Sidbury below-par again, but good enough to bank three more points
Sidbury United 2, Cullompton Rangers 0 Sidbury were again not at their best and stuttered their way to the final whistle, but at least banked three points in their meeting with the Mid Devon visitors.
The United cause was not helped by the absence of several key players and their regular glovesman.
The goalkeeping gloves were worn by midfield player Dan Gale.
The first half of the contest was littered with mistakes by both sides with neither outfit able to string more than the odd pass together!
The flow of the game was not helped by a match official who seemed to get great pleasure out of blowing his whistle!
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The visitors did have the ball in the net, but just as the Cully striker lifted the ball over stand-in keeper Gale the referee blew to halt play having seen a home played land awkwardly!
In the 25th minute the decision making took a bizarre new twist when Sidbury’s Tom Mathews picked up two yellow cards. First he was shown yellow for stopping a free-kick being taken quickly and then, when he asked the official why he had been booked he received a second yellow and off he went!
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After the break the ten man of United found a new gear and, adopting a 3/4/2 formation got their noses in front. However they first had to defend and it needed two excellent saves by Gale in the United goal to deny Cully the lead before Dave Green rifled a 30-yard free-kick into the net.
The visitors rallied, but got little change out of the disciplined defending of Hannaford, Bacon and McCann whilst Seldon and Lane worked their socks off as a protective duo in front of the back line.
With five minutes remaining Ashley Small reacted quickly in the area , pinched the ball off the Cully goalkeeper and rolled it home.
United boss Jeremy Schofield said: “It’s a good three points, but the overall performance was poor. For sure a stronger side would turn us over playing like we did in this one. We have some tough games coming up and will need to greatly improve individual and collective play. We spoke at half time and decided we would rather lose than draw so we opted to retain tow up and it paid off. To give credit where it is due, the lads did work very hard top make sure they won the game.”
Tomorrow United make the short trip to East Budleigh (2.15pm).
Fresha League Division One
P W D L F A Pts
Elmore 12 11 0 1 39 9 33
Sidbury United 13 10 0 3 43 15 30
Bow AAC 10 8 2 1 38 11 26
Witheridge 13 8 2 3 32 21 26
Alphington 12 7 2 3 25 18 23
Wellington Town 13 7 1 5 34 23 22
University 9 6 1 2 27 12 19
Exmouth Amateurs 14 6 0 8 28 26 18
East Budleigh 13 5 3 5 19 17 18
Beacon Knights 10 5 1 4 22 21 16
Tipton St John 12 3 2 7 18 30 11
Bickleigh 11 3 1 7 21 33 10
Cullompton R’rs 12 2 2 8 15 36 8
Heavitree United 12 1 0 11 20 36 7
Newton Poppl’rd 15 0 0 15 10 83 0