Vikings face tough task at table-toppers

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town head for South West Peninsula League Eastern Division table-toppers St Martins having not played since the January 16 4-2 defeat at Appledore.

Indeed, the Vikings have played just two matches since a December 12, 2-1 home defeat to title favourites, unbeaten Tiverton Town Reserves.

In the 11 weeks that have elapsed since that loss to Tivvy the Vikings have also played Budleigh (on Boxing Day) and that Appledore defeat last month.

However, Town boss Josh Stunell is not prepared to allow the players to use any lack of action as an excuse.

He says: “The lads have trained very well and that despite the disappointment of getting prepared for a game in midweek only to get a Friday night - or Saturday morning call – to say its off. That is all so frustrating and we can only hope that the weather now settles down and allows us to get some momentum going in the season.”

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He continued: “I do feel that the lads are better set for the top teams. I think there is some psychology about this. The lads certainly seem to relish playing the top sides as our results have shown this season. I am certain that we are a better team than fourth bottom of the table suggests. I am an advocate of the much used term of ‘tables don’t lie’, but we have been hoping for a period when we can field our strongest team and prove that we can be a match for anyone.”

The game at St Martins gives Stunell the chance to finally see his new-look front pairing of Devon Under-18 striker Jamie Orchard and the skilful Cameron Vere – Town’s leading scorer so far this season.

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Stunell says: “Jamie (Orchard) has waited a long time for this moment and I am sure he will be as eager as anyone to get out on the pitch. It seems an age ago that we got his signature on the form and now, finally, he gets the chance to get out there and show us what a good player I know he is.”

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