Sidmouth Town spring League Cup surprise

Sidmouth Town squad for the 2017/18 season

Sidmouth Town squad for the 2017/18 season - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town produced the surprise of the day in the Walter C Parsons Funeral Directors Cup – the South West Peninsula League Cup – when they beat Crediton United 3-2 to earn a second round tie at home to Premier Division Stoke Gabriel.

The Vikings have been struggling in the early stages of the league campaign, though manager Josh Stunell had continually suggested his team were ‘not that far away’ and, given the manner in which they took apart the visitors – certainly in the first 45 minutes at Manstone Lane last Saturday – the Town bosses confidence that his team are not as bad as a ‘bottom-of-the-table’ status suggests, was shown to be right.

Stunell said: “To be fair we were missing six or seven who, arguably, would have started the game. What with holidays, work, weddings and the like we were forced to ring the changes, but the lads that came did a terrific job.

“Sometimes it’s not merely quality that gets you through games. There are occasions when, with every man playing for each other and clearly prepared to run thorough the proverbial brick wall for one another, you get a quality return in terms of desire and work rate and a collective attitude to get the right result for the team – and Saturday was one such case.”

Jake Allen netted his third Town goal in as many starts to get the Vikings ahead and, it was no more than their bright approach to the contest deserved when Jacob Rowe doubled the lead.

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The visitors hit back in the 19th minute, but such was the confidence oozing through the Town ranks that, just six minutes later, the two goal, lead was restored with Rob Knight, signed recently for Premier Division Witheridge, rifled the ball home.

Crediton United scored what proved to be the only goal of the second half, but Town were not to be denied and they will now entertain Stoke Gabriel on Saturday, October 14 in round two.

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Stunell said: “I was so pleased with the whole team. Everyone put in a special shift and it makes my selection thinking so easy for Saturday’s trip to a Torridgeside outfit that sit seventh in the table having lost just one of their opening five league games this term.”

He continued: “Rob [Knight] gives us that one special thing that was all that I felt had been missing over the first seven league games – a serious threat in terms of ability to finish. There was so many good things about our early season play, but, you can have all the possession in the world, but if you don’t put the ball in the net you tend to end up with ‘nowt to show for your efforts, and that was happening all too often in those early games.

“Against Crediton United, we played 4/3/3 and the top three of Jake Allen, Ash Small and Rob Knight not only gave them [Crediton] plenty to think about, but each carried a genuine threat to their goal. That created greater confidence through the team and, from defence through midfield and to attack, each man in a Town shirt looked full of desire to deliver the goods.”

So what does the Town boss want from his team at Torridgeside on Saturday? His response was expected! He said: “More of the same, the lads have shown they want the shirts and they want to get us results – now I want to see that on a consistent basis.”

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