Sidmouth Town tread new ground with FA Vase tie at Keynsham

Sidmouth Town players with a banner following the club's announcement of a major sponsorship agreeme

Sidmouth Town players with a banner following the club's announcement of a major sponsorship agreement with Fords South West Ltd (part of the CLEARVAC International Group) based in Sidmouth. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town tread new ground tomorrow (Saturday) when they make their first appearance in the famous FA Vase competition which has, as its top prize, a May outing at Wembley stadium.

The Vikings are certainly amidst a ‘special’ week, one that has seen them announce a major sponsorship, land their first clean sheet success of the season – a 1-0 Wednesday night win at Honiton Town- and now a Saturday trip to Western league side Keynsham Town to contest an FA Vase Preliminary Round tie.

Speaking about the latest club news, chairman Andy Argyle says: “These are exciting times for Sidmouth Town AFC, securing a sponsorship arrangement with Fords, a well -respected and dynamic south-west regional company located here in Sidmouth is a fabulous opportunity to push forward with our ambitions for the club, whilst linking a major local employer with the football community of Sidmouth - in addition being involved in such a prestigious competition as the FA Vase (a trophy first played for in 1974 following changes to the FA rules on amateur status) is the icing on the cake in raising the profile of the club both within Sidmouth and beyond.”

Last Saturday, Town were beaten 3-0 at Ilfracombe and, once the dust had settled on the defeat, Town boss Richard Pears said: “The less said about the whole day the better. There were mitigating circumstance with it being a bank holiday weekend and the longest away day of our season, but the bottom line is we produced a below-par per performance that meant we got what we deserved - nothing.”

Town were quickly back in action with a Wednesday night East Devon derby at Honiton Town where they won 1-0 thanks to an 80th minute goal from Ollie Jarrett, his fourth of the season.

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Pears said: “We asked for a response after that poor show on Saturday and we got just that. As disappointed as I had been at the weekend, I was delighted with the all-round performance. The game was everything we expected it would be. They [Honiton] clearly set up to try and get a point and given that is what we anticipated, we had prepared for an ‘attritional game’ that meant we needed to be patient. We were, and, when the chance came, Ollie [Jarrett] stuck it away.”

Pears had high praise for goalkeeper Jake Wreford, of whom he said: “He [Wreford] was exceptional and fully deserving our Man of the Match award.”

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Looking ahead to the big FA Vase tie, Pears says: “It’s something of a luxury for us in as much as we can travel up to Bristol with nothing to lose. I have spoken to the Bodmin Town manager for they met Keynsham in an FA Cup tie a couple, of weeks ago and so I have been able to come up with a game plan. What’s more, we have trained on the Exeter University 3G surface that we will face up there [Keynsham]. The lads will be told to go out and enjoy the occasion and, with a bit of luck, we’ll get the result we want and keep the adventure going.”

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