Town thirds so unlucky in cup defeat at Ipplepen
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Town thirds went out of the Devon Intermediate Cup in controversial circumstances, beaten 4-2 at Ipplepen Athletic.
Last year the Vikings third team journeyed all the way to the county cup semi-finals and hopes were high before the tie at Ipplepen that a similar route could be taken this season.
Although Ipplepen, who play in the South Devon League, were an unknown quantity their pitch and facilities were certainly a league ahead of anything that Sidmouth had previously experienced.
Sidmouth’s plans took an early hit when experienced midfielder Jean-Paul Staniforth got delayed by traffic en-route to the match. Nonetheless, Sidmouth took to the pitch with a strong line-up and it was no surprise to see them press Ipplepen back with Reuben Raffel particularly impressing.
With Sidmouth’s front three showing lots of good movement chances started to come thick and fast. The Ipplepen back four looked to be under significant pressure and as half-time approached the pressure finally told with a home defender clearly handling in the area. The normally clinical Connor Murphy strode up to give Sidmouth a perfectly timed lead, but sadly the Ipplepen keeper capped a commanding first half performance with a fine save.
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Soon after the restart Richard Johnson fired Sidmouth into a deserved lead with a beautifully judged lob which even the Ipplepen keeper was unable to get to.
The home side found a new gear, but the Vikings always looked looked comfortable with Adam Bartlett in the Sidmouth goal making a series of athletic saves whenever Ipplepen threatened.
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With just two minutes of the 90 left, Dan Corrick mistimed a clearance and in so doing felled an Ipplepen attacker on the edge of the box. In what was to turn out to be a game changing decision the referee decided that Dan had taken out the last attacker and sent the Vikings player off! With this being Dan’s final game before heading to University it was an especially sad way for Dan to end his career with Sidmouth’s 3rds!
The resulting free kick would have graced any ground in the country and even in such inspired form Adam Bartlett was unable to keep the Ipplepen shot out.
Extra-time saw an undaunted 10-man Town continue to take the game to the home side and a Barcelona-esque passage of play ended with Ben Miller receiving the ball on the edge of the Ipplepen box from where he slalomed past a series of despairing Ipplepen defenders before cooling slotting the ball past the Ipplepen keeper.
Legs began to tire and, as the home pressure mounted they levelled and then scored twice more in what proved to be the final two minutes of a compelling contest.
The Town Man of the Match award went to the excellent Ben Miller, but there were very many players who could take great pride from their performance in a match that they would undoubtedly have won, but for the referee’s game changing intervention with that sending off of Dan Corrick.