Sidmouth Town Under-14s edged out in thriller with West Exe Youth

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town Under-14s were edged out by the odd goal in seven in a nail-biting encounter, writes Mike Garrick.

A stunning late November morning in Sidford set the scene for a fantastic game of youth football between the second and third placed teams in the top Division of the Exeter and East Devon League.

Sidmouth started brightly and dominated possession in the opening ten minutes. However, the more physical West Exe players started to take hold and after fifteen minutes took the lead through a penalty which was clinically dispatched. Before long Sidmouth were two down after some weak defensive play. Things were starting to look desperate and a drubbing seemed on the cards!

Ben Goodier provided some light relief with some moments of magic in midfield while Will Ashby also had a strong first half. James Emmett once again showed what an excellent goalkeeper he is. On the stroke of half-time Matt Salter gave Sidmouth a foothold in the game by sending in an in-swinging corner which avoided everyone and ended up in the back of the net.

After a major re-organisation and some harsh words, the home side started the second half strongly. West Exe resorted to some unsavoury tactics and the free kick count started to rise quite rapidly. Jay Harris was the victim of one very late tackle, but moments later attacked down the left hand side and put in the perfect cross for Jacob Rice to nod home the equaliser.

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A period of end-to-end football followed before West Exe restored their lead with a free header from a corner. However, the lead did not last long and after some great work by the increasingly influential Goodier he combined superbly with Luke Spiller to set up Rice who fired home from fifteen yards. West Exe’s powerful strike force continued to cause all sorts of problems, but were thwarted by the defence, but especially goalkeeper Emmett who made one outstanding fingertip save. With the game looking like it was heading for a draw, West Exe made one final attack and scored a goal with just seconds to go.

This was an undeserved defeat which left the home team unusually quiet and reflective. The Viking’s Man of the Match was Ben Goodier.

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