Sidmouth Town boss laments a serious case of ‘smash and grab’

Sidmouth at home to Budleigh durin ground hop day. Ref shsp 14 18TI 0594. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth at home to Budleigh durin ground hop day. Ref shsp 14 18TI 0594. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town boss Josh Stunell was left stunned after yet another single goal defeat for his side when they went down 1-0 at home to Brixham.

The Vikings slipped to their 14th defeat of the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division season, but no fewer than 10 of those reversals have been by a margin of just one goal!

In what can only be described as ‘a classic case of smash-and-grab’, the South Devon side took all three points when they netted their one and only chance in the 90 minutes!

In stark contrast, Town fashioned countless excellent scoring opportunities, but none were taken, leaving manager Stunell to lament: “I know I sound like ‘a broken record’, but we really are not getting a rub of the green. I accept the old adage of ‘you make your own luck’, but so many times this season the difference between winning – or not losing – and losing, has been not our lack of composure in front of goal, but more a case of poor decision making approaching, and in, the final third of the opposition’s half!”

Stunell continued: “I really do feel for the lads; once again they gave me, and the club, everything they had, but it was one of those games when you felt we’d not have put the ball in the Brixham net if we’d been there till the following morning!”

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Making the right choice when closing in on the opposition goal is fundamental to success – we are having players pass the ball instead of taking responsibility and look to score themselves – some of that is down to inexperience and some to bad luck, but an awful lot of it is simply down to the wrong choice being taken!”

The Town defeat, coupled with points being banked by both Alphington and Honiton Town in terms of the lower reaches of the Eastern Division, has left the Vikings looking over their shoulders in terms of avoiding a bottom two finish that could lead to relegation.

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However, Stunell is absolutely not prepared to entertain any thoughts of a bottom two finish, something he alluded to saying: “I do think the current bottom two (Liverton and Galmpton) look the most likely to be the ones sat there when the final ball has been kicked. For our part we probably need three or four more points and I am very confident that we will get them.”

Tomorrow (Saturday), Town are again in home action when they take on title-chasing Newton Abbot Spurs. Town were beaten 5-1 by the South Devon men when they met in September, but the Vikings’ boss has often championed the fact that his team ‘raise their game’ against the top sides.

Stunell says: “I have no qualms about my lads taking on a title-chasing side. We follow the Newton Abbot game with a midweek trip into Exeter to meet Alphington.

I am quite relaxed about the situation. It’s not as if we have been playing badly and I am confident that we will take something out of these next two games.”

The kick-off tomorrow at Manstone Lane is 3pm.

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