Sidmouth Town target festive success


Football - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town are without a game this Saturday (December 2), but manager Josh Stunell is not too bothered, despite the fact that his side have seemingly turned their season round and are now looking to finish the year sitting in a top six berth.

The Vikings chief says: “We are on a good run and us not playing is not necessarily a bad thing. It gives us a rare chance for a match day off and a chance to reflect on where we are before the final month of the year and what is usually a busy schedule.”

Last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brixham left the Town boss feeling a little frustrated that his side had once again blown the chance of banking all three points.

He said: “We ought to have been out of sight by half-time and then, even in the second half, I felt we were the better side, but, to be fair to them [Brixham], they created the better chances after the break and could, perhaps should, have been 2-0 up.”

He continued: “What pleased me most was that we are now a ‘street wise’ team. Earlier this season, had we bossed a game as we did at Brixham in the first 45 minutes and seen so many chances go begging, we’d have likely folded in the second half and come away well beaten, but that was not the case.

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“We again showed character to come back from being a goal down and very nearly won it. That would probably have been harsh on the home side as I felt a draw was a fair result.”

Town are back in action on Saturday week, entertaining Honiton Town in an East Devon derby, a game that begins a 21-day period in which the Vikings will play no fewer than five games.

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Stunell says: “It’s all about availability for the December games. A hugely significant factor in our recent good run has been availability and the fact that, game on game, we have been able to call on a regular nine of what I would say are the ‘best option’ starting 11. With availability like that you have every chance of being successful.”

Town follow the derby game with another home match, a December 16 return with Brixham at Manstone Lane and that’s followed by three away games in seven days starting with a December 23 trip to Axminster Town, followed by the Boxing Day visit to Budleigh Salterton and, to end the year, a December 30 visit to Alphington.

Stunell says: “Looking at that run of games you have to say opportunity knocks for the lads and we have a terrific chance of starting 2018 sitting in a lofty position in the table. Of course, over the festive period, availability will come into play – but it is the same for all teams.”

As for this coming matchday and a rare day off, the Town boss hopes to take in one of the club’s other senior matches – the second team visit Thorverton looking for a place in the last eight of the Devon Senior Cup, the fourth team are in league action at Amory Green Rovers and the thirds are at home to Wellington (2.15pm).

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