Sidmouth Town hit by fifth successive blank match day

Sidmouth football pitch at the weekend. Ref shsp 06-16TI 0482. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth football pitch at the weekend. Ref shsp 06-16TI 0482. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town’s South West Peninsula League Eastern Division match at home to Crediton United became the latest in a long run of Manstone Lane postponements when the pitch failed a mid-morning inspection.

The Vikings have not played since a January 16, 4-2 defeat at Appledore – a run of five successive match days without a game – and are next onto a pitch, weather permitting, on Saturday, February 27, when the visit high-flying St Martins.

This soggy season is now becoming a real issue for the Vikings who have, since an October 3 home meeting with Liverton (one they won 7-1), played just two other home games in that period ( a 3-2, November 28, win over Okehampton and a 2-1 reversal at the hands of unbeaten Tiverton Town Reserves on Saturday, December 12).

They are not due back at home until the Saturday, March 12 meeting with Brixham.

Given that that game goes ahead it will be only the fourth home league game for Town in a period of 22 weeks!

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That puts an enormous strain on any club’s income streams given that a home match day is generally the main fund raiser when everything, entry fee, match day draw, match day programme, kitchen and, of course, bar sales, is taken into consideration.

Four home matches at first team level across a period October 3 to March 12 is extraordinary and a tough burden for any club to have to bear.

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There remain just a dozen Saturday’s in the season from now until Saturday, May 8, and that means there’s going to be a lot of midweek football for teams the length and breadth of the area.

In the case of Sidmouth Town, the first team have, do date, played 18 of their 34 fixtures that make up the Eastern Division campaign.

Clearly, with 12 Saturday’s left in the season; they are already committed to a number of midweek dates. Town officials will be hoping that this current soggy spell comes to an end sooner rather than later!

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