Sidmouth Town held by basement boys Exwick Villa

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw at home by basement side Exwick who took points from a league outing for only the fourth time in 17 outings this season.

The Vikings, boosted by the presence of the clearly talented Glen Gould – the new man quickly showed his range of short and long passing - started brightly, and so it was somewhat against the ruin of play that the visiting side struck first.

The ball was with Town’s Nathan Antat, but he miss-placed a pass and Villa took full advantage with Louis Jagger Cane drilling the ball past Jack Burgess in the Vikings goal.

Town were quickly back into their passing game on what was a heavy Manstone Lane surface.

The probing and pressing of Town finally paid off when, in the 35th minute, Villa glovesman Zac Lee miss-timed a routine clearance and the ball fell invitingly to teenager Ollie Binion who cleverly side-footed the ball into an empty net from 20 yards out.

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Five minutes later the game’s biggest talking point took place, Exwicks Lee missed timed a challenge on the edge of his box and clearly handled the ball outside of his area, the referee looked to the away linesperson for clarification the expressionless linesperson was never going to confirm what had just happened, much to the relief of the away management, but to the utter disbelief of the Sidmouth faithful!

During the interval Town boss Josh Stunell changed his team’s formation and it paid instant dividends for, when the second half began, they were able to get the ball away from the boggier central parts of the pitch.

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Chances were created, but much to the home crowd’s frustration, chances were also missed as Shaun Densham, Antat and Binion all spurned good opportunities to give their side the lead.

As often happens in such situations, Villa, who had defended for long periods, won a free-kick 20 yards out and their skipper, Chris Clarke, rifled the ball into the top corner to give his side the lead with 25 minutes to play.

Exwick clearly felt they had just netted the match deciding goal, but the Vikings had other ideas and immediately went on the attack forcing visiting ‘keeper Lee into making some tremendous saves. On the one occasion that Lee was beaten the cross bar came to his aid as a thunderous strike by James Clampin cannoned back off the goal frame.

However, the pressure eventually paid off and, in the 75th minute a Ben Farrington free-kick was powerfully headed home by centre back Clampin.

The final 15 minutes were end-to-end as both teams threw caution to the wind in search of a winner.

Burgess was at his best on a couple of occasions was opposite number Lee and both goalkeepers left the pitch to back slapping from their team mates.

Town: Burgess, Farrington, Clampin, Pointing, White, Wellman, Antat (C), Gould, Swingler, Densham and Binion. Used Subs: Booth and Norman Unused England.

Star Man – Ollie Binion

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