Match Reports

Sidley United 1 - 0 TD Shipley - Sussex FA Intermediate Cup First Round - Saturday 13th October 2018

Sidley United progressed to the Second round of the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup after seeing off West Sussex side TD Shipley thanks to Ashley Elphick's first half goal.

It was the visitors who produced the first good opportunity early on as they drove a shot across goal. But that would prove their most threatening moment and after that Sidley raised their game and started to pressure the Shipley defence. 

On 28 minutes the scoring of was opened as Danny Ellis did well on the goal-line and rolled the ball across for Elphick to tap home from barely a yard out. 

Good chances continued to come Sidley's way with both Zac McEniry and Sean Baldwin unable to convert decent opportunities. 

The pattern continued in the second half as Sidley continued to create a number of chances but couldn't find the second goal that would have made the afternoon more comfortable and given a truer reflection of the contest. 

The game became a bit more physical and Rosh Wells had to receive treatment for a bloody nose as the visitors looked to try and compete but still chances came Sidley's way and on another day Baldwin may well have claimed a hat trick. 

In the end though the single goal proved to be enough with Shipley unable to seriously test the Blues defence. Sidley will face West Chiltington in the Second Round. 

Sidley Team: Langley-Fineing, Walker, Hempe  Funnell, Cole, Wells, Carey, Ellis, Elphick (Eldridge), McEniry (Day), Baldwin. 

Sidley United 0 - 2 Sedlescombe Rangers - Hastings FA Intermediate Cup - Saturday 6th October 2018

A lacklustre display saw Sidley United crash out of the Hastings FA Intermediate Cup at the hands of league rivals Sedlescombe Rangers.

The Blues gave a debut to goalkeeper Joshua Langley-Fineing and he made an excellent stop early on to deny the visitors the lead, tipping a volley onto the underside of the crossbar.

Sedlescombe were using the benefit of the wind to dictate most of the play but Sidley had a great opportunity to take the lead. Lee Carey did well to get away down the right and he fired a low ball in towards Zac McEniry but he fired over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.

The Blues were looking to work their way into the game but they fell behind on 25 minutes. Mark Funnell made a challenge from behind in the area and although there weren't many appeals the referee pointed to the spot. Ryan Edwards stepped up to send Langley-Fineining the wrong way and put Sedlescombe in front.

A half time change saw Ashley Elphick come on for the unwell Rosh Wells and Sidley looked to use the wind in their favour. However they found it hard to carve out chances against a stubborn Sedlescombe defence. McEniry and Carey went closest while a Josh Elliott-Noye header also went just over the bar.

At the other end, the game was effectively put out of reach after a defensive mix up. Funnell anticipated Langley-Fineing coming to collect the ball while the goalkeeper felt he would deal with it and this allowed Sedlescombe forward Jake Warner to nip in and pinch the ball, round the goalkeeper and roll the ball into the net for the visitors second goal on 70 minutes.

Sidley changed shape seeking to push more men up front to get back in the contest but it had the feel of one of those afternoons where nothing would fall for them. On the break the vistiors almost grabbed a third goal in the final moments but the crossbar came to Sidley's rescue.

On the whole Sidley cannot aruge with coming away from the game empty handed, as one chance of silverware evaporated. Next week it is another cup competition as the Blues welcome TD Shipley in the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup.

Sidley Team: Langley-Fineing, Walker, Hempe (Cochrane), Cole, Funnell, Elliott-Noye, Wells (Elphick), Carey, Scrace (Eldridge), McEniry, Baldwin.

Battle Baptists 0 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 29th September 2018

Sidley United were responsible for ending another 100% record on Saturday as they brilliantly saw off league leaders Battle Baptists.

The Blues fielded Zac McEniry up front to act as a focal point and the tactic proved effective with McEniry often winning long balls forward and allowing others to link up with him. McEniry almost opened the scoring with a header but Battle goalkeeper Ryan Hunt did well to beat out his effort.

