Sidmouth Town face ‘must win’ meeting with Torrington at Manstone Lane


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Sidmouth Town entertain Torrington tomorrow (Saturday) in what manager Danny Burwood describes a ‘must win’ game.

A look at the latest league table underlines the importance of the game for while Town occupy bottom spot, Torrington are just one place, and one point, better off with both teams having played 16 games so far this season.

Burwood says: "This next game is huge in every sense of the word. We have shown in recent games that we really are 'not that far away' from the rest of the sides in this division in terms of ability. Where we are lacking just now is in the small detail - we are being undone by individual mistakes - and when I say that I am referring to errors at both ends of the pitch for, as crucial as it obviously is when a defender makes a mistake that leads to an opposition goal, so, at the other end of the pitch, is a mistake when a clear and obvious scoring opportunity is spurned."

He continued: "The message to the lads ahead of this next game is simply: get the job done and you will no longer be the team that sits below everybody else. Lose and a gap opens up, win and we start looking upwards - it's very straight forward."

Last Saturday Town were edged out 2-1 at home by a Torpoint Athletic side that took over top spot in the table following the win.

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However, and not for the first time in recent games, the Vikings trooped off the pitch at the end wondering why they had not won the game themselves!

The Town boss explained saying: "Once again we were masters of our own downfall in as much as we missed two gilt edged chances to score before they got a late first half goal and so, instead of sitting in the dressing room at the break with a two goal lead we are lamenting our luck at being one down! In the second half we gave as good as we got for long periods but were undone by a penalty, awarded after another error on our part. We got the goal our shift warranted late on, but it was too little, too late and a case of having to take another defeat on the chin, but hand on heart, we did enough to win that game and it was another case of us seeing just how fine the margins are."

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Matt Salter scored the Town goal against Torpoint and the Town boss said: "Matt does not score many and so it's one to cherish. To be fair he did well down the left all game and the goal was no more than he deserved for another whole hearted shift."

He continued: "Given that we were beaten 7-3 on the opening day down at Torpoint, the closeness of this latest game suggest improvement on our part and it was spoken about post match on Saturday evening which is a real positive for me and the lads as we are always so happy to hear positive things and folk who follow the team acknowledging that the green shoots of improvement are there for all to see and long may that continue."

Looking ahead to the Torrington game, Burwood says; "We are missing Ty Jones and Matt Coulson, but other than it's a similar looking matchday squad.

"I am still trying to get a couple of players in as I feel we need one or two to give us a boost over the coming weeks. However, as I keep saying, we really are not far away at Town in terms of the required standard and consistency. If we can cut out the individual errors and work hard on consistency of availability then we can get to where we want to be."

After tomorrows game Town have another home game seven days later with the December 14 at home to high-flying Ilfracombe Town and then they have back-to-back games with teams also locked in the lower reaches of the Premier East table. They visit third bottom Elmore on December 21 and then, on Boxing Day, they visit seventh from bottom Honiton Town.

Danny Burwood says: "We have arrived at a crunch period now with three of the next four games against teams close to us in the table. There's so much for us to be positive about and, if we keep working hard as we have been doing in training, then our fortunes will change."

He added: "Also, as the festive break approaches we shall be strengthened by the University lads coming home so, hopefully, we will see both Ben Miller and Ollie Jarrett back in action."

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