On a glorious day at Magelake, on a soft, bumpy pitch nearest the car park, the hosts sought to put right the lessons of a week ago. They would do so with 10 fit players – Alex Wright, (groin injury) and Timmy Miles (turned ankle) would play through the pain barrier.
Two minutes had gone when it was evident that despite the pre-match build-up, Willand were a yard short and uncommitted to the tackle. A good cross from the right was met on the run and from 15 yards, the ensuing header looped high into the far top corner beyond Jez Cross. Sidmouth were jubilant – Willand had some work to do.
But they didn’t panic. Not the long ball for them. Gradually, passes were coming together and Cas Aplin, in particular, was showing great strength and poise to link play, from the right. Chances were created but not taken and when the spirited Sidmouth rearguard was broken, their debutant ‘keeper pulled off some remarkable saves.
Then on 28 minutes, Reece Kingdom, so effective and so busy found some space on the edge of the area and then curled a beauty into the top far corner. 1-1.
Tails up, Willand poured forward. A minute before the break, the second goal as Jordan Armstrong received a fine Dan hayfield through ball and he finished clinically in-off the base of the far post.
In the second half, it was one-way Willand traffic but from 19 efforts, a goal would not materialise. The keeper excelled, pulling off 2 double saves, while there was also profligate finishing.
Five minutes from the end, though, from a Sidmouth corner, the ball dropped to the feet of a visiting striker and he turned and fired low. How Jez Cross got down the ball with both hands was incredible. It was one of those days – ask Man City!
The game was very well refereed by Graeme Martin.
Players of the Day for Willand: Reece Kingdom, Caspian Aplin, Jordan Armstrong and Tom Roberts.