Vikings come back from three down to net stunning home success

Sidmouth Town's Manstone Lane before an evening kick-off. Picture: Sam Cooper

Sidmouth Town's Manstone Lane before an evening kick-off. Picture: Sam Cooper - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town player-manager Danny Burwood put a polished finish on his teams sensational 4-3 home win over Torrington by rifling home the winner himself with five minutes to go.

What made the win all the more impressive - it's the first victory for the Vikings since their August 17 4-2 win at Torrington - is the fact that, at half-time on Saturday at Manstone Lane, they trailed 3-0!

Burwood, able to play more these days since the arrival at the club of Paul Pocock was quick to heap praise on his number two.

The Town boss said: "It was Paul who did the talking at half-time. There was no raising of voices. Quite the opposite in fact as 'Pokey' simply laid it down that, from he'd just watched it was once again the case that we had been undone by errors in the back line while equally guilty of errors in the final third with the big difference in the first 45 minutes being that we had been punished by some clinical finishing from Torrington and had, at the other end of the pitch, spurned many a similar opportunity offered to us!"

The first half had been one of end-to-end action, but it was the visiting side that had taken their chances and must have felt at the break as if they were well on their way to a vital win given that the home side were the only side to sit below them in the South West Peninsula League Premier East table before the start of play.

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Town began with three at the back, but trailing 3-0 just 20 minutes in they switched formation with Ben Clay moving to left back in a flat back four. The switch worked, but, a mixture of good defending and poor finishing meant that half time arrived with Town staring down the barrel, three goals down.

Danny Burwood says: "During the break Paul [Pocock] reminded us that if we just stuck to our guns and kept creating, then we would find a way back into the game. He also reminded us that they [Torrington] have conceded plenty of goals this season and it we could get one goal back it might well lead to more and really test their resolve.

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"He also urged the lads to be patient and see where the game took us."

The route back into the contest came via the pace of Ferenc Bodor. 'Fez' as he most affectionately known switched wings to enable him to 'cut inside' and it was from one such move that he fired home the first Town goal.

There was an element of 'route one' about the second goal with a long ball played over the top for Bodor to run onto and he outpaced the fleet-footed Torrington full back before thumping the ball home to make it 3-2.

Now with their tails up, Town went in search of an equaliser. Max Hammett saw a shot cannon back off the bar before, from a corner taken by Burwood, Tom Diamond saw his header first hit the bar before bouncing down clearly behind the line and it was seen by the linesman and the 'goal' rightly awarded to level things up with 15 minutes remaining.

Town were now in total control, but try as they did, and they really did - a fourth goal was not forthcoming.

Matt Salter and Jack Hatswell both came out second best with the visiting glovesman in one-on-one situations, until, with just five minutes remaining, Burwood trundled forward before, from 30 yards out, he picked his spot and arrowed the ball into the back of the Torrington net to seal a superb, and richly deserved, win for his side.

Burwood said: "At 3-2 down, when the header from Max [Hammett] hits the bar a little bit of me was left thinking that it was maybe not going to be our day. However, it all came good in the end. I was so proud of the lads and, when the third was scored from my corner I have to confess the emotion almost got the better of me and I had a tear in my eye when I saw the reaction from players and supporters alike. That was a very special moment, but even that was topped when we got our fourth with five minutes to play."

He continued: "I have spoken before of how delighted, no, make that proud, I am off the 'togetherness' that we have created in the squad. We have had a tough time of it so far this season, but, on Saturday, it all came together and if we can just fine some consistency of performance then we will continue to be upwardly mobile in the table.

"There's no doubt that the catalyst to our recent upturn in performance has come from the presence of the inspirational Pokey [Paul Pocock] and the lads are working so hard in training as underlined last week when we had a couple of goals up and simply worked on finishing. That's the beauty of working with the younger players, they are hungry to learn, eager to improve and, if they keep working hard then they will enjoy their just rewards."

On Saturday, Town face table-topping Ilfracombe. Burwood says: "Some might say this is a 'free hit' for us. Let's face it, we are at opposite ends of the table and Ilfracombe are winning games for fun while we have only just chalked up our first league win since August, but I a positive person and will remind the lads of how well they recently played against a Torpoint side who went top after a narrow 2-1 win over us. We have the ability ion our squad to be a match for anyone and I am looking forward to seeing the lads get back out onto the Manstone Lane turf looking to net some glory against arguably the best side at our level just now."

The Manstone Lane kick-off on Saturday is at 3pm.

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