Symington stars as Raiders Under-12s give Brixington the Blues

Jack Symington, the Man of the Match for Sidmouth Raiders U12. Also in the picture are Zac Birkhead

Jack Symington, the Man of the Match for Sidmouth Raiders U12. Also in the picture are Zac Birkhead and Levi Johnson) - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Raiders Under-12s remain sporting a 100 per cent record in 2017 after they returned from their visit to Exmouth, coming from behind to defeat Brixington Blues 2-1.

It’s been a tough season to date for Raiders who were promoted to the top division at the end of last season.

However, since the arrival of coach Steve Johnson, Raiders have shown remarkable improvement and are beginning to look as if they will be able to go on and maintain their top flight status.

Raiders began confidently and Levi Johnson went close early on, but his effort was well saved by the Blues glovesman.

At the other end of the pitch the Raiders defence worked hard to keep the hosts at arms length.

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However, the larger Brixington side got the opening goal when Raiders goalkeeper Thomas Craig was beaten in a one-on-one situation with an advancing home striker.

The Raiders response was terrific! They began to pass the ball crisply and, when possession was lost, the ball was quickly regained.

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Confidence grew throughout the team and it was no more than they deserved when Elliot ‘Bubbles’ Bowyer scored the equaliser to send the teams into half-time all square at 1-1.

There was similar end-to-end play after the break and the scores remained level until a loose ball fell at the feet of Bowyer and he looked up before planting a powerful shot beyond the glovesman to give Raiders the lead, much to the delight of the large number of travelling supporters.

Blues fought back strongly, won several corners, and fashioned a number of chances. However, Raiders defended well and, when their organised line was breached, goalkeeper Craig was equal to the best the home side could offer. It was not all one-way in the closing stages as Raiders carried a threat on the break.

Each one of the Raiders players put a terrific shift in, and special mention must be made of the contributions Adam Dunford and Elliot Bowyer taking particular praise. However, the Raiders Man of the Match award went to Jack Symington – who showed persistence and desire on the break, moving into space well to help the attack or closing down defenders well.

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