Sidmouth Town in bid to retain Morrison Bell Cup

PUBLISHED: 08:01 19 May 2017

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Football generic picture

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Sidmouth Town will be bidding to become the fifth team to successfully defend the Morrison Bell Cup since the 2000 season when they meet Cronies at Ottery St Mary next Wednesday.

Exmouth Town (2003 and 2004), Budleigh Salterton (2007 and 2008) and again (2010 and 2011) and, most recently, Feniton (2013 and 2014), have all won the trophy two seasons running.

Last season Town won the cup with a 1-0 win over Budleigh Salterton.

The first time the Morrison Bell Cup was contested was at the end of the 1920-21 season when Axminster Town defeated Beer 1-0.

The first time Sidmouth Town had their name etched on the trophy was in 1928 after a single goal success over Seaton Town.

Since the start of the millennium, Town won the cup in 2005, with a 2-0 win over Seaton Town, but they have also lost three finals: 2002, 2-0 to Cullompton Rangers; 2006, 3-2 to Feniton; and 2007, 4-0 to Budleigh.

The club’s most successful run in the competition was in the mid-70s when they won it three years in a row.

The cup was won in 1974 with a 3-0 success over Feniton and they were back 12 months later to beat Budleigh 3-0 and completed a hat-trick of wins in 1976 with a 4-1 win over Clyst Valley.

This coming final makes for an intriguing contest as seven of the teams likely to line-up against the Vikings are part of the Town ‘wider’ squad.

Town boss Josh Stunell says: “We have a number of their players on our books to play in the South West Peninsula League so there’s plenty we know about each other.

“I am expecting a tough game - they [Cronies] met our second team in another cup final last night and it’ll have been interesting to see how that panned out.

“For our part, in terms of the final, we simply have to be at our best.

“I will leave the players in no doubt that there will not be room for anyone offering complacency.

“This last game of the season is the final chance for many of the current team to claim their places next season and I am looking for some sort of show from the lads.”

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