Sidmouth Town net Boxing Day win over Budleigh Salterton

Sidmouth Town at home to Axminster. Ref shsp 43 18TI 3329. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to Axminster. Ref shsp 43 18TI 3329. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town won their Boxing Day derby when they defeated Budleigh Salterton 4-2 at Manstone Lane.

The Vikings were good value for the win in what was only the team’s second outing in the past five-and-a-half weeks.

Since a 3-1 home win over Teignmouth on November 17, the only action that Town have seen was a 3-1 defeat away at Crediton on December 8.

Joint boss Kev Tooze had said in the days leading up to the Boxing Day fixture that he felt his side ‘needed a game’.

In a contest that offered plenty of entertainment to another good Manstone Lane turnout, there was 25 minutes of end-to-end play before the opening goal, which arrived in the 26th minute, when a Town corner was not cleared by the Budleigh defence and Matt Salter drilled the ball home from the edge of the area.

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Four minutes later the lead was doubled with Harry Taylor heading powerfully home, after a fleet-footed left wing raid.

Five minutes before the break, the visitors pulled a goal back when Town glovesman Jake Welch was unable to keep hold of a fierce shot from Johnny Hitchcock and teenager Billy Greene touched the ball home from close range. Early in the second half, the two-goal lead was restored when Budleigh goalkeeper Alan Doble could only palm the ball out and Dan Churchill reacted quickest to thump the ball home.

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Budleigh, who came into the game having been beaten 7-1 at Teignmouth four days before, hit back well and twice, in a matter of minutes, Rob Welsman beat the Town back line to race through one-on-one with Wreford, only for the Vikings glovesman to win both ‘contests’! Just before the hour mark, Town’s lead was again reduced to a single goal when Hitchcock scored Budleigh’s second, but, as they had done when pegged back earlier in the game, Town were quickly back onto the front foot and the two-goal advantage was restored in the 65th minute. Budleigh were in possession in the middle third of the pitch when Town took advantage of a mistimed pass and in a slick passing move, the ball was played in to Dan Churchill and when his effort was blocked, Ferenc Bodor reacted quickest to slam the ball home to wrap up all three points for the Vikings.

Town are without a game this Saturday (December 29) and so they have now completed their 2018 fixtures. However, their first fixture of 2019 could hardly be any bigger, as they travel to Premier Division Cullompton Rangers to seek a quarter-final berth in this season’s Walter C Parson Cup. On Boxing Day, Cully ended the season-long unbeaten home record of Exmouth Town and so a win in Mid Devon for the Vikings’ would certainly register on the scale of ‘cup shocks’. That said, Town have already bagged big scalps in the FA Vase this season and so, don’t bet against them doing similar early next year at Cullompton Rangers!

Town’s next league game is a January 5 visit to Newton Abbot Spurs.

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