Vikings will soon cause upset

Sidmouth Town 3, Alphington 4

Sidmouth entertained Alphington on a very well prepared Manstone pitch. With the visitors having a very good season, lying fifth in the league, town knew that they would have to be at their best to cause an upset.

Sidmouth put the visitors under pressure straight away but sloppy play in midfield saw the Alphas first attack result in a goal after 10 minutes. Andrew Thomson nearly gave town an immediate equaliser with a brilliant left foot curling effort that smacked against the inside of the post but somehow stayed out. Clearly lifted by this piece of good fortune, Alphington began to probe at the town defence and went 2-0 up on 20 minutes.

Skipper Luke Ashford in the town goal then gave the home side a lift with a couple of good blocks and soon town got themselves back in the game with a goal from Paul Beacham after a great knockdown from Tom Chaplin. Unfortunately, when a loose ball was picked up by an Alphington player, he found the back of the net with a curling effort that gave Ashford no chance and they led 3-1 at the break.

Alphington scored the all important goal just after the restart, and, at 4-1 down, the Vikings had two choices, give up or give it a right go.

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Fortunately, they chose the latter. Chances soon came and the Alpha’s keeper pulled off a series of saves to keep the Vikings at bay. Pete Grover latched on to a blocked effort only to see his driven shot hit the bar and again bounce to safety. Town were thrown a lifeline when the referee spotted a push in the Alpha’s box and Thomson duly dispatched the penalty for 4-2 with 10 minutes left.

Countless corners and free kicks were played into the visitors’ box and, from one of these, Thomson volleyed through a packed penalty area to make it 4-3 with five minutes to play. The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for the visitors who were in disarray, but, unfortunately for Sidmouth, 4-3 is how it ended.

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Manager Paddy Thomas said: “Sloppy play in our defending has cost us dearly again. We need to learn quickly that at this level mistakes invariably get punished. The spirit that was shown proves that, with organisation in certain areas, we can compete with these so-called better teams. Lewis Couch is proving to be a great signing for the club.”

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