Sidmouth Town unbeaten over Easter - but that first league success still eludes them
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Town may well be still waiting for their first win of the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division season, but they emerged from a busy Easter period with a couple of draws from trips to Axminster Town and Totnes and Dartington.
Playing a fifth consecutive league away game on Easter Monday, the Vikings were 0-0 for an hour in South Devon when they were awarded a penalty for hand ball that Matt Rasmussen calmly slotted home. Town keeper Robbie Powell had been under employed for much of the game, but was powerless to prevent a 70th minute equaliser.
Both sides then sough a winner. The Vikings had the better of the late chances and Good Friday’s two goal hero Alex Raistrick was put through but failed to make the keeper work. Tom Chaplin then went close from his brother Greg’s corner as Town defied the elements and played better against the wind, a last minute scare was averted when a deflected effort looked to be heading into the far corner only for Powell to stretch and tip the ball to safety. Town had stretched their unbeaten run to three games with as many points from their last three games.
Town boss Paddy Thomas said: “Given that we travelled with just the bare eleven players this was another really terrific team display. We set out to frustrate the home team and see if we could get something for our efforts. We ended up playing intelligent football and our unity and team spirit certainly was a factor in another point being won. I know I sound like a broken record, but this group of players really are a credit to themselves and the football club.”
Good Fridays derby game at Sector Lane was certainly a contest that courted controversy!
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In a bright start by Town Alex Raistrick twice went close only for the home team to snatch a 25th minute with what was their first serious attack of the game!
The second half saw much of the same with Town asking plenty of questions, but lacking that final killer instinct to turn promising situations into goals. On the hour mark Kieran Fayter-Small was sent off for what looked a hard, but certainly fair, challenge.
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Despite being a man down the Vikings continued to press. A change saw Callum Sommers replace Matt Rasmussen.
Once again, just as had happened in the first half, against the run of play the home team bagged a second goal. At this stage Towns miserable season looked to be going along its usual route, playing well, but with defensive lapses!
Another change was made when Craig Badcock, putting in another hardworking performance, was replaced by Simon Hudson. Hudson’s first contribution was to glance a Greg Chaplin corner across the six-yard box where the unmarked Raistrick nodded into the net.
With 15 minutes to play, after being whistled for off-side, Simon Hudson said something to the referee’s assistant who advised the match referee and a second red card was handed out to a Town player!
Now down to nine players the Vikings continued to play with a real swagger and, roared on by a large travelling support, got the least their performance deserved when, with two minutes remaining Anthony Griffiths launched a free-kick into the area and George Moore got the header in to cushion the ball for Raistrick who expertly steered his right foot shot into the far corner.
Post match Paddy Thomas said: “When we dominate a match, something we are certainly not used to doing this season, you rightly expect to win. We played good creative passing football and needing to be more clinical was probably our only downfall.”