However despite Sidley enjoying more possession it was Battle who had the better chances in the first half as a good ball in from the right found Jamie Lindsay but his sliding effort was wide of the post while a Dean Boyd strike from distance just cleared the crossbar.

Kingsley Parsons picked up an injury and had to replaced just before the interval as a tight and competitive first half came to an end.

In the second half though, just as with the previous week's dispatching of Hawkhurst United, Sidley really picked up their game and they took the lead in the 62nd minute. Louis Walker did well to keep the ball alive down the right and when a half clearance fell to Baldwin in the area, he sidestepped his man and curled a left foot which rather went through Hunt and into the net for his first goal of the season.

One became two just four minutes later. Baldwin did terrifically well to win the ball high up the pitch and burst away from the defender and as Hunt came out to challenge him he poked the ball across goal to McEniry to smash the ball into the empty net from six yards out.

There was always the feeling that if Battle could get a way back into the game then the dynamic might change but Sidley defended resolutely with the home side unable to put any real pressure on Joe Rogers in the Sidley goal as their long unbeaten run at home came to an end.

A terrific all round performance and a win that brings Sidley up into contention with the leading sides in the Division.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Walker, Hempe (May), K Parsons (Dadswell), Cole, Funnell, Wells, Carey, Ellis, McEniry (Scrace), Baldwin. 

Sidley United 5 - 2 Hawkhurst United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 22nd September 2018

Sidley United showed great character as they hit back from going two goals behind to inflict a comprehensive first defeat of the season on Hawkhurst United.

It had looked as if another slow start would cost Sidley though as they fell behind for the third match in a row. Casey Ham struck a terrific free kick from 25 yards out into the net on 19 minutes although Sidley felt the free kick should have been taken from further back than it was.

One became two on 27 minutes as a poor headed clearance fell nicely for Leon Fisher and he rifled a strike high into Rogers' net to put Hawkhurst in control as Sidley struggled to string their passes together.

But the momentum shifted in the last 10 minutes of the half as Sidley forced a succession of corners and penned Hawkhurst back in their own half. Ash Elphick made some driving runs and appeared to be brought down in the area but the referee waved away the appeals. However in the first minute of stoppage time Elphick did win a penalty after being rashly brought down and the dependable Gary Hempe converted the spot kick to bring Sidley back into the game.

They continued that momentum in the second half and were soon level. A terrific piece of skill from Danny Ellis saw him beat two men on the left and he smashed home a powerful shot to draw Sidley level. Hawkhurst looked shell-shocked and Josh Elliott-Noye put Sidley in front on 57 minutes as he headed home a terrific Hempe free kick.

After that it was just a question of how many goals Sidley wanted to score. Mark Funnell was next on the scoresheet as he followed up to score when the away goalkeeper spilled a powerful strike on 67 minutes.

Full back Louis Walker added the fifth as he drilled home a strike with the aid of a deflection into the bottom corner on 73 minutes. After that Sidley laid siege to the Hawkhurst goal. Twice they hit the woodwork, Scrace somehow headed wide from a yard out and Sean Baldwin rolled an effort narrowly wide on his return from suspension as Sidley ran out comfortable winners in the end.

A terrific second half performance to turn the match around but the Blues will know they cannot afford to keep falling behind in matches.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Walker, Hempe (May), Copley (Funnell), K Parsons, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Elphick (Scrace), Carey, Ellis, Baldwin.

Bexhill Town 3 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 15th September 2018

A frustrating afternoon at The Polegrove saw Sidley United slip to defeat to cross-town rivals Bexhill Town. 

After a scrappy opening 10 minutes the game settled into a pattern of play that was familiar throughout with Sidley dominating the ball and Bexhill sitting deep looking to exploit the pace of their forwards with balls over the top of the Blues defence. 

And despite the Blues enjoying the better of the play it was Town who struck first after 29 minutes as a free kick from wide on the right was not dealt with by the Blues defenders and was tucked home by Doni Dovla. 

