Sidmouth Town floodlit winning run ended by added time goal

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Newton Poppleford 1st team. Ref shsp 45 17TI 3305. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth 2nds at home to Newton Poppleford 1st team. Ref shsp 45 17TI 3305. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town manager Josh Stunell was left wondering what he had done to upset the footballing gods when, on Wednesday night under the Manstone Lane floodlights, he saw his side concede a 93rd minute goal in what had been a one-sided affair with Axminster Town that ended 2-2.

One of the largest attendances of the season - well over 100 - was present to take in entertaining East Devon derby that saw Town take an early lead through Matt Clenhagen, who tucked away a George Bastin corner only for the visitors to hit back and level soon after and then take the lead from the penalty spot.

Town hit back to level just before the break with a stunning individual goal from the talented Tyler Wellman.

The second half saw Town dominate both possession and territory with much of the final third of the match contested in the Axminster Town half.

It was on the hour mark that the Vikings took the lead for the second time with Wellman stepping forward to drill a penalty into the bottom corner of the net.

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Having regained the lead, Town moved the ball about well on another superb Manstone Lane surface.

The only thing missing was a finish to match some terrific approach play.

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The game had moved into added time when the Vikings had the ball in the corner at the Axminster Town end of the pitch. However, rather than ‘see the game out’ an attempt was made to cross the ball and it ended with the Axminster glovesman launching a long-ball up field. Three opportunities to clear the ball were missed and it fell invitingly to Tony Pinder, and there was nothing Town goalkeeper Jamie Harvey, could do to prevent the visitors from completing a very effective ‘smash and grab’ to take a point home with them.

Town boss Stunell lamented: “I really must have upset the footballing gods! We had enough chances to win the game by a very clear margin and then, well after the one minute of added time I had been told was left, we conceded a goal that really was most avoidable.”

He continued: “Three times we missed good chances to clear that ball, but, as seems to be our luck right now, it all ended well for the opposition and painfully for us.

“What is all means of course, is that, in the last two games, we have scored six goals and yet only go a point for our efforts.

“I don’t like making excuses, but a lot of things are going against us right now.

“It would be unfair to lay the blame at us being pegged back to 2-2 by the added time piece of misfortune. The fact is we also missed chances to be out of sight well before the closing stages.

“What me need to start doing, and quickly, is being more ruthless in front of goal when looking to finish and, when defending, we need to cut out the individual mistake making and seek to be far more composed at both ends of the pitch.”

The result ended the Town 100 per cent record under the new lights at Manstone Lane.

On Saturday (November 11) Town travel to Liverton (2.15pm).

Stunell is waiting on a number of players before being able to name his side.

He is without influential midfielder Ryan Davies, who missed the midweek draw with a hamstring problem, but hopes to have Danny Clay back while the goalkeeping situation is again unclear. With reular glovesman Robbie Powell injured, Stunell has used three different glovesman in the last three games.

Jamie Harvey stepped in against Axminster Town and he may well be again on duty at Liverton.

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