Third defeat for new team
The final friendly before the league season starts this weekend resulted in a third consecutive defeat for Sidmouth and Ottery Hockey Club 1st XI away to Isca, writes Ian Brown.
Playing on the newly installed water based pitch at Exeter University, Sidmouth started the game brightly.
It is not at all surprising that merging two clubs will take some time to bed in and having not been able to field a consistent team in the previous weeks, the bedding in process is still in its infancy.
With a sponsorship deal close to reaching finalisation, shirts for the new club will be ordered shortly but in the interim, the team donned the ‘bright orange’ strip previously worn by Ottery Crickets.
Last weekend the team comprised an even mix of ex-Sidmouth and ex-Ottery players and matches against Isca are always poignant for former Isca club captains Andrew Welch and Scott Rowson who, despite their advancing years put in solid performances.
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This season a product of the Sidmouth junior production line, Bobby Brown, has returned to the fold as he is currently on a placement year as part of his degree in home economics. He played alongside Welch in the middle of the park and made a couple of reasonable tackles.
Matt Ogbourne and Sam King gave SOHC some width and look comfortable in possession, linking well at times with the inspired and tireless off the ball running of Peter Baker.
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It was however Dan Devine that opened the scoring for SOHC, beating a couple of players and surprising everyone with a reverse stick shot.
Isca were unphased by conceding and continued to play well. They did not particularly threaten the SOHC goal in open play, but capitalised on four mistakes to run out the winners.
The scoreline certainly flattered the victors. SOHC now move into the league campaign with a tricky opening fixture away to UCP Marjon.