Sidmouth Town such good value for point from Stoke Gabriel visit

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Football a generic picture - Credit: Archant

Stoke Gabriel 0, Sidmouth Town 0 Sidmouth Town produced the result of the day and arguably one of the South West Peninsula League, Eastern Division season when they returned from South Devon with a point.

With the wind at their backs Town started positively. In a keenly contested first 45 minutes chances were very much at a premium as both defences stayed in charge.

The home team had the lion’s share of the ball, but the way that Town were set up, combined with their level of individual and collective industry, denied them time and space in the final third.

At the other Craig Badcock forced the home gloves man to make a smart save to deny his fiercely struck shot after good work from Dave Green.

Kieran Fayter-Small was winning a personal battle with his opposite number forcing him deeper and deeper as he made a number of lung-bursting runs out wide with one cross evading Badcock which George Moore latched on to, but was unable to find the target from an acute angle.

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The pitch was heavy and cutting up, however both sides still tried to play on the ground rather than adopt a long ball mentality.

On the stroke of half time Sam Banks and Darren Thomas both blocked shots as Stoke pressed for the breakthrough.

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After the break there was a similar pattern to the play with neither keeper seeing much action save from a speculative effort from the home skipper that had Robbie Powell scrambling backwards before expertly tipping the ball over his bar.

At the opposite end Dave Green fashioned a chance, curling his clever shot to the far post only for the Stoke goalie to parry his effort to safety.

An eventful goalless draw was brought to an end by the official with Town earning their second clean sheet of the season.

Vikings boss Paddy Thomas said: “I said to the players before the game that we were in fact unbeaten on that ground as we had of course won their when we visited last season. However, deep down of course I was concerned as they (Stoke Gabriel) are very much involved in the title race and clearly had to win the game to stay in touch with leaders Exmouth Town. What added to my pre-match concern was that we had caught a heavy beating in the game at Manstone Road earlier in the season when Stoke out played us. The players deserve a massive amount of credit because each one gave all they had for the cause and we thoroughly deserved a share of the spoils. We have a great team spirit and they all responded so well after last week’s disappointment at Appledore.”

Today (Good Friday) Town make the short trip to Axminster Town (11am) for their last ever visit to Sector Lane before redevelopment work begins at the home of the Tigers.

It’s a busy Easter weekend at Sidmouth Town with the Reserves also I Good Friday action, they travel to Pinhoe. On Sunday (March 31), Sidmouth Town Sunday are away to Cornerstone (10.15am).

Easter Monday sees the on-pitch action continue with the senior side travelling to Totnes & Dartington for an 11.30am kick-off whilst the second team also travel, they are at Bickleigh (3pm).

Off the Manstone Road pitch the Vikings’ clubhouse is going to be the place to see televised football with the screening of a number of big matches.

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