Sidmouth Town thirds net seven in final game of fine season

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth third team duly won their final match of the Fresha League Division Eight season, thrashing Ashwater 7-0 on their own pitch.

However, victory did not see them nudge into a top three berth for promotion rivals Exmouth Spartans won their final game at Sandford to nudge the Vikings out of the automatic promotion places.

In previous season’s more than three teams have gone up and so Town will hope that this is also the case and their fourth place finish will be deemed good enough to push them up a level.

On a pitch that was most notable for stunning views of nearby Lands End Sidmouth elected to play the first half up the slope and into the wind. Sidmouth quickly rose to the challenge presented by the conditions and only some fine saves by the Ashwater keeper kept them in the game.

But then Joe Gosse found himself clear on goal and his exquisite chip left the Ashwater keeper with no chance.

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Sidmouth were visibly lifted by their lead and further goals followed in quick succession. Richard Johnson held off two Ashwater defenders before laying the ball off to Connor Murphy whose fierce drive left the Ashwater keeper clasping at air.

Tom Orchard then scored with a spectacular overhead kick before following up with a close range volley.

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Sidmouth clearly felt that having reached half time with a 4-0 lead that they could take their foot off the gas. Certainly the benefit of the slope ought to have led to an avalanche of further goals, but Sidmouth were slow to add to their tally. Tom Orchard missed a glorious chance to complete a maiden hat-trick before James Hiscox smashed a long range effort past the despairing Ashwater keeper. Connor Murphy added his second of the afternoon after good work by team captain Carl Baldwin. Then Richard Johnson finished the scoring with a low shot that was well placed into the left hand corner.

The emphatic victory was followed by raucous celebrations that lasted well after the long journey home.

Most of the Sidmouth team were completing their first season of adult football so a fourth placed finish in the league together with two cup semi-final appearance is a really significant achievement which augurs well for the future success of Sidmouth Town AFC as a whole.

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