Sidmouth’s super Vets knock out Reading

GRAHAM Pidgeon and Simon Price were Sidmouth’s goal heroes as they plotted a course into uncharted territory - the fourth round of the national knock-out cup for over-40 sides.

This victory was over a side from the country’s leading club, although the visitors did not field their strongest squad which could have contained four players who have represented England in the Olympics.

Sidmouth were never overawed and the first chances fell their way – Keith Baker had a shot from a short corner saved and Pidgeon just failed to put away a strongly hit cross from Price.

After another foray down the right, Price decided against a cross, went for goal and calculated the angles perfectly for the opener.

With Ian Please, Keith Baker, Paul Gannon and Neil Coles providing a solid defensive barrier, goalkeeper John Goodwin’s only action of the first half was to deflect a short corner wide.

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In the second half, a perfectly placed drive from a short corner left him standing, but Baker proved an able second line of defence by flicking the shot wide before it went inside a post.

Reading drew level with a scrambled goal but Sidmouth’s response was immediate. Charlie Plowden, Nick Wright and Andrew Mapson kept the midfield boilers stoked and, when Price was released down the right again from a pass by Chris Olive, he put a pinpoint cross on to Pidgeon’s stick for a simple tap in.

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A misdirected 16-yard hit by Baker, his only mistake of the game, enabled Reading to level again with sharp passes between two attackers carving open the cover to leave an open goal for the equaliser.

Mark Mingo put Price in the clear for a one-on-one with the goalkeeper and he drew him out before lobbing him, only to see the ball drop just the wrong side of the bar.

Two saves by Goodwin kept Reading at bay and, when Pidgeon found himself unmarked in the D, he waited for the goalkeeper to commit himself before lifting it over him into the net for the deciding goal.

Sidmouth now await the draw to find out who they meet in the fourth round on February 6.

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