Six goal thriller sees Sidmouth Town stage spectacular comeback

Sidmouth Town at home to Axminster. Ref shsp 43 18TI 3299. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to Axminster. Ref shsp 43 18TI 3299. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town extended their unbeaten home league run to four games after a dramatic comeback saw them draw 3-3 at home to Waldon Athletic, writes Sam Cooper.

Goals from Ash Small, Jack Hatswell and an own goal helped Sidmouth come back from two goals down to rescue a point in a game that threatened to boil over.

Going into the game, Sidmouth started five places above their opponents in the Division 1 East table, but that was not evident in the opening stages.

The first half was largely dominated by the away side with Sidmouth keeper Dan Machin making a number of smart stops.

Waldon’s dominance eventually earned its reward as they opened the scoring just a minute before half time.

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Machin made a good save, but was powerless to stop the rebound effort from the Waldon number ten. A Sidmouth defender did manage to block on the line but he could only help the ball on its way into the net.

After an underwhelming showing in the first half, Sidmouth started strongly in the second period. Within nine minutes of the restart, they had their equaliser.

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Ash Small, who had been Sidmouth’s best player in the first half, controlled a high pass with his chest before producing an acrobatic finish into the bottom left corner.

The goal brought the wind into Sidmouth’s sails but they soon found themselves on the back foot again. The scores stayed level for just three minutes as Waldon countered well and a two-on-one situation against the keeper allowed the striker to finish with easy.

Their goal advantage was double in the 61st minute when a low finish found its way past Machin into the bottom right corner.

The one-two sucker punch threatened to call an end to any point hopes Sidmouth had, but Small was again involved as the home side pulled the score back to 3-2.

In the 65th minute, Small darted down the right wing before drilling a ball across to Jack Hatswell who had a simple tap in.

Sidmouth were pushing for the equaliser as the clocked past the 80 minute mark, but ugly scenes threatened to bring a premature halt.

A Waldon player appeared to throw a head butt and received a straight red card, and, after refusing to leave the pitch, the referee warned he would call the game off. Five minutes went by before the player eventually departed and play restarted.

Now with a man advantage, Sidmouth pressed for that equaliser and duly got it in the fourth minute of injury time. A free-kick ricocheted off two Waldon defenders before finding the net to level the scores at 3-3.

After a significant period of additional time, the referee called a halt to proceedings with both sides picking up a point. It was a strong second half from Sidmouth who came alive after they scored their second goal. Sidmouth now welcome Alphington on Saturday (3pm).

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