Ilfracombe on the horizon for Vikings

Marlborough Park at Ilfracombe Town

Marlborough Park at Ilfracombe Town - Credit: Archant

Big test in North Devon for Sidmouth Town

Action from the Sidmouth Town 6-0 South West Peninsula League Premier East win over Stoke Gabriel. P

Action from the Sidmouth Town 6-0 South West Peninsula League Premier East win over Stoke Gabriel. Picture: MARK EBURNE - Credit: Archant

After the frustration of a postponement at Torrington, Sidmouth Town return to action with a huge challenge at Ilfracombe this weekend.

The Vikings have shown vast improvements this season and will travel north full of belief and expectation.

There is always a worry that opponents might pull in players from higher-ranked teams still currently suspended from action, but that does not detract from the feel-good factor at Sidmouth.

“It is a big game at Ilfracombe, they are a good side and going well,” said Sidmouth boss Danny Burwood.

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“It is always tough at Ilfracombe and another reason we would have preferred to play Torrington last weekend, as it would have been preparation for Saturday.

“As I’ve said previously, we have a young squad and I know the lads have kept themselves ticking over in terms of fitness.

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“We went to Ilfracombe with a minimal squad last season and they play their pitch really well.

“They’ve been up in the high divisions before and we also know the likes of Barnstaple and Bideford aren’t playing at the moment, so you don’t know what sort of side we will face.

“I’d like to think that Ilfracombe have enough quality that they won’t need to do that.

“I’m hoping for a really good test for our lads and just a shame we haven’t been able to do much preparation because we were flying before the lockdown.”

The added dose of encouragement comes from the fact Ilfracombe went down to a rare defeat on their own patch last weekend.

What matters most for the Vikings, however, is demonstrating the progress they have made from last season. It is a measure of that different mindset that they travel to somehwere like Ilfracombe with genuine belief.

“Ilfracombe lost to Torpoint on Saturday, which was a bit of a shock, and they have got a slightly changed side from last year,” added Burwood.

“They are still up there in the table and it’s where we want to be. It will be tough but we will take something from their result on Saturday.

“If we can continue where we left off before the lockdown, we can do well at Ilfracombe.

“The biggest thing for me is to test ourselves in games like this and see how far we have come in comparison to last year.”

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