Sidmouth Town involved in yet another goal-fest at Manstone Lane
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Town were involved in a record-equalling South West Peninsula League score draw when they shared ten goals with Totnes and Dartington at Manstone Lane.
The Vikings welcomed back captain Josh French and gave a first start this term to seasoned campaigner Mike Stamp. Mike Pidgeon replaced the injured Ben Cole and second team player Ferenc Bodor was also called into the squad in response to some excellent recent performances in the reserves.
Town bossed much of the first third of the contest with Ash Small, Mark Pavey and Dale O’Donoghue causing the visitors real problems with their exceptional inter play.
As strong as Town looked going forward, at the other end of the pitch defenders Stamp, Barker, Pidgeon and Boyland dealt comfortably with the occasional counter-attacks that came their way.
With midfield duo Andrew Thomson and Aaron Doble orchestrating things it was completely against the run of play when the visitors struck in the 35th minute!
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A long clearance eluded the home centre backs and Gareth McEwan took full advantage to make it 1-0. Five minutes later the deficit was doubled with a near identical goal, this time Angus Wilson was the beneficiary for the visitors. The Vikings responded well and almost immediately scored their first when O’Donoghue exquisitely flicked the ball passed the stranded keeper and Town went into the break just 2-1 down.
Vikings boss Josh Stunnell’s interval words clearly stoked the home fires for, two minutes into the second half parity was restored when Pavey side-footed home.
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However, more defensive frailties appeared and Totnes and Dartington scored twice, first through Myles Chalcroft and then from impressive teenager Buzz Avis.
In the 65th minute Barker rifled Town back into contention with the game’s seventh goal, but within five minutes Barker went from ‘hero’ to ‘zero’ as he conceded a penalty and then continued to debate the award with the match official leading to a brace of yellow cards and subsequent sending off! Chalcroft drilled the spot kick home and the visitors led 5-3 with the clock ticking down.
The experienced Stamp instigated an on-pitch Vikings’ ‘huddle’ from which the players seemed to gain strength and belief.
With 10 minutes remaining a triple substitution was made with the club’s under-16 team skipper, and Devon County player Jamie Newbery replacing Boyland, debutant Bodor took over from Pavey and Ben Howard was introduced for French.
Bodor made an immediate impact providing a perfect cross that Doble bundled over the line to launch the comeback and, five minutes later, Howard seized upon some indecisive defending to curl home the games tenth and final goal to bag the Vikings a richly deserved share of the spoils from an astonishing game.
Team From: Ledger, Boyland, Stamp, Barker, Pidgeon, Small, Thomson, Doble, Pavey, O’Donoghue and French Used Subs: Howard, Newbery and Bodor. Unused Sub: Miller.
Star Man O’Donoghue