In the Devon & Exeter Football League Division 3 game between Sidmouth Town 3rds and Budleigh Salterton 2nds last Saturday, the visiting Robins of Budleigh prevented themselves from being at the wrong end of a third consecutive defeat from the start of 2024, by recovering from a two-goal deficit to get a draw, writes SpursTom.

In a typical local derby with some crunching tackles, it was the Town Vikings who took the early initiative to lead 2-0 with goals from Charlie Roberts on eight minutes and George Burke after 24 minutes. Also, with goalkeeper John Buckland on top of his game in the first half, it looked like Budleigh could end up empty-handed three times in a row.

Strong words must have been spoken at the interval, as the Robins resumed in a competitive and vigorous mood, giving us a typical local derby atmosphere we required. Harry Gibbing, giving a Player of the Match performance, helped them pull back on level terms 2-2 through Alex Wyatt and Greg MacMartin, with Joe Walker providing the assists for both Robins goals.

Glovesmen John Buckland and Budleigh’s Matthew Brown were called upon to make important saves at crucial times, as a search for a winner took momentum, but it remained a draw to the final whistle, allowing Budleigh to hang on to the top position of the table.