Sidmouth snatch draw at Axminster with last-minute equaliser
PUBLISHED: 18:46 25 January 2020 | UPDATED: 18:53 25 January 2020
Axminster Town were denied all three points as Sidmouth Town came from behind to draw 1-1 in the South West Peninsula League Premier East.
The Tigers' Tom Richardson put his side ahead just before the hour mark but Tom Diamond made himself a Vikings hero when his headed goal levelled the scoreline in the 90th minute.
The point lifts the Vikings off the bottom of the table while the Tigers drew level with 15th-placed Elmore.
With both sides desperate for a win, the game started in a cagey manner and neither team worked a clear sight of goal.
As the half wore on, the home side began to pressure the Sidmouth defence which had conceded 68 goals so far this season and Nathan Antat was unlucky to see his drilled cross in the 19th minute not converted as Tigers captain Dan Peach narrowly missed making contact.
The last meaningful action of the first half saw Kieran Daniels whip in a free kick for the home side but it went begging much to the disappointment of the Tiger Way crowd.
The second period started with the visitors enjoying their most positive spell of the game yet. Jack Lewis struck from the edge of the area but his shot did not trouble keeper Jason Hutchings.
As the game approached the hour mark, Peach would have felt he could have done better with a chance from close range.
Picking up a loose clearance, he had time to steady himself in the Sidmouth box but could only direct his shot wide of the post.
Three minutes later and Axminster did score the game's opening goal. With referee Louis Coker awarding Axminster a free kick on the halfway line, there appeared to be confusion as to whether he had allowed the hosts to take it quickly.
He signalled play on and the Tigers capitalised on the unorganised Vikings defence with a long pass forward. The ball eventually found Tom Richardson who had time to pick his spot and finished with a shot to the left of the goal in the 58th minute.
The protests continued from the Sidmouth players and bench which culminated in assistant manager Paul Pocock being shown a red card in the 65th minute.
Having conceded, the goal galvanised Sidmouth and they enjoyed their best period of the match.
Oli Jarrett was picked out from a cross which he failed to convert but the signs were growing that if there were to be another goal, it would go to the away side.
The increased pressure eventually paid dividends in the 90th minute when Diamond rose highest to head home a corner and level proceedings.
If the game had been 10 minutes longer, you suspect Sidmouth may have got themselves in front but time ran out and it ended all square.
AXMINSTER TOWN: Jason Hutchings, Nathan Antat (Dex Booth 84'), Cameron Vere, Brad Loaring, Kieran Daniels, Callum Garrett, Tyler Wellman, Clem Gould, Dan Peach, Tom Richardson, Josh Lukins (Marky Jones 89')
UNUSED SUBS: Liam Wingle, Archie Kershaw
GOALSCORER: Tom Richardson 58'
SIDMOUTH TOWN: Josh Mclean, Jack Gibson, Lewis Pocock, Ashley Matthews, Tom Diamond, Max Hammett, Ferenc Bodor, Jack Lewis, Joe Wilkinson (Steve Spain 87'), Oli Jarrett, Matt Salter (Jack Hatswell 81')
UNUSED SUBS: Ben Clay, Danny Burwood
GOALSCORER: Tom Diamond 90'