Thomas hopes Vikings have winning New Year’s resolution

Sidmouth Town FC 5, Axminster Town 1

SIDmouth Vikings saw in the New Year with a 5-1 victory over Peninsula basement dwellers Axminster Town.

On a sticky pitch it was the visitors who came out of the blocks first and took the lead after five minutes with a long free kick into the penalty area that left the Axminster striker with a free header.

Sidmouth replied 10 minutes later with Lewis Couch notching his first goal on his first start. Axminster were determined to make it physical and Sidmouth had to withstand a few rash challenges as they grew stronger and started to get on top.

Pete Grover gave Sidmouth the lead and it was to stay that way into the interval, although both sides rattled the woodwork. So 2-1 at the break, after a scrappy half Sidmouth just shaded.

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The second half got under way with Sidmouth looking the brighter and they extended the lead with Grover bagging his second goal on 55 minutes.

Further constant pressure saw Sidmouth camped in their opponents’ half and Andrew Thomson tapped into an empty net after an error by the visiting keeper.

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Sidmouth did not relax and good play down the right hand side was crudely ended with an awful challenge in the penalty area. Thomson duly punished the offence from the penalty spot, crashing the ball straight down the middle to make the final score 5-1.

Manager Paddy Thomas said: “We started a little slowly on a slippery surface and that possibly was a leveller. We needed the three points to try and close the gap on the sides immediately above us. I was pleased that Sidmouth’s young side were not intimidated by the physical approach that Axminster deployed.

“A special mention should be made of Alex Raistrick and Lewis Couch but overall it was a decent performance to end the year. We have a lot of good players who need to believe in themselves and realise they can compete at this level.”

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