Sidmouth Raiders Under-13s suffer KO Cup semi-final heartache

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Sidmouth Raiders Under-13s suffered Exeter Youth League KO Cup semi-final heartache when they were edged out by Heavitree, beaten by the odd goal in five.

The contest was every bit as close as the final score suggests with Raiders mighty close to what would have been a ‘giant killing’ given the high status of the Heavies, playing , as they do, two levels above Raiders in the league.

With a cup final at the St James Park home of Exeter City on offer, both teams started cautiously.

The Raiders defence looked compact and organised while, at the opposite end of the pitch, Freddie Dorman never gave the Heavies back line a minutes respite.

The Exeter side scored first and there was a big element of good fortune about the goal as the initial strike on goal was blocked only for the ball to spin upwards into the roof on the net. Parity was restored, in both swift and spectacular fashion as

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Yan Mercan launched a long-range strike that arrowed its way into the back of the net!

After the break the Heavies scored twice to seemingly book a final berth. However, Raiders’ character came to the fore and, after Frank Long, Josh O’Connor and Ryan Kubatcha had all gone close, Ethan Gribble served up a tremendous piece of skill before drilling the ball home to set up a grandstand last few minutes.

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Sadly, the third Raiders goal – one their overall performance so deserved - was not forthcoming and they trooped off at full-time beaten, but certain in the knowledge that they had given their lofty opponents a real scrap!

The Raiders performance underlined the continued development of this particular Sidmouth team.

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