Sidmouth Town ‘well off the required pace’ in Uni defeat

Sidmouth Town played Alphington at the weekend. Ref shsp 34-16AW 3975. Picture: Alex Walton.

Sidmouth Town played Alphington at the weekend. Ref shsp 34-16AW 3975. Picture: Alex Walton. - Credit: Archant

After such a promising pre-season and added quality to the playing staff, Sidmouth’s disappointing start to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of an improving Exeter University side on Monday night.

Sidmouth started poorly and were getting overrun by an energetic student side.

The Vikings back line, with Jamie Newbery once again an inspiration at the heart of the back four, did well to stand up to wave after wave of University attacks.

Despite the back line’s impressive show, they were breached in the 20th minute when a complete breakdown in communication between goalkeeper Steve Jones and centre back Chris Clarke gave the lively Luke Barner the opportunity to nip between them and poke the ball into the net.

Ten minutes before the break it was no surprise to onlookers that the students doubled their lead when Barner was allowed a free header at the far post to send University in at half-time with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

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Some strong words were said at the break and Town introduced Tyler Wellman at the start of the second half.

The talented centre midfielder made an instant impact and quickly stamped his class on proceedings which, in turn, enabled the Vikings to bag a foothold in the game.

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In the 55th minute Shaun Densham saw a shot whistle just wide of the mark with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

As the hour mark arrived Town were clearly the dominant side and, when a 40 yard free-kick was delivered into the box by Neil Pointing, the ball evaded everyone and found the back of the net!

The Vikings continued to press with Ollie Binion forcing two terrific saves form the University custodian.

Try as they did, Town were unable to get any further clear opportunities as the University defence manfully weathered the storm and it was they who controlled the closing stages.

It was only solid goalkeeping from Jones and last ditch tackles from Jamie Newbery (who was only one of a handful of Town players to come out of the game with any real credit) that kept the score down.

The Sidmouth Management are now left with some big decisions to make ahead of Saturday’s home game against the much fancied Newton Abbot Spurs (3pm).

The defeat came hot on the heels of a 1-0 home reversal at the hands of Alphington some 50 hours before. Town boss Josh Stunell said: “It’s been a poor start, but amongst some positives has been the form of Jmaie Newbery who looks to be a seasoned player now. His class is shining through on a consistent basis and his attitude is something that senior players could certainly look at.”

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