Mercan at the double as Sidmouth Raiders U15 are edged out in nine goal ‘thriller’

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 suffered ‘first game blues’ as they went down by the odd goal in nine in their opening game off a new Exeter and District Youth League campaign.

Raiders, who won the Under-14 title last season, gave debuts to goalkeeper Freddie Whitelock and attacking winger Corey Rogers, who fitted in well and who both can look forward to promising futures in a Sidmouth shirt.

The opening goal, scored by Feniton, had an element of good fortune about it, but Raiders hit back well and it was no more than they deserved when striker Freddie Dorman linked well with Owen Baldwin who struck from close range.

Raiders took charge and a superb finish from impressive midfielder Frank Long fired them into a 2-1 lead.

It got even better for Raiders when Yan Mercan, the heartbeat of the Raiders team, rifled a long-range free-kick into the roof of the net to give the hosts a 3-1 lead.

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A penalty saw Feniton reduce the arrears, but another superbly executed free-kick from Mercan restored the Raiders two goal advantage and that’s how it stood at half-time with the home side 4-2 to the good.

The second half belonged to the visitors, who stepped up a gear – or two – netting two more to leave the contest all square before they scored what proved to be the winner in the dying embers of a compelling contest.

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In terms of individual contributions, Owen Baldwin, who this season has put away the goalkeeping gloves to play outfield, deserves special mention for his impressive shift on the right wing.

On Saturday (September 15) Raiders take on Stoke Hill.

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