Sidmouth return to winning ways with victory over Axminster Town

Sidmouth Town away at Exmouth for a pre-season friendly. Ref shsp 29 19TI 7472. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town away at Exmouth for a pre-season friendly. Ref shsp 29 19TI 7472. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth bounced back from their opening day defeat by beating local rivals Axminster Town 2-1 at Manstone Lane.

The Vikings took the lead just before the half-hour mark thanks to a penalty kick from Ollie Jarrett, before Axminster equalised in the 54th minute.

Sidmouth then sealed the late victory with a 80th minute winner from Jack Hatswell.

Given Sidmouth's rocky start to the season with a 7-3 defeat against Torpoint Athletic last Saturday, manager Danny Burwood would have been hoping for a better performance this time round, but soon found his team under the cosh.

After weathering the storm for the opening 10 minutes, Sidmouth grew into the game and were having chances of their own. They earned themselves the first corner but it was easily gathered by Axminster keeper Jason Hutchings.

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Another corner produced the first real attempt of the game as the ball was played short before being worked to the edge of the box. The shot was well hit, but again was gathered by Hutchings.

A direct pass through the middle released Sidmouth's Ben Miller but, perhaps not realising how much time he had, he took the shot on early and it was palmed away.

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Miller made up for this soon after, though, as he was brought down in the box in the 26th minute. Ollie Jarrett stepped up and converted with a finish low into the right hand corner.

Axminster had a chance to level straight away but Richard Hebditch squandered the free kick. Sidmouth went in at the break 1-0 up but Axminster responded and were pushing for the equaliser. In the 51st minute, Sidmouth goalkeeper Brandon Milford produced a great save, but he was powerless three minutes later when Tony Pinder broke clear of the offside trap and hit a half volley into the net.

There was a hint of offside but the linesmen kept his flag down and was not allowed to forget that decision for the rest of the game by the Manstone Lane crowd.

After the hour mark, the Tigers continued to press for a goal that would take them into the lead but there was a lack of quality in the final third.

The game was heading to the closing stages with both sides now trying to find the winning goal but neither managing to fashion any clear-cut chances.

Then, with 80 minutes on the clock, Sidmouth broke quickly on the counter-attack and Jack Hatswell was picked out in the box.He took a touch then slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. Hatswell looked ecstatic and ran to the bench with his arms pumping. The goal was the last meaningful action of the game as Sidmouth secured their first three points of the season.

Next up for the Vikings is a trip away to Torrington at Vicarage Field on Saturday, August 17.

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