Sidmouth Town thirds beaten by a slick Ilminster Town Reserve side


- Credit: Archant

Sidmouth thirds lost their opening game of the macron League Division Seven season when they went down 2-0 at Ilminster Town Reserves.

Town began brightly with the experienced pairing of Jean- Paul Staniforth and Darren Thomas controlling the middle of the park.

However, the Vikings were unable to make use of that period of control and Ilminster’s speedy and skilful attackers soon began to menace.

The home side took the lead in the 25th minute, taking advantage of a missed header by a Vikings player following an Ilminster corner.

The Town efforts were further hampered soon after the goal by the loss of Darren Thomas, forced out of the game with a damaged shoulder following one of a number of over-zealous challenges from the opposition!

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The injured Thomas was replaced by a teenager making his debut - Adam Harris, Shortly after his introduction Harris did well to react first to an Ilminster error at a corner, but then saw his goal-bound header scrambled off the line!

After the break, with the wind in their favour, Ilminster began to increase the pressure. Wave after wave of attacks were resisted by a disciplined Town back line. At the other end of the pitch, when a rare Sidmouth attack broke down, Ilminster counter attacked and an inch-perfect shot just evaded the otherwise excellent Adam Bartlett in the Sidmouth goal to double the home lead.

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Town, once two down, struggled to get back into the contest and their hopes were further dented by yet another ‘physical’ challenge that saw young Jack Gibson limp out of the action!

Third team boss Ian Peacock said: “At the end of the day the team has to accept that they were, on the day, second best against an impressive Ilminster team who seemed to have made good use of the pre-Brexit freedom of movement regime in their recruitment policy! It would have been interesting to see how matters would have progressed if Sidmouth had been able to call upon a fuller compliment of players and had not had to suffer the loss of Darren Thomas at such an important stage of the game! However, despite the defeat, real credit should go to the defensive unit who were superbly marshalled by the experience of Ben Squance and Charlie Nicolle. We also had a fine shift from Man of the Match Jack Gibson, and this all shows real promise for the future.”

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