Sidmouth Town boss speaks about the derby win over Axminster Town

A Sidmouth Town corner flag at Manstone Lane. Picture: ARCHANT

A Sidmouth Town corner flag at Manstone Lane. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A chat with Sidmouth Town boss Danny Burwood the morning after the Vikings’ 3-1 win over Axminster Town

Sidmouth Town were 3-1 winners of the South West Peninsula League Premier East meeting with Axminster Town, a terrific local derby played out under the Manstone Lane floodlights.

Two goals from striker Scott Hughes and one from midfielder Joe Miller saw Town to a third win in five early season league outings.

Town boss Danny Burwood was very pleased with what his charges produced.

He said: “After the FA Vase disappointment and the manner of us losing that cup tie, a local derby was probably about the best ‘pick-me-up’ game we could have had!

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“That said, it would also have been a bad one as we might have taken something of a Vase hangover into the meeting with Axminster Town.

“However, before the game we spoke with the lads about the fine margins and focused on the fact that this really was ‘just another game’ albeit a derby match and, to a man, the lads were awesome.”

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Burwood, and his number two Paul Pocock, had opted for a couple of changes from the team that had played, and, indeed, taken, Western League Cheddar so close in the FA Vase a few days before.

The Vikings’ chief explained saying: “The decision to leave Ferenc [Bodar] out of the starting line-up was a tough one to call. He has done nothing wrong and had scored in the last two games, but we wanted to go with a 4/3/3/ and made the changes hoping it’d work – and it did!”

Speaking specifically about one or two individuals, the Town boss said: “We wanted to see how Ethan [Slater] would do in the number ten berth and that worked well, he [Slater] is a very versatile player who can clearly operate with confidence in a number of roles.

“Ben [Clay] came in to shore things up at the back and that move worked a treat. Tom [Diamond] was once again a star – his goal line clearance when we were 2-1 up was arguably a ‘key moment’ in the contest. Even now I can’t think how he got to where he did in the time he did, to make that clearance, underline his selfless commitment to the cause.”

Burwoood continued: “Joe [Miller] was a live wire in his midfield role and he capped a terrific individual show with a goal and then there’s Scotty [Hughes] - what more can I say about the lad.

“A week ago, after the win at Cully, I was speaking of how he has developed and continues to work so hard on becoming a better player.

“I have spent time with Scott and its clearly time that has benefitted him. I wanted him to just tweak aspects of his personal game to make him a more complete centre forward – just little things really like backing into defenders and become a little ‘nastier’ in terms of being a menace to the opposition defenders – all while staying within the rules, of course!”

He added: “Testimony to Scotty’s clear understanding of what I am asking of him was his all-round performance and the two goals against Axminster. He really did lead the line so well.”

There is one current ‘issue’ of concern for the Town boss and that’s with the all-important position of goalkeeper.

Five league games and one FA Vase tie into the new campaign and Town have already used three different goalkeepers!

Burwood says: “It’s a worry that we have used three different keepers so far.

“It’s a general mix really of availability and commitment. We have already had Josh McLean and Jake Wreford keep goal and last night against Axminster Town it was Brendan Milford on duty between the posts – he did well, but what we really do need is some consistency of glovesman with defensive line so that everybody knows what everybody is going to do in any given situation.

“Hopefully we can get the number one spot sorted and get that consistency of appearance and performance.”

For a final word on the meeting with Axminster Town the Vikings boss said: “Yes, it was a great night and we were fortunate – again – to have a wonderful crowd behind us – all socially distanced, of course, but it does make a difference to the players when they see and hear the sort of support they were given by another great Manstone Lane turnout last night.”

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