Sidmouth Town 'come of age'
A draw with top of the league St Martin's was a sign of just how far Sidmouth Town have come this season under manager Paul Ashford. The Vikings had earned a point from the home clash earlier this season, and
By Lee GlanvilleSt Martin's 1, Sidmouth Tn 1A draw with top of the league St Martin's was a sign of just how far Sidmouth Town have come this season under manager Paul Ashford.The Vikings had earned a point from the home clash earlier this season, and found the away match a real toughie both physically and mentally. "They are without doubt the best team we have played and will be worthy champions," said Ashford. "But we played so well that I was a little disappointed not to win. The boys became men and toughed it out. "We had a real chance late on but the ball fell to the wrong man - Andy Thompson - who is a good player, but not noted for his heading! Sidmouth had conceded a goal within the first four minutes and Ashford could see all his plans going horribly wrong. But they kept playing well and teenager Alex Raistrick levelled with a great volley. Eight of the team were under 23 years old and the senior players really showed their skills off. Craig Badcock was drafted in up front and 'did himself and the club proud'.Sean Lapping and Tom Chaplin were a great example of experience and youth combining well.Ashford felt that everyone played their part, from left and right back up through midfield."Numerous players deserve a mention. I was really pleased with them. "I had been concerned about availability. As a manager you put your life on hold for the season. Some players do that but not all. However, the four or five who came in all stepped up to the mark. "It is all about desire to win. I am not shocked but surprised at how hot we are at the moment which makes me disappointed with our league position."If the players had produced this form earlier - and won some of the games we drew - we would have been right up there in the Premier table." The 1st XI have no match this week (just as well as Ashford had hardly recovered his voice let alone movement by Thursday after the bank holiday over-35s' match) but play Bickleigh midweek, and University next Saturday.