Wellman stars as Town net terrific point at St Martins


- Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Town returned from a visit to table-topping St Martins with a terrific point from a 1-1 draw.

Before the game, Vikings boss Josh Stunell had suggested that his young side relished the sort of challenge offered both by the Saints and the leading teams in the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division.

His players proved his point – and with interest too – as they emerged as good value for a share of the spoils.

The first half saw plenty of decent football played, but with few chances at either end of the Exminster pitch.

The home side, as Stunell had predicted pre-match, enjoyed the lion’s share of first half possession with the Vikings happy to sit deep, keep their shape and discipline and then hit back on the counter using pace as a major weapon.

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The Town defence had a youthful appearance with Newbery, Farrington and White complemented by the experienced Griffiths and they coped comfortably with the home side free-scoring forwards. Such was the Town control over proceedings that Lines in goal was rarely called into action.

On the rare occasion the young glovesman did need to do his work he did so with real confidence.

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After the break the home side clearly found a new gear and increased the tempo of their play. However, there was a huge element of fortune about the goal that broke the deadlock with a shot from Ace High taking a big deflection before nestling in the back of Lines’ net!

Many teams would have then imploded and gone on to allow the home side to claim another three points. However, Stunell has put together a Town side full of character and desire and they were soon back on level terms when Cameron Vere scored his 15th league goal of the season, tapping the ball home from close range after a slick passing move.

With five minutes remaining disaster struck for Town! Griffiths was judged to have unfairly challenged St Martins’ skipper Lee Parker inside the penalty area. Despite remonstrations from the aggrieved Town team, a spot kick was awarded. Kevin Pike took the spot kick, but rather than settle in the back of the net the ball cannoned into an upright and away to safety!

The Saints then threw caution to the wind and bombarded the Town goal. They forced six corners in the closing stages – all dealt with superbly by a solid Town back line.

Having soaked up the best the home side could throw at them Town hit back and so nearly won the contest themselves when the pacey Ben Burrows raced down the right wing, shooting from a tight angle Burrows saw his shot nick the far post and out for a goal kick.

The final whistle followed soon after with Town more than happy to bank a point.

Manager Stunell said: “That was a good show all-round. The game went almost exactly as I had thought it would. The lads really do relish these sort of contests and experiences and if we could replicate the performance as a whole in all our matches we’d fly up the table.The youngsters are playing way above their age, typified in this game by young Tyler Wellman who was simply outstanding and that, for a young teenager, in a game of this magnitude, is quite something.”

St Martins boss Paul Owens – who resigned his position in midweek after the game – said: “We are seriously disappointed. This is two big points dropped and throws the initiative to Tiverton Town Reserves in terms of the battle to win the title.”

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