One became two 8 minutes later as a corner was again not well defended allowing Kevin Barden to score. At the break the Blues went to 3 at the back and recent signing Zac McEniry came on to lead the line and this allowed them to practically set up camp in the Bexhill half but still they found it difficult to create chances against a determined Town defence. 

Finally though Sidley did reduce the arrears on 61 minutes after good work by Danny Ellis as he beat two men and laid the ball off to Josh Elliott-Noye to stroke home.

The Blues continued to push forward and forced a number of corners which saw the referee add on 8 minutes of stoppage time. And in the 5th minute of time added on Bexhill made sure of the win with a breakaway goal as a long clearance was latched onto and finished by Jay Edwards. 

A good win for Town but frustration for Sidley who suffered from defensive errors and a lack of cutting edge up front. They will need to sharpen up at both ends of the pitch when they take on a Hawkhurst United side that has 3 wins from 3 next weekend. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, Walker, Eldridge (Rea), Cole, Funnell, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Elphick (McEniry), Scrace, Ellis, Carey (Dadswell). 

Sidley United 4 - 1 Rye Town - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 8th September 2018

Sidley United picked up their first points of the season with a splendid victory in a match which was almost a complete reversal of the previous week.

The Blues got off to a slow start though and fell behind after the referee spotted the arms of Josh Elliott-Noye wrapped around a Rye player in the area and pointed to the spot. Alfie Weller converted the penalty on 11 minutes.

But Sidley grew into the game and the excellent Lee Carey almost equalised when he took down a cross from the left and smashed a shot against the crossbar. He wasn't to be denied for long though as he capitalised on a mix up between goalkeeper and defender and poked the ball past both and into the net on 30 minutes.

At half time the game was delicately poised but Sidley were much the stronger team in the second half and won a penalty of their own on 53 minutes when a Rye defender blocked a cross with his arm. Gary Hempe stepped up and slotted home to put the Blues in front.

And Sidley stayed on the front foot as Ash Elphick added a third goal with a terrific lobbed effort which dropped right into the top corner on 71 minutes before Hempe scored another penalty just four minutes later after Elphick had been brought down by a rash challenge by the Rye goalkeeper.

At the other end of the pitch the Sidley defence had the odd moment of pressure to contend with as Rye hit the crossbar with a header in the final moments but they were generally assured and much more secure than last week.

A terrific team performance and a signal of intent against a side expected to be up among the top teams come the season's end.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Walker, Hempe (Ryan), Cole, Copley, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Elphick, Scrace (May), Carey (Dadswell), Ellis.

Northiam 75 4 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 1st September 2018

A disappointing second half saw Sidley United slump to an opening day defeat to newly promoted to Northiam 75.

Northiam began strongly and had the better of the opening 20 minutes as Sidley struggled to get forward. However, they opened the scoring rather against the run of play as some good work from Doni Dovla allowed fellow debutant Danny Ellis to beat his man and fire low into the far corner on 23 minutes.

Sidley then used the momentum that the goal brought and went close to a second but the home goalkeeper did well to tip away Lee Carey's goalbound strike from the edge of the area before Dovla steered an effort from a corner over the crossbar from inside the six yard box.

Despite that pressure Northiam kept coming and got a deserved equaliser on 44 minutes as again they were afforded too much time and space to pick out the run by Oscar Garcia Cruz and he poked the ball past Joe Rogers to bring the scores level.

Early in the second half Northiam took the lead as some hesitant Sidley defending allowed Scott Embery to nip in and lift the ball over Rogers to put the home side in front.

Sidley responded by putting three men up front but they failed to halt Northiam's threat and Embery added a terrific third as he volleyed home a cross from the left on 65 minutes.

And Sidley's day was compounded when a corner was tucked away at the second attempt by Alan Johnson on 79 minutes to put some gloss on the final score.

A disappointing result and one that Sidley will be hoping to bounce back from immediately when they take on Rye Town next weekend.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Walker (Copley), Hempe, Funnell, K Parsons, Elliott-Noye, Wells, L Carey, Ellis (Scrace), Dovla, W Parsons (Elphick).


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