Vikings’ net after 10 seconds in midweek defeat to Torridgeside

A Sidmouth Town corner flag at Manstone Lane. Picture: ARCHANT

A Sidmouth Town corner flag at Manstone Lane. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town were beaten 6-2 when they entertained free-scoring Torridgeside in a South West Peninsula League Premier East game played under the Manstone Lane floodlights.

The game had an extraordinary opening with a goal inside the first 10 seconds!

Town kicked off and the ball was played back to right back Joe McKenzie who launched it upfield where it was received by striker Scott Hughes and, after a neat first touch he drilled the ball home!

After that early goal, parity was restored on 13 minutes thanks to a header from a corner and the visitors struck again two minutes later before adding on the half hour and then tucked away a 42nd minute penalty to lead 4-1 at the interval.

Torridgeside scored a fifth early in the second half – and this was almost as quick as the first half goal!

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Town fought back well and enjoyed good spells of second half possession.

They were rewarded for their endeavours with a deserved second goal before the visitors scored a sixth in the dying moments.

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Town boss Danny Burwood said: “We had spoken before the game about our apparent ‘desire’ to go a goal down before getting our act together and how good it would be if we could score first, so, to do that so early was brilliant!”

He continued: “That said, they [Torridgeside] are a very good team and, once they levelled and then got ahead, we were always chasing the game.

“A 6-2 final score suggests we were very much second best, but that was not the case. We gave as good as we got for long periods and, once again, it’s the old chestnut from me of the margins being fine while I’d also beat the drum again of ‘consistency of availability’ is what is really required at our level.”

The Town boss then spoke about his frustrations with fielding a settled side.

He said: “We really are not that far off all the other sides at this level, but where we do fall down, I feel, is in our consistency of fielding a regular team.

“It’s always a problem in any team when players, for whatever reason, cannot play, and you end up with inconsistency in terms of formation and tactics.

“It may well be we do need to bring in a couple more players to complement our squad.

“There’s no doubt I my mind that we are close. The performance, both individually and collectively against Axminster was good and I felt we could build on that, but then, we were forced to tweak things against Torridgeside and so once again we are unable to field the same side in successive matches.

“There really is no question we have the ability in our ranks and we also show genuine desire, indeed hunger to both improve and do well.

“It’s just that consistency of player availability so we can get a regular formation out onto the park.”

Speaking about the goals that are being scored – at both ends of the pitch – in Town games so far, the Vikings’ boss said: “To the neutral football follower we must be a joy to watch, but it’s a tad tough on the whole nervous system in terms of the goals we ship! But no one can say Sidmouth Town are not a good – and exciting – watch!”

It does not get any easier for the Vikings for next up is a Saturday (October 3) Manstone Lane meeting with table-topping Millbrook and, just as they were on Wednesday night, they will be without the influential Ben Clay who is an integral part of the Town defensive line.

The Town boss says: “Ben [Clay] is such an important player to us. However, on the plus side we do have Jack Gibson back, he played for the last 15 minutes on Wednesday night and it’s good to get him back while we are also able to welcome Jack Rawlings back from injury for tomorrow’s game.”

Speaking specifically about the Millbrook game, the Town boss said: “They [Millbrook] are flying and so will provide us with another huge challenge. However, we have the quality in our ranks to give any side a game at this level. There’s nothing wrong with our work rate or commitment, it’s all about confidence and inner belief.”

Town have now played eight league and cup games this season and, in those matches, there have been no fewer than 45 goals!

After Saturday’s game, which kicks off at Manstone Lane at 3pm, there’s a Wednesday night (October 7) visit to top five outfit Elmore.

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