Town keep floodlit winning run going

Footie. Ref miscsp 43-17TI 2258. Picture: Terry Ife

Footie. Ref miscsp 43-17TI 2258. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town’s impressive form under the new Manstone Lane floodlights continued on Wednesday night as they defeated Alphington 3-0.

He explained saying: “The lights add that little extra something – they make it all feel more professional and almost demand that the players ‘step up’ and, to a man, across both teams, they have certainly done that in home floodlit games.”

Town, still smarting from a narrow single goal defeat at table-topping Crediton United on Saturday, made a solid start. With goalkeeper Robbie Powell injured in that game at Kirton, Town gave a first start in club colours to Ashley Smith, who is on the books of Macron League side Cronies. The new man did what he had to with great confidence and got terrific support from a back four of Nathan Antat, Chris Ibbeson, Matt Clenaghan and Ollie Binnion, who restricted the visitors to precious few opportunities throughout the 90 minutes of action.

The opening goal came on the half hour mark when Rob Knight raced onto a ball and lifted it up and over the top of an Alphas defence holding a very high line. Once through on goal, Knight showed great composure to tuck the ball beyond the glovesman.

Five minutes before the break the lead was doubled and again it was a ball that was lifted up and over the high line of Alphington defenders - this time by skipper Ryan Davies – and Ash Small applied a cool finish.

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At the interval, Town boss Josh Stunell asked his players for ‘more of the same’ in the second half and the team, to a man, responded to see the game out in style. They did add a third – though in truth the contest had been ‘won’ at 2-0. That third goal was fittingly scored by the influential Davies, leading by example throughout, who got on the end of a sweeping move to drill the ball home 20 minutes from time.

A delighted Josh Stunell said: “It was a good all-round show and underlines what we are capable of. We moved the ball around well and managed the game exceptionally. Without sounding like the proverbial cracked record, this season has been one, so far, of mighty small margins. The difference in this game was that we managed the contest efficiently and took our chances when they came along. On Saturday, at Crediton United, the only thing missing was a touch of good fortune – we actually played better at Crediton where we lost 1-0 than we did in this 3-0 success over Alphington.”

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Tomorrow (Saturday) Town travel to basement-side Galmpton and Roselands (2.15) before returning to play again under the Manstone Lane floodlights next Wednesday (November 8) when Axminster Town will provide the opposition for an East Devon derby (7.30pm).

With Robbie Powell still out injured, Town will hope Smith can continue to deputise between the posts. Ollie Binnion begins a suspension so misses the trip, but Jamie Newbery, who missed the Alphington win through work, is available for the trip to South Devon.

Stunell says of the game at Galmpton: “It’s one we need to win to continue this current upward momentum.”

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