New season of hope for Vikings and Otters

New season for Sidmouth Town

New season for Sidmouth Town - Credit: Sidmouth Town AFC

There is excitement across the football community at the dawn of a new season and the sense of anticipation at Sidmouth Town is palpable. 

After struggling through the early months of last season, the arrival of manager Billy Rouse at Christmas sparked a superb revival and the Vikings will be a team to watch when the South-West Peninsula League adventure begins on Saturday. 

However, in a quirk of the fixture schedule, Sidmouth will have to sit back and watch their rivals for a week before they get things going with a visit from Plymouth Marjon on August 13. The Vikings travel to Torridgeside on August 20 and then a midweek home meeting with Teignmouth three days later. 

Sidmouth laid down a significant marker in their final pre-season against Peninsula rivals Cullompton Rangers in midweek. 

After making the short trip to Cully, a delicious pass from Danny Pym gave Marcus Fanson the simple task of opening the scoring inside two minutes. The left-foot of Kieren Daniels doubled the lead on ten minutes, as he curled a superb free-kick around the wall and inside the near post. 

Luka Nickles emerged from the bench as an early substitute to rifle a third in off the post and Cullompton’s evening got even worse when their goalkeeper was dismissed on the stroke of half-time. 

Will Jenkins headed in number four soon after the restart and the Vikings finished with a flourish, as Matt Salter threaded a pass for Liam Carey to round the replacement ‘keeper and score four minutes from time. Jenkins then sealed a happy day with a late header. 

Most Read

While Sidmouth shone in the second half of last season, Ottery began an almighty rebuild and will now take on a fresh challenge in the Devon Football League. 

The Otters warmed up with an impressive 4-1 win over a talented Torquay United youth-team on Tuesday. Nathan Hopkins, an own goal, Seb Copp and Zak Tilley were the scorers. The Ottery campaign opens with a trip to Beer Albion on August 16, then away to Braunton on August 20 before the first home game against Topsham on August 26.  

Otters in a huddle

Otters in a huddle - Credit: Ottery St Mary AFC