Strong on the camaraderie
Saturday saw Sidmouth travel to fellow league strugglers UWIC. The trip across the Severn Bridge has not proved to be an easy one for the team in recent times, and the grey skies over Cardiff were to prove a bad omen for the travelling side.
Sidmouth were able to field what was, on paper, a very strong side, allowing Captain Ian Brown the luxury of witnessing the start of the game from the sidelines. However, Sidmouth started the game slowly and without the structure that had been agreed during their lengthy warm up, which allowed the young student side to capitalise, playing with a confidence and verve which belied their standing in the league.
Already trailing by several goals, the visitors’ afternoon took a turn for the worse when Ben Dormand picked up what proved to be a game-ending injury during one of his characteristically committed challenges. Following uncharacteristic errors from goalkeeper Hill and the team rapidly running out of ideas and confidence, the side retreated to the stands at halftime with heavy hearts.
With strong words from the captain at half time, Sidmouth began the second half with more purpose and direction. Sidmouth came out the stronger side and were eventually rewarded with a goal through a well-rehearsed short corner, eventually being scored via a lucky deflection from a Scott Rowson shot.
With Sidmouth looking to push forward with every opportunity, gaps appeared throughout the pitch, resulting in a couple of well-worked goals from a very youthful, yet well organised, team.
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With many umpiring decisions going against the away team, tempers were rising, eventually seeing Captain Ian Brown pick up his first green card of the season for his team's dissent. Despite luck rapidly running out, Sidmouth keeper Jon Hill still managed to produce some fantastic saves to keep Sidmouth in the game. With Sidmouth still creating a number of short corners and good opportunities, things were starting to look bright until a couple of further goals in the last ten minutes ended the contest for good.
With the season just past half way and Sidmouth still yet to win a point, the combination of an ageing team and a squad smaller than is ideal has manifested itself in a run of poor results.
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A number of players are experiencing d�j� vu with scenes reminiscent of the Ronnie Moore 'glory days' when the team last played in Premier 3 in the 2000/01 season, travelling hundreds of miles to be beaten.
However, such is the nature of the club, the unrelenting spirit and camaraderie exist today as they did before - admirable attributes that continue to be the envy of many local clubs.
This weekend, Sidmouth are on the road again playing Bristol and West on Saturday and away again on Sunday to PGSOB in the Devon Cup.