Season kicks off with a win

Sidmouth Town football

AT last Sidmouth Town 1st XI were in Premier league action - the first time this season - and they wasted no time in notching up three points in a 3-2 home win over Alphington.

Goals from Nick Trenchard and Ashley Barker had put Sidmouth 2-0 up, before Alphington drew level.

And there was a controversial winner when Dan Tavender scored late in the game and celebrated, while Alphington appealed for offside.

The ref didn’t agree and the goal stood as the Vikings picked up all three points.

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This Saturday they are home to current league leaders St Martin’s, 3pm. This early in the season the table counts for little as only six points split top from bottom!

The Vikings’ second string started this match playing excellent flowing football and for the first 20 minutes Exeter Civil Service were chasing shadows as Mortimore, Stamp, Badcock, Brace and Colson ran the show. Sidmouth made full use of the perfect playing surface and were finding their men with some slick passing moves.

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Sidmouth opened the scoring when a cross found Steve Brown’s chest. He swivelled and shot past the stranded keeper in one movement.

However, the home team equalised when their forward headed in from a corner which gave Civil Service some belief and they started to test the Sidmouth defence of Griffiths, Crisp, Dyer and 16-year-old goalkeeper Robbie Powell, who dealt with the high balls into the box with great confidence.

After the break, Sidmouth got back into their stride, and regained the lead when Elliot Dyer hit a long free kick from his own half beyond the far post where Man of the Match Mike Stamp launched himself to his left and headed the ball back under the crossbar to score a top class goal.

The opposition had a real go to get back on level terms and the Vikings had to endure a string of corners which, to their credit, they dealt with.

The introduction of fresh legs in Charlie Nicolle and Jules Hudson gave them new impetus and, with 10 minutes to go, Nathan Brace spotted the keeper off his line and chipped him from 25 metres to give the Vikings a 3 - 1 win.

Second team manager Alan Rowe said: “ We started this match with four 16-year-olds in the starting line up and they all did extremely well. Having said that, I am amazed at the fitness levels of veterans Mike Stamp, Anthony Griffiths and Craig Badcock! Everyone worked really hard and they all enjoyed the game which is what it is all about.”

Team: Robbie Powell, Anthony Griffiths, David Crisp, Elliot Dyer, Mike Stamp, Craig Badcock, Nathan Brace, Matt Colson, Alex Martin, Steve Brown, Ian Mortimore. Subs: Charlie Nicolle, Jules Hudson, Greg Chaplin.

?THE journey to Uffculme to play Kentisbeare proved worth it for the playing surface, but Sidmouth struggled to find their passing game for the first 30 minutes.

Matt Colson was involved in the best move of a sluggish half, which saw Gary Bargery open the scoring.

Half-time saw Jules Hudson and Dave Pugsley come on and Sidmouth dominated, doubling their lead when Tom Chaplin scored.

Manager Simon Hudson, on for Bargery, tried to be clever with a simple tap-in and looked less so as the ball threatened the corner flag more than the net. He redeemed himself after being put through by Man of the Match Greg Chaplin, to gift his son an open goal despite Hudson Jnr committing the cardinal sin of shouting ‘Dad’ on the pitch! Tom Chaplin won and converted a penalty for 4-0 away from home. As the senior players regaled stories of Sunday football of old, the youngsters played ‘Connect 4’ in the pub afterwards. Oh, the tales they will be able to tell! Next Sunday, the Vikings are at Manstone, KO 10.15am.

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