Sidmouth Town in League Cup last 16 after derby win


- Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town booked a last 16 berth in this season’s Walter C Parsons Cup after a 4-2 Manstone Lane victory over Axminster Town.

It was a game of ‘firsts’, with Kevin Tooze making his managerial bow in the home dugout, along with fellow ‘joint manager’ Danny Burwood, while in the visiting dugout was former Sidmouth Town manager Josh Stunell, now joint manager with Johnny Hurdford at Axminster Town.

The Vikings made the worst possible start as they fell behind to a strike from an acute angle that put the visitors a goal to the good inside the first minute!

Town, who under previous boss Richard Pears had favoured a long-ball approach, had been sent out with a different approach with the new management encouraging the side to ‘play out from the back’.

It was possible the new system caused initial nerves in the Vikings ranks, and the visitors certainly enjoyed the greater possession in the opening exchanges.

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However, once the home side settled into the system they began to take a foothold in the contest and, midway through the first half, Will Jenkins turned on the ball and sent an unstoppable right foot shot into the top corner from! [STEVE - from what, X ft?]

The goal was no more than Town deserved and they were 2-1 up at the interval after leading scorer Ash Small headed home at the far post from a superb Russ Coombes cross.

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Axminster made a couple of changes at half-time in an attempt to claw their way back into a game that was slipping away from them the longer the second half wore on.

Rob Knight caused the visiting back line all manner of problems throughout and, with Small, Harry Taylor and Ferenc Bodor offering superb support, the home side began to create further chances.

Adding to the home supremacy, Ollie Jarrett and Jenkins were dominating the middle third of the pitch and the rearguard of Coombes, Chris Duchenski, Ash Matthews and Dan Carpenter looking solid, all meant Town glovesman Dan Machin was a spectator for much of the second half!

Small went close on a couple of occasions before calmly slotting his second to make it 3-1 before an astonishing miss! Knight headed goalwards only for Jarrett to unwittingly block the effort and Jenkins was unlucky with a shot that was parried to an unmarked Duchenski, who somehow contrived to miss the target from a yard out!

The management sent Ben Clay into action from the bench with the hard-working Taylor given a richly deserved breather. Dan Clay did not get any action, but then he was nursing a strain, though he still played an important role with sound advice being offered to players and management.

The icing was put on the Town ‘cake’ as Knight chested down for Small, who hooked the ball over his shoulder and saw the ball sail into the far corner giving the keeper no chance.

The visitors netted a late second, but Town were not to be denied a superb derby win and a trip to Premier Division Cullompton Rangers is the prize that awaits Town in November.

Town, are in action at high-flying Stoke Gabriel on Saturday (3pm).

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