SSidbury United so close to the promised land after draw at Witheridge

Witheridge 0, Sidbury United 0 Sidbury made the long trip to promotion rivals Witheridge knowing that a win would mean secure premiership football next season if Wellington also failed to beat Tipton St John.

The Gulls were under no illusions though, knowing Witheridge had to beat them to keep their own hopes alive making the game a tough one for sure!

The best chance of the first half came after just two minutes when top scorer Adam Connett was put in on goal. It was a race between Connett and the on-rushing keeper, Connett got there first and lifted his shot over the keeper, but the ball dropped agonisingly just over the bar.

The rest of the half was a very tight affair with Witheridge edging it in possession and most of the game being played in the Sidbury half. The Gulls found it hard to get out as the were going into the wind and up the slope. Witheridge only managed one shot on target and that was from 20-yards, but keeper Harvey easily tipped over the bar. Sidbury always looked dangerous on the break with the pace of Ashley Small and Kees Willis, but seemed to lack the final pass at the vital times.

After the break it was all Sidbury as they out-battled the home side creating sufficient scoring opportunities to win the game.

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The first fell to skipper Sam Seldon when his head meet a great in-swinging corner, but he couldn’t keep it down from 6-yards out.

Both Connett and Small forced good saves from the keeper and Connett also curled a shot inches wide from 15-yards.

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Sidbury then had claims for two penalties; first when a shot struck a defenders arm and then, when the ball dropped and was hit again only for the ball to strike the defenders hand, which was above his head!

Post match the referee said he couldn’t see it as there were too many bodies between him and the ball!

The last five minutes saw the hosts apply pressure, but the United defence was equal to anything that came their way and both side’s had to settle for a point fro the game.

The draw leaves Sidbury requiring four more points from their final two games to guarantee them a top three finish and with it a ticket to Premier Division football next season.

On Saturday they face fourth from bottom Bickleigh when a Sidbury victory and a Wellington defeat would confirm the Sidbury promotion!

United boss Jeremy Schofield said: “We are not there yet and the players realise this. We are all concentrating on winning both out final games. We will not change the way we play and we will always go on the front foot and take the game to the opposition. That approach has worked for the last 26 games so why change now? It will be a massive achievement if we do bag that precious top three berth considering we have a squad of just 16 players and are actually a very small club. There is a buzz in and around the dressing room and the players want to play and fight for each starting place each week and that’s great to see”.

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