Sidmouth Town suffer Morrison Bell Cup final shoot-out woe

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town suffered cup final heartbreak as they went down in a penalty shoot-out in the Morrison Bell Cup final at Ottery St Mary on Wednesday night.

With Macron League Division One champions Cronies fielding no fewer than seven players who have worn a Town shirt in the South West Peninsula League campaign this recently ended season, familiarity played a part in a contest that saw no goals after 90 minutes.

Cronies scored first in extra-time, but a Cameron Vere goal took the tie to penalties, won by the Exeter side thanks to some wonderful spot kick saves by their glovesman.

Town boss Josh Stunell said: “It’s a disappointing way to end the season, but a serious positive for me was that, when it came to the shoot-out, it was the younger, less experienced players, who boldly stepped straight forward to offer to take a kick.

“They were all struck well, it’s just that their goalkeeper made some simply stunning saves.”

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Speaking the morning after the game, Town boss Josh Stunell said: “Does the result make me re-think plans for next season? The short answer is no, I cannot have a knee-jerk reaction to a cup final defeat that was on penalty kicks.

“However, what is clear is that we really do need to add some extra quality to the squad if we are to try and contest a top six place in the SWP League next season.”

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Town will begin pre-season matches in just over seven weeks.

Before that, the Town boss intends to have a couple of weeks away from the game.

He says: “It’s time to take a break and switch-off. It’s a full-on task running a football team in the SWP League and re-charging batteries is very important. That said, I’ll only be out of the mix for a couple of weeks because the new season will be here before we know it.

Town return for pre-season training at the end of June and play their first pre-season match on July 15.

Stunell says: “This coming pre-season is vital for us in terms of talking the club forward. It’s important I get the players in I think will add to what we have already got, and lets get real, there’s not a lot wrong with us right now. We really are not that far off. This past season has seen the margins become very fine and we do, I firmly believe, have some of the best young players around at Manstone Lane. If we can bring in that extra quality then I am very confident we will continue to show genuine progress next season.”

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