Pushing for runner up spot

Sidmouth HC Ladies' 1st team had undertaken weeks of intensive fitness training to fully prepare for the double hit of league matches scheduled last weekend.

By Sarah ClokeSidmouth HC Ladies' 1st XI 2, Paignton 1Sidmouth HC LAdies' 1st XI 1, Newquay 1The Ladies' 1st team have undertaken weeks of intensive fitness training to fully prepare for the double hit of league matches scheduled last weekend. The Saturday game against Paignton was hard fought and scrappy at times, with the Sidmouth team being allowed far more time on the ball than usual. The quality passing moves that have been vital to the team success this season were missing during some stages of the game, and Paignton gave everything they had in a bid to avoid relegation.Sidmouth worked hard to create many scoring chances, but struggled to beat the in-form Paignton keeper. Following a string of short corner routines Lea Pidgeon gave the home side the lead, but Paignton equalised before the lead was restored, when Karen Cann connected with a cross from the right to beat the keeper from close range. Sidmouth should have extended the lead further, having the majority of the possession in the second half but struggled to find the elusive finishing strike, particularly when Lea Pidgeon spent some time on the sidelines saving herself for the next day's match!l With the sun shining and a full strength squad in attendance, Sidmouth started strongly against visitors Newquay on Sunday. Even though Sidmouth put together some creative passing moves and stepped up their game from the previous day, it was Newquay who took the lead. Their strong centre forward found the corner of the goal following a quick break. Despite the setback, Sidmouth played on with determination and were spurred on by the crowds of supporters who were at least enjoying the sunshine, and some ice creams, if not the many missed scoring opportunities that went Sidmouth's way.The game provided ample opportunity for the home side to practise the new short corner routine implemented just before the match, and, although it didn't provide any goals this week it looked promising for the future!Sidmouth's equaliser came after a series of strong passing moves and sustained pressure in the attacking circle. Both Sara Roberts and Sarah Hutchings pushed up from their defensive positions to create an overlap in an attempt to break through the solid Newquay back line. This time Lea Pidgeon parted the defence with some skilful stick skills and placed the ball accurately into the corner of the goal.Although many more chances came their way, Sidmouth could not convert their pressure into goals and had to be content with a draw. The team will be hoping to win the season's three remaining matches to maintain second position in the league, but expect a tough game on Saturday against local rivals Exeter Ladies. (10.30am at Sidmouth College).

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