Reports from Sidley United's seasons in the Sussex County Football League

Season 2002/03


Chichester City United 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 26th April 2003

Sidley United joint managers Glen Sully and Peter Heritage ended their Sidley reign with a defeat in controversial circumstances at Chichester City United.

The Blues' bosses had decided to step down at the end of the campaign after the Burgess Hill defeat and informed the side shortly afterwards, but they will feel dismayed to have lost their final game in the manner that they did.

Things began well for the Blues as they went ahead in the 13th minute when a home defender put through his own net following a long throw by Graham Morris.

Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the half although Chichester enjoyed the better of the possession.

In the second period the hosts upped the tempo but it took a huge refereeing call to bring them level. Matt Dadswell was adjudged to have brought down Jamie Laidlow in the penalty area despite the fact that he clearly made contact with the ball, spinning it off in a different direction.

Sully labelled it "one of the worst decisions I have ever seen" and claimed even the Chichester contingent were embarrassed by the decision. Regardless, Paul Thomas tucked away the spot kick to restore parity.

And Sidley who were clearly rattled after the decision then saw Steve Leigh scramble in an 89th minute winner which left the Blues to finish the season in 12th place.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball, Freeman, Finch, Dadswell, Copley, Day, Morris, Tate (J Wood), Rose, Balch.

Hailsham Town 2 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Monday 21st April 2003

Peter Heritage rolled back the years with a stunning equaliser as Sidley United twice came from behind to claim a point at Hailsham Town on Easter Monday. 

A draw was the least Sidley deserved for a decent performance in conditions which were hardly conducive to good football. The visiting side dictated the play only to fall behind in bizarre circumstances midway through the first half. Scott French shinned an attempted cross which took off in the wind and the ball flew past James Duffell and into the top corner of the Sidley net.

The Blues refused to panic however and five minutes into the second half Owen Ball equalised with a fine strike. Soon after he thought he had doubled his tally only to see his attempted lob come back off the crossbar.

Hailsham regained the lead 12 minutes from time when Sidley failed to pick up a runner from a throw in and the ball found it's way to French who made no mistake.

Sidley refused to throw in the towel though and levelled again when Heritage, on in place of 16 year old Rhys Whybourne, unleashed a half volley from 25 yards which crashed against the underside of the crossbar and went in off the goalkeeper's head.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball, Morris, Dadswell (Wood), Copley, Finch, Funnell, Whybourne (Heritage), Balch, Rose, Tate.

Pagham 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 19th April 2003

A precise free kick from Graham Morris settled this encounter and boosted Sidley's hopes of claiming a top ten finish.

Sidley created a number of good chances early on including a stunning 30 yard effort from Kevin Rose which just cleared the crossbar. Wes Tate also went close on a couple of occasions before substiute Peter Heritage should have scored but out a free header over the bar from close range.

Russell Eldridge had to be replaced in the first half after colliding with a pitch side barrier when trying to get in a cross.

And it was looking as though Sidley would have to settle for a point until Morris' strike, which crashed into the top corner of the net.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball, Eldrdige (J Wood), Copley, L Wood, Finch, Morris, Watson (Funnell), Balch, Tate, Rose (Heritage).

Sidley United 5 - 0 Bexhill United - Bexhill Observer Charity Shield Final - Thursday 17th April 2003

Sidley United ran out comfortable winners in the town's showpiece football event against Division Three side Bexhill United on a night which raised money for both sides as well as local charity St Michael's Hospice.

A warm spring evening helped entice the crowd of over 650 fans and spectators were also treated to a firework display as well as the less welcome sight of three male streakers in the second half.

It was on the pitch where Sidley hoped to create their own fireworks and they began in the right way as after 5 minutes Wes Tate gave the Blues the lead. But a spirited Bexhill side fought well in the first half and only a goal-line clearance denied Guy Bentley an equaliser. Sam Rimmer also forced Blues' goalkeeper James Duffell into a smart save.

But some strong words at half time saw top flight Sidley take control in the second half. Two goals in four minutes from Kevin Rose finally ended the brave Bexhill resistance. 

A stunning Paul Balch volley and a penalty from Graham Morris - which he had to score twice - completed the scoring. 

