Sidmouth Town seeking rare away win at Liverton

Sidmouth Town at home to Hatherleigh. Ref shsp 11 19TI 1010225. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to Hatherleigh. Ref shsp 11 19TI 1010225. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town are back in South West Peninsula League Eastern Division action tomorrow (Saturday) when they travel to basement side Liverton.

When the sides met under the Manstone Lane floodlights in late September, the Vikings showed Liverton no mercy, thrashing them 12-2.

However, since then, the South Devon side have picked up the odd success and Town joint boss Kev Tooze says he and his fellow manager Danny Burwood will not allow any form of complacency to creep in.

“Let’s face it, it’s the sort of game we should be winning and I’ll be making a big case pre-match for it being a game we ‘must’ win,” said Tooze, who continued: “The lads will be told in no uncertain terms that we are now at the business end of the season. Yes, there are just seven or eight weeks left of matches but, in that period, we do play 10 games and so that’s almost a full third of the league campaign.”

He added: “I have said countless times already this season that we are most certainly ‘work in progress’ at Manstone Lane in terms of developing young players.

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“Look, many clubs would be in our position – mid-table with seemingly not a lot to play for – and begin giving youngsters a chance – but we have been doing just that since day one of the campaign!”

Tooze is a big advocate of giving youth a chance. He says: “Our youngsters are gaining invaluable experience and it’s across the likes of our last 10 games when we can learn so much about younger players. Let’s face it, already this season, the lads have taken the likes of Elmore, Brixham and Bovey Tracey – three of the title-challenging clubs – to the wire. We have shown we can match the best, but what is a common issue with young players is that well-oiled phrase ‘experience’. Game time is the key and I am certainly hoping that players will go into these final 10 games wanting, above all else, to show that they should be considered for a starting shirt when it all gets underway again in a couple of months’ time.”

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The only doubt for the game at Liverton is one of the younger players – Ethan Slater – who suffered a hamstring problem in the March 2, 4-3 defeat at Brixham. Tooze says: “We’ll not rush the lad back.

“At the time it did not seem too bad an injury and he certainly has youth on his side. He’s become an important player and I’d sooner have him back when we are sure he’s OK rather than rush him.”

Town head for Liverton looking to record what would be only their fourth away league win of the season.

So far this league campaign their away wins have been 1-0 at both Newton Abbot Spurs and Alphington and 4-2 at University, while they also drew 2-2 at Teignmouth, but they have lost seven of their 11 away games so far.

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