Sidmouth Raiders Under-15s edged out of cup in penalty shoot-out

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Raiders Under-15s were agonisingly close to a major cup upset against reformed side, Exeter-based Hamlin.

Raiders shared six goals with the hosts before being edged out 3-1 in a dramatic penalty shout-out competition.

The opening stages were closely fought and well contested and it was Raiders who struck first when Freddie Dorman latched on to a delightful through-ball from Corey Rogers, beating the offside trap and going on to tuck the ball past the goalkeeper.

Raiders then conceded on midway through the first half, from then on in it was a question of resolute defending against wave and wave of Hamlin attack.

In the second half, Raiders continued to frustrate their Division One opponents, and looked dangerous themselves each time they broke.

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In an exact replica of the opening goal it was again the impressive Corey Rogers who was on hand to provide an assist to facilitate another clinical Dorman finish.

Parity was once more restored, though there was an element of controversy about the second Hamlin goal. For the match official deemed a clearance a ‘back pass’ and, from the subsequent free-kick, the ball was rifled into the net to make it 2-2. Things got worse for Raiders as they then fell 3-2 down. However, they dug deep and, with the clock ticking down, Joel Evans was found in space to lash home to send the game into extra-time amongst plenty of loud cheering from a large band of travelling Raiders support!

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Ten minutes of tentative extra-time followed with neither side conceding any ground.

That all left the lottery of penalties to decide who made progress to the next round of the competition.

In the shoot-out Raiders were so cruelly undone 3-1; Frank Long being the Sidmouth scorer with an unstoppable finish.

Raiders can take enormous heart from this performance against higher Division opposition and for long spells it was difficult to tell which was the Division One team.

The Raiders Man of the Match award went to the most deserving Reuben Bennett, for his strong, and cultured performance at right back.

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