Sidmouth Town all set to welcome newly crowned champions to Manstone Lane

Tipton fc. Ref miscsp 44-17TI 2485. Picture: Terry Ife

Tipton fc. Ref miscsp 44-17TI 2485. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town bring the curtain down on their South West Peninsula League Eastern Division campaign tomorrow (Saturday) when they entertain a Stoke Gabriel side that will be presented with the Eastern Division title after the game.

The Vikings were in action last weekend when they suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat at a Brixham side that are destined to finish in the top three. The win leaves Town sitting ninth having banked 27 points fewer than Brixham, but, across the 90 minutes of action, Town are clearly a lot close to the South Devon side than the league position’s suggest!

Town joint-boss Kevin Tooze, set to stand down after tomorrow’s game, said of the defeat at Brixham: “It was another case of us being so very close to an opposing side that has, unfortunately, by full-time, left us with nowt to show for our considerable contribution to the contest.”

Town, who had travelled with 12 players were reduced to a bare 11 before kick-off when Matt Coulson pulled up with an injury, were leading 1-0 until the 84th minute when Brixham levelled and the South Devon men netted a second in the closing stages to take the points.

Tooze said: “I was gutted for the lads as they could not have given us anymore. Once again the margins have proved to be very, very fine. The lads simply lack the experience that playing will give them. I told them after the game that the 27 points that separate the sides is most certainly not a reflection on the Town team as it stands. With a wee bit better availability and greater consistency of all-round performance, Town can – and will – be up there with the Brixham’s of this world.”

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Tomorrow’s meeting with Stoke Gabriel is Tooze’s final game as joint boss with Danny Burwood before Tooze steps aside.

He says; “It will be emotional. I have enjoyed this season, but it’s the right time for me to move aside. Hopefully Danny will move the club onwards and upwards – everyone connected with a fabulous football club deserves that to happen.”

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As for the Stoke Gabriel game, Tooze says: “Availability may play havoc with our planning as it is a bank holiday weekend. We will certainly give the occasion the commitment it deserves, certainly in terms of acknowledging a superb title win for Stoke Gabriel.

“However, our hospitality regarding praising them as champions will stop at 3pm for 90 minutes as we do our utmost to end their season with defeat!”

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