Sidmouth earn valuable league points

Captain Ian Brown had the good fortune to be able to call upon Sidmouth s 12 best hockey players to take on Bodmin in a league match played at Sidmouth College.

Sidmouth HC Men's 1sts 3,

Bodmin 1

Captain Ian Brown had the good fortune to be able to call upon Sidmouth's 12 best hockey players to take on Bodmin in a league match played at Sidmouth College.

It was a luxury that was not available to his Cornish counterpart, whose team was missing four regulars. It was an obvious opportunity for Sidmouth to open a gap between the teams in the league as, prior to the game, only one point had separated the sides.

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Sidmouth controlled the game from the start and had the Bodmin side stretched on a number of occasions. They took the lead when the side utilised a set piece that has been used in the first team for the last 20-something years with left-back Graham Pidgeon getting on the end of a slightly miss-hit cross from Sidmouth's full-back.

The lead was no more than Sidmouth deserved, but they were unable to convert any further chances before the half-time whistle but, with statistically the best defence in the league, it was a confident side that met to discover what pearls of wisdom Captain Brown would use to inspire the side onto second half domination.

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They didn't have to wait long to score, with Nick Wade first to react to a loose ball in the D, slapping the ball home from close range.

Sidmouth's dominance was such that attacks were coming from all angles and even Ian Brown ventured into the opposition half to provide a perfect cross which was too good for the opposition's defence, but could not be reached, despite valiant attempts by the forwards.

Minutes later Wade, playing his best game for the club this season, doubled his tally and gave Sidmouth an unassailable 3-0 lead when Chris Lewis put him through with only the keeper to beat, which he duly did with great aplomb, casually placing the ball wide of the advancing 'keeper and into the net.

The game continued at a fast pace throughout the half, assisted by umpires Keith Baker and Gerald Skinner who had been called upon at the last minute to referee the match and used their vast knowledge of the game to allow some free flowing hockey. Skinner, in particular, deserves special mention having left wife Sue at home on their 21st wedding anniversary to umpire the match.

As the pace of the game began to take its toll on the Cornish side, they were forced to bring a player off the bench who had left the game in the first half with a torn hamstring and he immediately made an impact, out-pacing Pidgeon to a ball at the back post to give Bodmin a consolation goal.

The final score of 3-1 certainly didn't flatter Sidmouth, who probably should have scored more goals and the forwards will have to start looking over their shoulders in coming weeks, with the news that Bret Hallam has finally ended his drought and scored for the first time since joining the club in the summer.

The Adrenalin Games Man of the Match award was split between three players, Nick Wade, Byron Fitzgerald and Charlie Plowden, a fact that shows the all round ability of the side with the award being shared between an attacker, midfielder and a defender.

This Saturday Sidmouth are away to Isca, 3pm at Exeter Uni.

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