A look back at Sidmouth Town’s 2019/20 SWP League season
- Credit: Archant
With the season now officially over, here’s a look back at Sidmouth Town’s 2019/20 campaign in a season that ceased to exist.
Having been promoted in the season prior, The Vikings started their South West Peninsula League Premier East life with a 63-mile trip to Cornwall where they faced Torpoint Athletic.
It was not a happy trip for the Vikings, though, as they were defeated 7-3 in what was their fourth heaviest loss of the now nulled season.
The Vikings bounced back immediately with their first midweek game of 2019/20 and it saw them face East Devon rivals Axminster Town.
Danny Burwood’s men took the lead from the penalty spot via Ollie Jarrett before the Tigers equalised in the 54th minute.
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Sidmouth sealed their first win of the season when Jack Hatswell netted in the 80th minute.
The Vikings made it two wins from two when they bested Torrington 4-2 at Vicarage Field.
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Sidmouth then rounded out the month with two defeats on the spin, starting with a 4-0 loss to Crediton United before a 2-0 defeat at Brixham, who would go on to be top of the table at the time of the league’s nulling.
The team ended August in 15th place on six points from five games.
The Vikings had only three league games in September and two of them came within three days of each other, starting with a 4-0 defeat at home to Newton Abbot Spurs followed by a 3-1 defeat at Manstone Lane to Millbrook.
Next it was cup action for the team as they departed the FA Vase courtesy of a 5-0 home defeat against Cullompton Rangers. The following game was another cup exit as the Vikings were defeated 3-1 by Dartmouth in the Walter C Parson League Cup.
The following game was a Devon St Lukes Bowl tie and this time Sidmouth did progress thanks to a 3-2 win over the side that had just eliminated them from the Walter C Parson League Cup, Dartmouth.
They finished the month with a 6-2 defeat against Elburton Villa. After a month that had seen them play six consecutive home games, they ended September in 18th place on six points from eight games.
October was a month to forget for Danny Burwood’s men as they picked up just one point from six league games. That solitary point came away at Plymouth Marjon on October 15 with a 2-2 draw.
The rest of the month consisted of a 3-2 loss at Stoke Gabriel, an 8-1 home defeat by Bovey Tracey, a 3-1 losing visit to Ivybridge Town, a 1-0 home defeat courtesy of Torridgeside and a 5-1 home loss against Cullompton Rangers.
The Vikings ended October bottom of the division on seven points from 14 games.
It was penalty heartbreak for Sidmouth to start the month as they departed the Devon St Lukes Bowl via spot kicks. In their game away at Holsworthy, neither side had managed to find the net during regular time so penalties were needed to find who would be advancing to the next stage.
Home side Holsworthy came out on top with four penalties converted to Sidmouth’s two.
There were just two more games for the penultimate month of 2019 as the Vikings drew 2-2 at Dartmouth before losing 2-1 at home to the team that had beaten them 7-3 to open the campaign, Torpoint Atheltic. They entered the festive period on eight points from 16 games and remained at the foot of the table.
December was the first month when the weather began to take its toll on local football.
The Vikings managed just one game, which saw them produce a remarkable comeback to win 4-3 at Torrington.
Player-manager Danny Burwood netted the winner as Sidmouth recovered from trailing 3-0 at half-time.
The win ensured Sidmouth would not end the year bottom as they moved up into 19th place on 11 points, ahead of Torrington on nine.
The Vikings started the new year, and the new decade, with a goalless draw at home to Dartmouth in the first of four January matches.
Following the stalemate, they lost back-to-back games starting with a 3-1 defeat to Cullompton Rangers. They followed that with a trip to forget at highflyers Ilfracombe Town where the Vikings ended on the wrong side of a 7-1 scoreline.
The month was bookended by draws as, following January’s opening draw against Dartmouth, the team ended the month with a 1-1 draw at Axminster Town.
Sidmouth ended January on 13 points and in 19th place, level with Torrington but ahead on goal difference.
February was another month hit by weather as Storms Ciara and Dennis hit UK shores. This meant Sidmouth could only contest two games in what proved to be their final fixtures of a season that has now ceased to exist.
One of those games was their heaviest defeat of the campaign with a 9-3 defeat at Bovey Tracey. A week later and it was another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of Brixham who beat them 4-1 at Manstone Lane.
That ended February and subsequently the season following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sidmouth ended the season that never was in 20th place on 13 points from 23 games with a record of three wins, four draws and 16 defetas. However, they did play two fewer matches than 19th-placed Torrington, who were just one point ahead.
Relegation fears were extinguished with the news of the nulling, meaning Sidmouth have another chance to stay in the SWP League’s top flight when football returns.