat when they journeyed to Tiger Way for a South West Peninsula League Eastern Division meeting with Axminster Town, one the home side won 3-1.

The Tigers were swiftly into their stride and took the lead as early as the fifth minute when a long up field ball caused some incisiveness between experienced centre backs James Clampin and Neil Pointing and this was seized upon by teenager Tony Pinder who nipped in and squared the ball to Aaron Daniels who was left with an easy tap in past Sidmouth’s keeper Josh Mclean who was left badly exposed by his senior colleagues!

Just four minutes later Axminster doubled their lead when Johnny Hurford crossed for Liam Cleal to score from six yards.

The Vikings seemed at sixes and sevens as they were struggling to deal with the pace of the home-sides forward line.

Axminster dominated the first half which saw them produce excellent quick passing football.

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Pinder had a glorious chance to make it 3-0, but his shot was well saved by Mclean.

The Vikings almost conceded another when captain Clampin made a blind back pass which went straight to Hurford. However, much to the skipper’s relief, the ball flew marginally wide.

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Just before the half hour, Daniels raced clear, but to the relief of the Vikings management the teenager dragged his shot wide.

Then, just before half-time, Pinder turned Clampin on the half way line to race in-on goal but Devon U18 keeper Mclean was equal to his effort and saved at his near post.

Clampin was seriously hurt in the challenge on Pinder and had to leave the field of play to be replaced by Jamie Newbery.

Young Newbery, back in action after a five week absence with a hamstring injury and it looks to be a timely recovery for the Devon U18 skipper as Clampin’s season sadly looks over.

Sidmouth were desperate to hear the half-time whistle as it was clear that they needed to change their game plan and they did indeed get to the break just the two goals down with much of that down to the outstanding Mclean.

As expected, the Vikings management made a few tactical changes and they started the second period much better and this forced Axminster onto the back foot.

Densham had his first effort on goal in the 51st minute when his header just flew over the bar.

Midway through the half, Sidmouth clawed a goal back when a Ben Farrington free-kick, just inside the Tigers half, was launched deep into the penalty area for Densham to head back across the goal and loop over the home glovesman and into the net.

It was no less than the Vikings deserved and by now the home-side looked out on their feet as the Vikings dominated proceedings.

Sidmouth continued to push for the equaliser with Bodor and Anat both having half chances.

Axminster dug deep and shaded the last 15 minutes. Hurford was again denied in a one-on-one by the splendid Mclean before, with nine minutes left, Daniels played a defence splitting pass for Liam Cleal to round the keeper and make no mistake with the finish.

Cleal went onto narrowly miss out on his hat-trick and, in the closing stages, Town’s Farrington was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.

Sidmouth: Mclean, Binion, Pointing, Clampin (C), Wellman, Farrington, Gould, Antat, Bodor, Densham, Swingler. Used subs: Pitter, Burrows and Newbery: Unused: Lines (GK)

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