Vikings ready to make their move

Sidmouth Town players are preparing for a big match this weekend - as the Premier division reaches the business end, writes Lee Glanville.

They play Newtown, who sit just one place below them in third place and come to the match off the back of a great 4-0 away win at Clyst Valley and a midweek Morrison Bell Cup match victory over Ottery St Mary.

With their league ambition no secret - managers Phil Margrett and Paul Ashford - the Sir Alex Ferguson and Ian Holloway of the Devon and Exeter Premier division - decided to field no players for Wednesday night’s match who were likely to be in the starting line-up for Saturday’s game. Ashford (Holloway) has made no secret of his belief that cup matches interfere with the league, and that clubs have to deide whic =h they are interested in.

And the move paid off. Two regular first team players were in, but the rest were players with first team ambitions, bidding to make their mark. Sidmouth won 2-0, by the Ottery manager Dane Bunney’s own admission being a ‘yard faster all over the park’ than the Washbrook side.

Sixteen-year-old Tim Lister scored the first goal after a great cross from Tom Perryman, and Rory Weal, 18, got the second.

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“They had a superb work ethic and their camaraderie, commitment and desire to win was great to see, especially on my old stomping ground,” Ashford said. “But to be honest, Ottery were pretty poor and they didn’t look like they wanted to be there.”

Sidmouth also had around 30 travelling supporters who boosted the effort and home support will be all important on Saturday.

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“There is no pressure. What will be will be but if we want to play higher level football, then we have to win on Saturday, at home to Newtown. There’s no getting away from that,” Ashford said.

That great club attitude had also shown through at Clyst Valley where the Vikings looked sharp in all areas. “The players really stood up to be counted. The pitches are getting drier now, which suits us, and I applaud the players for the way they went about their task.It is up to the club now to back the player’s commitment and desire to get where they want to go,” he added.

Goals were scored by Mike Stamp (who next day ran the Grizzly at Seaton), Andrew Thomson, Ashley Barker and Rory Weal.

Sidmouth Town have two games in hand on top side Seaton and still have to play them home and away. They also have a game in hand over Newtown, poised in third.

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