White nets dramatic winner as Town bag win at Exwick Villa
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Town bagged their first win of the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division season after a Monday night 2-1 win at Exwick Villa.
During the summer the Vikings had signed three players from the Exeter club, but a gentleman’s agreement between the clubs meant that two of the new signings would not play against their former club.
The Vikings went into the game off the back of a frustrating opening game at home to Teignmouth on Saturday when they went down 3-1 to last seasons runners-up Teignmouth Town.
The Vikings started brightly, but seemed to be lacking their usual high energy levels and this gave the hosts some real belief and they put together several useful attacks and Sidmouth’s back line of Neil Pointing, Jamie Newbery, Matt Clenahnan and Kieran White had to be organised and focussed in order to prevent the lively Exeter side from taking the lead.
When the impressive back line was breached, Town glovesman Steve Jones made a couple of smart stops.
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Town had a fortunate escape on the half hour when the ball bounced up and hit Tyler Dobinson on the arm. The home side screamed for a penalty, but the referee judged it accidental handball, much to the relief of the Town management bench!
For all the huffing and puffing going on, there was very little difference between the two sides. However, it did seem that if Sidmouth could get their passing game going then they would potentially have too much for Exwick in the second half.
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Town changed their shape after the break and this meant the introduction of Rian Antat and Billy Rouse; a change that drew the desired effect with Danny Pym, Rian Antat and Kieran White forcing some terrific saves from Zak Lee in the home goal.
The deadlock looked to have been broken in the 60th minute when Town had the ball in the Villa net after a slick passing move. However, Antat’s effort was ruled offside.
With 17 minutes remaining the home side took the lead thanks to a terrific strike from teenage hit man Levi Edwardson. Two minutes after going behind Town thought they’d levelled courtesy of a direct free-kick from Pym. However, Clenahan was harshly judged to have pushed keeper Lee and the ‘goal’ was chalked off.
Soon after Town boss Josh Stunell made a change that paid instant dividends. With 12 minutes left Stunell sent on Connor Hannaford and, with his first touch of the ball, he struck a sweet left foot volley from 25-yards that arrowed its way into the Villa net!
With the home side looking tired, Town sensed a winner was there for the taking. Players were thrown forward and the positivity was rewarded when left back Kieran White got himself within sight of goal before tucking the ball beyond the diving Lee and into the net to seal a dramatic three points for the Vikings.