Welch changes lead to victory
PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:52 17 June 2010
Copyright Archant Ltd
Having gone five games unbeaten, with results that have included draws against the top two teams in the league, it was a confident Sidmouth side that arrived at the pitch to take on the Plymouth Marjons, the team currently propping up the league table.
Having gone five games unbeaten, with results that have included draws against the top two teams in the league, it was a confident Sidmouth side that arrived at the pitch to take on the Plymouth Marjons, the team currently propping up the league table.As is often the case, however, Sidmouth's confidence was not matched by their ability and the first quarter of an hour was a scrappy affair with neither side taking control of the match.The deadlock was finally broken when, somehow, the portly figure of Graham Pidgeon was able to ghost up the left wing unnoticed by anyone in the opposition team. Scott Rowson in Sidmouth's midfield wasn't quite as blinkered to the Pidgeon stealth and a pin point long ball left the Sidmouth left-back with only the keeper to beat.In a previous encounter between the two players, it was Pidgeon who came off worst, receiving a nasty blow to the face, but this was the Sidmouth player's chance for revenge and he made no mistake as his crisply struck undercut crashed against the keeper's helmet and, before the Marjon player had recovered his senses, renowned goal poacher Byron Fitzgerald tapped the ball across the line to give Sidmouth the lead.Even with a goal lead, Sidmouth continued to play at half pace, failing to commit to tackles or really get involved in the game and their tardiness was punished twice before half-time with two Marjons goals and the deficit could have been even worse if Rowson hadn't appeared from nowhere to make a goal line clearance just before the half-time whistle.Captain Andy Welch knew that changes were needed if the side were not going to squander the opportunity to put some clear air between themselves and the relegation battle and for once Welch's changes appeared to be a stroke of genius.From the start of the second half, Sidmouth were a force to be reckoned with and Dan Divine in particular, who had been repositioned as the high centre-half, took the game by the scruff of the neck, finally finding the form that made him last season's Player of the Year and bringing Sidmouth back into the game with a neatly taken goal after a one two on the edge of the area with Nick Wade.There was no looking back for Sidmouth and, having brought the scores level, the side went in search of victory and the all important three points.Wade was next to score to take the side into the lead, but his cleverly worked goal was only the prelude to the goal of the game which followed soon after.Andrew Jarrett was as surprised as anyone to find himself in the opposition D, but the Sidmouth stalwart wasn't panicked by his unusual surroundings and his powerfully struck cross from the by-line was met by Fitzgerald at the near post and, with no angle to play with, he deflected the ball into the opposite corner of the goal. The Sidmouth barrage wasn't over, Chris Lewis getting Sidmouth's fifth goal.This week Sidmouth are home, at noon, against Bodmin. The Cornish side won comfortably 4-1 in the opening fixture, but Sidmouth will be looking to close the six point gap between them.