Vikings rising! Town ending season in style

Sidmouth Town at home to Bravehearts. Ref shsp 18 18TI 1980. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Town at home to Bravehearts. Ref shsp 18 18TI 1980. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town are ending the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division as one of the form teams after chalking up three successive wins in the space of five days, scoring 14 goals in the process.

The Vikings followed up last Wednesday’s 6-2 thrashing of hosts Alphington with a 3-1 Saturday win over Galmpton and Roselands before Monday evening’s terrific 5-2 win at Teignmouth.

It all means that concerns of a bottom two finish and possible relegation to the Macron League is now a distant worry.

One man who was never concerned about Town ending in one of those two bottom berths is manager Josh Stunell. The Vikings boss has continually beaten the drum of belief since the opening games of the season, insisting that his team are ‘not far off’ all the others in the section.

The wins over Galmpton and Teignmouth were very different. The Galmpton success came after a rare half-time ‘hair dryer’ moment from Stunell, who says: “It is really not my style and I can honestly say it has not happened too often, but at half time against Galmpton I tore into the team, who I felt were performing well below their best. A few home truths were said and, to be fair to every one of the leads, they responded superbly and we ran the entire second half to deservedly take the three points.”

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Against Teignmouth, the Vikings once again had multiple scorers with five different players sharing the goals. Stunell said: “We went there knowing that they [Teignmouth] might well have had one eye on their Devon Premier Cup final [that match took place last night at Newton Abbot] and so we suggested to the lads that a high tempo start would probably leave them flat and not really wanting to get involved and, once again, the lads delivered exactly what we wanted.”

With regard to the three successive wins – the first time Town have achieved that this season – Stunell says: “We are honestly doing nothing different to what we were back in August [Town failed to win any of their first eight games, but four of the six defeats in that run were by just a single goal]. The difference is that that little element of good fortune which has deserted us for a lot of this campaign, has been every evident in the last few games. The lads are thriving off it and playing some delightful football - and the chances are being taken when they present themselves.”

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There is one thing that disappoints the Town boss, who explained saying: “I wish we had half a dozen more games to play rather than just the one last league game (Town host Appledore tomorrow week – May 12).”

That’s not the very last game of the Town campaign; they learnt this week that they will meet Seaton Town in the Morrison Bell Cup semi-final with the game being played at Ottery St Mary on May 17. The other last four tie is Budleigh Salterton versus Upottery. The Morrison Bell final is set for Ottery St Mary on Tuesday, May 29.

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