Sidmouth Town Reserves beaten in Grandisson Cup final
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Sidmouth Town Reserves put up a terrific effort before going down 2-0 to Devon Senior Cup winners and Macron League Division One champions Cronies in the final of the Grandisson Cup, played at Ottery St Mary on Thursday night.
The Vikings started brightly, but what let them down time and time again, was the lack of a final pass to finish off a number of slick passing moves.
Against a very pacy Exeter outfit Town had plenty of work to do to keep a clean sheet.
Ash Small proved a key player in the heart of the Vikings side as he orchestrated things, but Town struggled to get any consistent rhythm going to their game.
Small had a long-range effort tipped around the post before Ferenc Bodor, unusually for the generally clinical finisher, missed the target when well placed
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Cronies did fashion a similar number of good scoring opportunities, Adam Bartlett in the Town goal was equal to anything that the opposition did create and half-time arrived with the game still seeking its first goal.
Town were dealt a blow when Damien Armes was forced off with a neck injury during the break and the second half provided a tale of substitutions that affected the outcome of the match.
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Cronies changed their style, introducing a big target man and that led to them adopting a ‘route-one’ approach, something that Town struggled to contain.
The deadlock was finally broken midway through the second half with Cronies edging ahead. The goal had a profound effect on Town and they began to have the look of a beaten side.
However, to their credit, the Vikings kept going and Riki Pitter was unlucky not to level the tie.
Soon after, Pitter burst into the penalty area and did seem to be fouled, but, despite strong appeals to the match official, penalty claims fell on deaf ears and, just minutes later, a fleet-footed counter-attack was clinically finished by cronies to seal a 2-0 success.
It was hard on Town for this is the second year running they have ended on the losing side in the Grandisson Cup final.