Premier title there for the taking

Sidmouth Town had a massive chance to gain ground on Premier League leaders Seaton Town last night, Wednesday, when they played Budleigh Salterton, writes Lee Glanville.

And the run in to the league can see them end up as champions, if they can keep their heads down and concentrate on the games in hand.

After a fortnight of inaction, they looked rusty against Clyst Valley and suffered a shock 3-2 defeat. Manager Paul Ashford held up his hand for his part, having made changes to a winning side, but has always been adamant that success is down to player availability.

“I made changes I probably shouldn’t have done as the defenders have had enormous pride in having clean sheets, but we didn’t have any regular strikers available. I brought in Luke Kirby who has looked sharp for the reserves, but he twanged a hamstring early on! But, no excuses, we haven’t become a bad side overnight and that was only our second defeat of the season in the league. It is a squad game, and those on the bench must come out and prove a point when they get the chance. There is no unlucky about it - players just have to get on with it.”

Sidmouth, who beat Clyst Valley 4-0 away, went 1-0 down early on to a good goal. Ashley Barker levelled, getting on the end of a great move up the wing and it was 1-1 at half time.

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“Whatever I said at half time obviously didn’t work,” Ashford added. “Clyst Valley had two chances and scored and we had plenty of chances to win the game.”

“The players have to execute ways of winning games when they go behind, and they just didn’t do that. We didn’t look all that sharp and I would imagine that some of the players hadn’t done much to keep themselves fit during the two weeks we haven’t had a game. I think they ‘chilled out’ too much.”

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sidmouth play Topsham this Saturday, Wellington midweek and then the big match with Seaton next Saturday.

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