McVey had to shave off beard when 1st XI won

PUBLISHED: 14:20 27 October 2011

Sidmouth at home to Isca on Saturday morning. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 0986-39-11TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Sidmouth at home to Isca on Saturday morning. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 0986-39-11TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Sidmouth HC Ladies' 1st XI 5, Exe 2

This fixture was a must win game for Sidmouth Ladies for two reasons - firstly, to lift them off the bottom of the league table and, secondly, so that coach Gus McVey would finally shave off his beard, grown since the league started in September, writes Sarah Thomas.

With this in mind, Sidmouth started strongly and were soon a goal ahead through a Jess Allen strike. The team had been missing their secret weapon in previous weeks, but it wasn't long before Lea Pidgeon marked her return to the pitch with a charging run from defence. This run set up Player of the Match, Thomas, who tapped the ball home to increase the lead.

Sidmouth continued to dominate, and pressurise the Exe defence, and Chrissie Mitchell combined well with Charlie Lewis, but was unlucky not to score.

Seconds later Lewis's shot was blocked by an Exe player's foot on the goal line, and she calmly buried the resulting penalty flick in the back of the net.

Sidmouth had to dig deep to maintain this lead until half time, especially when reduced to 10 players. However the fresh legs of Anna Rowsen helped maintain the attacking advantage and, with quick balls through to wide player Sarah Hutchings, Sidmouth continued to dominate the rest of the half. The start of the second half was a very different story! Goal keeper Hayley Delasalle, and Chloe Munn in defence were required to soak up several dangerous Exe breaks. The young Exe County players had speed on their side and used this to full effect, scoring twice in quick succession from fast breaks.

With the game in the balance, Sidmouth regrouped and began to work the ball around with accurate passes. This pressure paid off when an Exe defender obstructed Sara Roberts in the circle, and a penalty corner was awarded. Taryn Beuthin converted to give Sidmouth a two goal advantage. A few minutes later, she added a fifth Sidmouth goal to round off an excellent team performance, following a strong attacking run from Caroline Bickerstaff.

Hopefully, this positive winning momentum will be carried into the next match on Nov 5.

th November against high fliers Teign.

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