Vikings consolidate in Peninsula league

Budleigh Salterton 2, Sidmouth Town 2

Sidmouth welcomed a Budleigh Salterton to Manstone that was on a decent run prior to this game so had every right to fancy their chances.

The Vikings started brightly with the visiting keeper much the busier. But, as has happened too often this season, Budleigh went ahead when a free kick deep into the area wasn’t defended properly. A man was left free at the far post to plant a free header past Ashford in the home goal. Sidmouth started hoisting long, hopeful balls into the visitors’ half that didn’t suit their normal style of passing football and went into half time 1-0 down.

After a change of formation, the Vikings started to dominate possession and it was no surprise when, after good work by Kev Dorman and Andrew Thomson, Andy Isaac was left with a free header at the far post to bring the sides level.

Town were now probing away and it looked like another goal would follow shortly. Unfortunately for the hosts it was the Robins who, after a neat passing move, went 2-1 ahead, although it must be said was against the run of play.

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Town didn’t panic and, after Thomson had rattled a 30-yard free kick against the bar, Town drew level when Lewis Couch scored from a free kick into the far corner.

The Vikings had numerous chances to nab the winner but couldn’t find any way through and the match ended all square.

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Manager Paddy Thomas said: “Amazingly this was our first draw since we joined this league!

“A couple of months ago we would have lost this game so, gradually, we are learning and moving forward.

“The players have given myself, Simon Hudson and Jason Stiling everything, in what has been a hectic 11 days. There are a few carrying strains that have played when perhaps they shouldn’t have.

“The next home game is Sidmouth’s last, on April 7, 3pm kickoff against =University so we would like to sign off with a win in front of our fantastic supporters. ‘Up The Vikings!’”

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