Sidbury fight for league glory

A Stunning strike from Dan Churchill earned his side three vital points in what was a must-win game for the Seagulls.

A Stunning strike from Dan Churchill earned his side three vital points in what was a must-win game for the Seagulls, a game they had to win to keep themselves in with a chance of promotion. After last week's dismal display at home to Halwill, Sidbury looked much more equipped to deal with a side that only looked for a long ball to their main striker.To be fair, it looked like their tactics were going to work again until Dan Tavender found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, the resulting challenge meriting a penalty which top scorer Kevin Dorman fired in with great confidence.They should have had another when Dorman was put through by Russell Coombs but Dorman elected to chip the keeper instead of going around him and his effort went wide.Coombs, himself, was unlucky not to score after his fierce drive from 25 yards was well-saved by the Halwill keeper. Halwill continued with their tactics and were rewarded on 40 minutes when a lucky deflection saw their talented striker race away and finish in style.The second half had mixed fortunes for Sidbury. After 50 minutes Churchill unleashed a wonder strike that the keeper could only watch fly past him. After initially losing the ball, when something simpler would have sufficed, he won it back with great determination and struck from 25 yards. Unfortunately, Stuart Coombs picked up a yellow card for comments made to an opponent, and then made a lunging tackle at a player that used his vast year's of experience to add another yellow card to Coombs' name which meant he had to be sent off. There was minimal contact, but the referee was convinced.So, for 30 minutes, Sidbury had to reshuffle and battle it out for three points. They had to concede ground higher up the field but, as Halwill moved forward, they hit a stubborn Seagull's side that were determined to hang on for all the points. In fact, Sidbury should have extended their lead when Dean Goddard was put through but his effort went wide. There was also a chance from a Churchill corner that should have been buried but, in the end, they were relieved to have held out to take all the points.Manager Mel Coombs said: "That was a much better performance today. Dan Norman came back into the side and proved what a quality player he can be."Matt Channing was excellent for us on the right. The lads have to realise how good it is to be involved with a chance of honours come the end of the season, because most sides don't get the chance. Every game is like a cup final for us now. It was superb to see the lads celebrate after this one."Star Man was Dan Normanl The second team's winning run came to an end on Saturday when they were beaten by the league leaders Countess Wear 4-0.On Sunday they redeemed themselves with a 2-2 draw at home to Clyst Valley Res, duly winning the penalty shoot to progress into the semi-final of the Golesworthy Cup.l This Saturday the first XI host Elmore Res and the second XI travel to Exmouth Amateurs. Both games kick off at 3pm. On Sunday the first XI host Feniton Res in the quarter final of the Grandisson Cup.�

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