Sidmouth Town joint-boss Tooze signs off witnessing a ‘special goal’


- Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town ended their 2018/19 South West Peninsula League Eastern Division campaign with a richly deserved point from a 3-3 draw with a Stoke Gabriel side that were presented with the championship trophy after the match at Manstone Lane.

Town trailed 1-0 but were soon level thanks to a fine finish from Scott Hughes.

Playing some delightful football against a side that had 'won' the title in midweek, it was no more than Town deserved when Ferenc Bodor fired them into a 2-1 lead.

Stoke Gabriel, showing title qualities, first levelled and then edged ahead for the second time in the game.

However, Town were not to be denied and the goal that rounded off the scoring in what was a compelling contest was indeed, very special!

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It was scored by 16-year-old Jack Hatswell. The youngster has broken into the Town senior side over the past six weeks and it was perhaps fitting that he should be the scorer of the final league goal of the campaign.

Hatswell kept his eye firmly on the ball as he arrowed its way toward him and, when it was within his range he hit the sweetest of volleys to rifle the ball beyond the fully stretched goalkeeper and into the net!

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Town joint-boss Kevin Tooze, overseeing things alongside Danny Burwood before he stapes aside at the end of the campaign, said: "It was a goal of genuine quality - real class! The lad [Jack Hatswell] seems to be play without fear of pressure. He certainly has something about him and I am sure he will enjoy a long football career - and quite possibly play at a higher level - but hopefully that will be with Sidmouth Town."

As for the game, Tooze said: "The lads showed across 90 minutes against the team who are the champions that we really are that close to the top teams. As I have said many times, all we are lacking is better availability and then consistently of individual and collective performance, and I see no reason why, in seasons to come, its Sidmouth Town doing what Stoke Gabriel were doing after the last game of the season, parading a trophy."

So, that's it for Tooze in terms of the club's league campaign and he says: "I have enjoyed every minute, but I am glad the finishing line is here. It's been a long tough season, but it has also been a most enjoyable one and I have felt privileged to work alongside Danny [Burwood] and try to help what I consider to be a very talented - and honest - bunch of local footballers."

He continued: "I also believe that, in Danny, the club has a chap who is so committed and equally, so good at what he does, that Town will continue to develop, grow and indeed, prosper. I must go on record to first thank Danny for his efforts and then of course, wish him well in the season's ahead. He is a font of all footballing knowledge a thoroughly decent lad too. He has incredible levels of energy, drive and enthusiasm for all things football and I can only see the club going one way under his stewardship, and that is upwards."

As for Tooze who works in and around the area, is this 'really the end' in terms of him and Sidmouth Town? He is swift to reply saying: "Yes, that's my lot, I am going to spend my Saturday's next season with my mates watching Exeter City, but I shall always have a soft spot for Town and I will be looking out for how they do."

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