Sidmouth's cup clash with Crickets

On the back of a pleasing win the previous week versus Truro, Sidmouth faced a tricky away match against South Division 1 new boys Ashmoor last weekend.

Ashmoor 2,

Sidmouth HC Men's 1sts 2

On the back of a pleasing win the previous week versus Truro, Sidmouth faced a tricky away match against South Division 1 new boys Ashmoor last weekend.

The hosts have surprised many of their opposition to date with their sound organisation and prowess in front of goal, however, Sidmouth were not unnerved by Ashmoor's impressive start to the season going into the game.

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The game could not have got off to a worse start for the visitors as they fell behind to a soft reverse stick shot, wrongfooting goalkeeper Jon Hill, who, so far this season, has had a number of impressive performances.

This setback inspired Sidmouth to show their team spirit which has been built in recent weeks and began to claw themselves back into the game.

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The midfield pairing of Andrew Welch and Byron Fitzgerald worked well and, having missed his usual athletics training on the morning of the game, youngster Fitzgerald was able to threaten the home defence with his devastating pace.

Having missed the previous week's game owing to a visit to his family in Leeds, Tom Mason came back into the fold to partner Nick Wade upfront for Sidmouth as it was felt their physical presence could dominate the young looking home defence.

Vice captain Chris Lewis managed to use his new found pace to get around the back of the home defence and only a superb tackle prevented an almost certain goal.

Later, Wade's fine individual effort was blocked by the home defence, but Fitzgerald, who reads the game so well for someone of such tender years, popped up in the right place to slot the ball into the opposition goal to draw the scores level.

The visitors commanded long periods of the second half built mainly on the solid foundation of the dependable back four. Both Graham Pidgeon and Charlie Plowden combined a fine balance of attacking skill and defensive know-how, but it was Paul Gannon who stepped up to give Sidmouth the lead thanks to a sweetly struck short corner.

Moments later, Welch was involved in a nasty looking off- the-ball confrontation, earning himself a yellow card. The resulting free hit combined with the man advantage was seized upon by the hosts who managed to pull a goal back.

The visitors might have managed to snatch a win in the dying seconds when they were awarded a short corner, however, Dan Devine was deemed to have taken too long in getting himself in position to inject the ball by the umpire who reversed the short corner award.

l Sidmouth go into this week's double-header of matches nursing a few bruises following last weekend's sponsorship bonding event at Adrenalin Games' paintball site near Crealy!

Fortess Primley will host Bodmin on Saturday in the league and Ottery Crickets on Sunday in the first round of the Devon Cup. Both games 1.30pm start.

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