Vikings top the Premier division

There to be shot down now, says Ashford

DESPITe Sidmouth Town occupying top spot in the Premier Division of the Devon and Exeter League, there was precious little celebration emanating from manager Paul Ashford.

His feet were kept firmly on the ground by the fact that his team had conceded a goal in a 4-1 win at Exmouth Amateurs - and the ‘Ian Holloway’ of Manstone Lane was focussing more on the fact that his side were not playing well.

“We are a bit flat at the moment - yes, we are winning but I do love to keep a clean scoresheet and, of the seven goals we have conceded this season, three have been sloppy goals.”

Anthony Griffiths was the culprit on Saturday, his clearance kick turning into a neat left foot volley into the top corner of his own net. “That’s what happens when you get older and your hamstrings get tighter,” Ashford commented!

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He could not, however, curb his enthusiasm for getting younger players into the side and one of them, Rob Powell, 16, started as keeper, due to regular keeper Luke Ashford suffering from a muscle injury, and was Man of the Match in the first half, having his work cut out as Ammies tried hard to stop the Vikings orchestrating play.

Although Sidmouth were 3-0 up by half time, it was not an easy game and, interestingly, the goals were scored by the more senior players - Kevin Dorman, Mike Stamp, 2, and Andy Isaac (pen).

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Ashford said: “It was a tight, niggly first half. They set out to aggravate and break us down and did a good job. they made it hard work for us.”

The win put Sidmouth top of the table - ‘there for everyone to knock off’ Ashford added, before admitting he wouldn’t mind being in the same position in March.

This weekend, the team take a break from the league and host north Devon side Shamwickshire Rovers in the Devon Premier cup.

Sidmouth are carrying injuries to several influential players, which could mean debuts for more of the youngsters and there could be a place in the side for newly re-signed player Dave Green.

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