Young Vikings make big impression at Alphington

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

After four successive blank match days owing to the wet weather Sidmouth Town Reserves finally got some action in when they travelled to Exeter to meet Alphington Reserves in a Fresha League Division One match.

The Vikings went into the game against Alphas seeking a sixth successive victory and they duly achieved just that with a 3-1 success.

The surface at Alphington was not as flat as it might have been – though the grounds have arguable been too wet to get roller or cutters onto them in recent weeks”! The uneven surface meant plans to play a passing game had to be shelved and it quickly became clear that whichever of the two sides on show adapted best - and quickest - to the conditions - would win!

Town served up a ‘scrappy start’ and the Alphas took advantage and worked young Adam Bartlett in goal early on. There was one serious moment of first half cheer and it came on the 30 minute mark when Ferenc Bodor volleyed home from close range, reacting first to a loose ball from a Dave Green corner. Indeed, such was the mundane nature the first45 minutes that reaching half-time was a clear highlight for some! After the break the Vikings increased the tempo of their game and in the early exchanges Riki Pitter saw a shot fire just wide of the mark before, at the opposite end of the pitch, Alphington levelled with a stunning drive from 25-yards that gave Bartlett no chance.

A couple of changes were made to the Vikings with Joe Gosse, Joe Miller and Rich Johnson all sent into action from the bench.

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All three played big parts in the last third of the contest with Gosse first robbing the home full back before weighting a superb through-ball to Pitter who calmly slotted home.

Bodor was denied a second with a fine save from the home glovesman as the Vikings went to finish things off From a Bodor corner Pitter put the contest to bed heading home to seal the three points.

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With minutes to go Jean Paul Staniforth was given a red card along with his opponent for a minor altercation – a decision which seemed mighty harsh!

Town Reserves boss Paddy Thomas said: “It was an interesting exercise on the uneven surface as it taught the inexperienced younger members of the side that they must understand that getting the basics right is of paramount importance in such conditions and getting the basics right will win you more games than you lose!

“We were grateful to play after the atrocious weather lately. Both sides looked rusty and we certainly improved as the game went on.”

It’s as long ago as October 31 that the Town Reserves last lost a game – beaten that day 7-0 at Upottery.

Since then it’s been a case of win, win and win again with victories at home to Witheridge (5-2), at Wellington (1-0), at Lympstone (6-1), at home to Westexe Rovers (5-0) and, prior to the Alphington success, a January 16, 3-0 Manstone Lane victory over Budleigh Salterton Reserves.

They now have back-to-back home games, entertaining Lympstone this weekend (February 27) before hosting Heavitree United seven days later. They meet the Heavies the week after that again when, on March 12, the pair clash at Wingfield Park, Exeter in an East Devon Senior Cup tie.

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