Ottery at Fortress Primley

Cheltenham A 3, Sidmouth HC Men’s 1st XI 2

A team performance not to be forgotten came from the 1sts this week, proving that, with a strong side and the right attitude, Sidmouth can compete at this high level, writes Bobby Brown.

The long journey to Cheltenham for this fixture didn't seem to tire the boys as they started the game looking fresh. Plenty of movement up front by Nick Wade was rewarded with a lot of ball from the back from brother Scott in central defence.

The welcome return of Andrew Welch at left midfield provided a good outlet, working well with left back Mapson at least eight times in the first 15 minutes. The first half was high intensity and both teams had good chances.

The deadlock was broken with a well-worked goal by the young Cheltenham side. A poor challenge/body check by ringer Bobby Brown just inside the 25 gave the opponents a short corner, which they fully took advantage of. With Sidmouth only 2-0 down at half time, the team felt well in the game and Captain Ian Brown urged his players to be positive.

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In the second half, Cheltenham allowed Sidmouth more time to relax in possession and play their own game. Good passing and communication from the away team made for a number of scoring chances.

Proactive runs into the D, combined with smart skills, gave Sidmouth a couple of short corners, but they couldn't find the net. A breakaway counter attack from Cheltenham led to a soft goal, showing their superior fitness.

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Dan Devine was on hand as an important sub, setting up Mapson for a clear strike at goal, which he despatched through the keeper’s legs at pace.

Momentum was with Sidmouth, causing a few frustrating errors from Cheltenham and one player was given five minutes rest by the umpire.

A scramble in the D resulted in a flick for Sidmouth. Welch stepped up, sold the keeper with his eye and professionally put it away. Despite their effort, the game ended at a 3-2. Sidmouth can’t be faulted for their effort, with particular mention of Man of the Match, Ben Dormand, who had a great game in defence.

Sidmouth were very happy with the way they played .

This weekend the team take on local rivals Ottery Crickets at ‘Fortress Primley’.

Thanks to sponsors Adrenalin Games Paintball, found at Crealy, and Hovis Brown.

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