Spalding double as Sidmouth end table-toppers unbeaten run
PUBLISHED: 12:49 23 December 2014 | UPDATED: 12:49 23 December 2014
Louis Spalding scored twice as Sidmouth Under-14s inflicted a first defeat of the season on the table-topping St Martins.
Earlier in the season Sidmouth went down 9-0 to the same side in the pair’s first meeting this season, but things were very different at Sidford!
Sidmouth started the brighter of the teams and produced some of their trademark possession football using the width of the pitch well. However, St Martins started to show why they are regarded so highly and came back strongly. Influential central defender Ollie Truman was forced off the pitch with an eye injury after only ten minutes forcing an early reshuffle in the home back line.
The new back five stood up strongly to the challenge of the powerful visiting attack and gave no quarter!
James Emmett once again produced an excellent performance in goal making several saves of the highest quality while the back four of Will Ashby, Toby Garrick, Jimmy Ogley and Jay Harris did everything in their power to nullify their opponents. Having soaked up considerable pressure Sidmouth scored just before half-time after Jacob Rice floated an inch perfect cross onto Louis Spalding’s head and he cleverly looped the ball over the goalkeeper.
Unsurprisingly, after half-time St Martins came out all guns blazing, but once again the Sidmouth defence held firm with Man of the Match Garrick making several crucial interventions and Emmett showing confident handling.
With St Martins throwing players forward Sidmouth adopted a change in tactics and went for the quick counter attack whenever possible.
Matt Salter and Ben Goodier started to get hold of the ball more in midfield with Goodier combining well with both Spalding and Jack Miller on the flanks to stretch the St Martins defence.
From a Goodier through-ball, the excellent Spalding was able to notch his second goal before the same combination of Goodier and Spalding set up Louis Adey for the third.
This was a gutsy, hardworking team performance against a stronger, more physical team, which left the coaching team, parents and even the opposition full of admiration.
Although Sidmouth lie fifth in the table, they are only four points behind the leaders and if they can continue to perform like this anything could happen.
The next action for the team is a January 3 trip to Cullompton Rangers.