Sidmouth Town boss: “No panic at Manstone Lane”

Sidmouth at home to Seaton. Ref shsp 06 18TI 7161. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth at home to Seaton. Ref shsp 06 18TI 7161. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town will sit out another South West Peninsula League Eastern Division match day this Saturday (March 3) – though given the weather it’s highly unlikely many football matches will be played.

It’s a second successive Saturday of inactivity for Town, who were also without a fixture last weekend.

There was a full programme played last Saturday with one significant result, a 7-1 thrashing for second bottom Liverton.

Just seven days before the South Devon side had sprung a big surprise when they defeated high-flying Budleigh Salterton 1-0 to spark hope – for their supporters – of the start of a climb away from the foot of the table.

With the league set for a major ‘new look’ at the start of the 2019-2020 season it’s important that Town look to avoid a bottom two finish this season which could possibly, leave them being relegated to Devon and Exeter League football.

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Town have nine matches left in their campaign with the first of those being a March 10 trip to Teignmouth.

That is one of four fixtures in March for they also have three games in six days at the end of the month with a March 24 trip to Ilfracombe followed swiftly by a visit to Bovey Tracey on a Wednesday evening before the Good Friday meeting with Budleigh Salterton that is sure to attract a big crowd to Manstone Lane.

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The Good Friday East Devon derby kicks off at 11am and it part of the 2018 Groundhop which sees a large number of folk taking in all seven matches with the Groundhop running from the Thursday night game between Newton Abbot Spurs and Teignmouth (7.30pm) and the Sunday evening 7pm kick-off between Plymouth Marjon and Millbrook.

Town boss Josh Stunell says: “A look at the table would suggest we are in trouble, but I have never seen it that way and I am absolutely confident that there is certainly no need for any panic stations at Manstone Lane!

“Yes, we need to be ensuring we are not left fighting to stay out of a bottom two finish, but I honestly do not worry about that.

“As things stand there are four teams below us and they are all looking at busy schedules.

“For us it’s a case of being in charge of our own destiny for we have to play two of the four – Alphington and Galmpton on our final nine games, and I am confident we will accrue sufficient points over those final nine games to keep us clear of the bottom two spots.”

The Town boss does know what the key is to his team’s fortunes, something he alluded to when he said: “Availability is going to e they key - if I could field my strongest team week in and week out then we’d be looking at a very different scenario.

“We have bags of talented players at Town and this current league position is, in my hunble opinion, a false one.

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