Newbery shines in hockey goal
By Friday lunchtime, 24 hours before the match, captain John Eveleigh was able to tuck into his tofu salad with relish, safe in the knowledge that the team list that he had spent all week compiling finally bore 12 names.
By Friday lunchtime, 24 hours before the match, captain John Eveleigh was able to tuck into his tofu salad with relish, safe in the knowledge that the team list that he had spent all week compiling finally bore 12 names. But, as the old adage goes, even the best laid plans go awry. By Friday evening the team was reduced to 'the bare 11' with influential right half Johnny Eley having been struck down by illness. Unperturbed, upon arrival in Bridgwater Eveleigh opted for a daring attacking formation that was intended to unsettle the top-of-the-league side. However, even those plans came unstuck 15 minutes into the match when new signing Sam Collins limped off injured. From then on it was a matter of 'all hands to the pump' for Sidmouth's 10 men in an attempt to stem the flow of the home side. Sidmouth applied themselves with determination to the task in hand and made a contest of it despite conceding two goals in each half. Mark Seward, reaping the benefits of his latest fitness regime, toiled manfully to marshal Sidmouth's rare attacks, and Richard Stenning and Chris Hawke were resolute in defence. There was only one candidate, however, for the man-of-the-match award: Sidmouth College pupil Brett Newbery. Having donned the goalkeeper's kit for his first senior match, Brett found himself at the centre of all the action against the league leaders and he responded with a consummate display of goalkeeping, ranging from solid shot stopping to accurate kicking. Unfazed by the league's most potent strike force, Brett's speed off his line ensured that he triumphed in all four 'one-on-ones' against onrushing Bridgwater attackers. He was also unbeaten by any of the six strikes on goal from short corners. The talented teenager was even unlucky that his defenders were unable to react more swiftly to clear the ball after he had made saves immediately prior to each of the second half goals. This Saturday the fourth team play against Yeovil at Sidmouth College and the intention is that, with a full line-up, there should be far less for Newbery to do.