A successful evening and a welcome opportunity for local rivals to pit their wits against each other whilst at the same time raising money that will help both clubs' continuted existence.

Burgess Hill Town 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 15th April 2003

A defiant second half showing proved Sidley United can cope with the best that the SCFL has to offer as they ended up with a narrow defeat at champions Burgess Hill Town.

Were it not for James Duffell though the home side could have been out of sight in the opening half hour as the Blues goalkeeper made a string of top quality saves. Despite his best efforts though, Burgess Hill broke through on 35 minutes as Sean Edwards played a neat one-two with a team mate before giving Duffell no chance with the finish.

Nick Sullivan then doubled their advantage three minutes from the interval after Lee Wood's misdirected header presented him with the opportunity.

The second half introductions of Mark Funnell, Jordan Wood and Adam Day perked Sidley up and between them they provided the consolation goal in the 83rd minute as Wood cut the ball back for Funnell to convert.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball, Eldridge, Finch, L Wood, Copley, Watson (J Wood), Morris (Day), Tate (Funnell), Rose, Balch.

Sidley United 2 - 1 Shoreham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 12th April 2003

Sidley United brought their home campaign to an end with a deserved victory over a poor Shoreham side.

The rock hard pitch made conditions difficult for good football but the home side coped better and were on top early on. They broke through six minutes before half time when a well worked free kick enabled Graham Morris to place a precise finish beyond the Shoreham goalkeeper.

United's lead was doubled on the stroke of half time as Lee Wood thumped home a header from a corner.

Wes Tate and Morris had chances to extend the lead while Kevin Rose was unable to make the most of half a dozen decent openings.

The visitors halved the deficit when Darren Annis drove through a ruck of players to set up an edgy last quarter of the match which Sidley managed to negotiate with few alarms.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball, Eldridge, Dadswell, L Wood, Copley, Watson (Funnell), Morris, Tate (J Wood), Rose (Day), Balch.

Hassocks 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 5th April 2003

Ten man Sidley United put in a solid performance and were unlucky not to come away with something from Hassocks on Saturday.

Blues were up against it inside the opening ten minutes as Matt Dadswell was show a straight red for tugging back a Hassocks player through on goal.

Despite this Sidley took the game to their opponents and from a short free kick Russell Eldridge unleashed a screaming shot which crashed off the crossbar.

Hassocks rarely threatened and Sidley continued to dominate in the second half as Kevin Rose saw a couple of efforts blocked and Wes Tate failed to make the most of a couple of one on one chances.

And Blues were made to pay for those misses as a Sidley move collapsed and the home side broke forward on the counter where the offside trap was breached by Graham Beveridge who ran through and slotted past impressive debutant goalkeeper James Duffell.

Sidley's luckless afternoon was summed up when Lee Wood headed against the bar right at the death and Tate couldn't quite force home the rebound.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ward (Funnell), Eldridge, Morris, L Wood, Dadswell, Balch, Watson, Finch, Tate, Rose (J Wood).

Littlehampton Town 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 29th March 2003

Sidley United got back to winning ways with a deserved victory over already relegated Littlehampton.

The Blues welcomed back Chris Copley, Owen Ball and Lee Wood and reverted to their favoured wing back formation following the reshuffle at Three Brushes the previous week.

But they lost their concentration in the 10th minute as the hosts took the lead when Quigg was afforded the time and space to shoot past Shoesmith in the Sidley goal.

The Blues responded within 60 seconds as Russell Eldridge forced a smart save from the home goalkeeper but Kevin Rose followed up to equalise.

The decisive moment of the game came in the 64th minute when Wes Tate forced an own goal out of an unfortunate covering defender. 

From then on Sidley were rarely troubled while Paul Balch and Jimmy Watson controlled proceedings from the middle of the field.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, Wood, Copley, Watson, Finch, Tate (Wood), Rose (Dadswell), Balch.

Three Bridges 5 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 22nd March 2003

Sidley United slipped to a first defeat for a number of seasons to Three Bridges thanks to a hat trick from Pat Massaro and with it went any chance of finishing in the top five. 

Missing a number of players due to a combination of centre back Chris Copley's wedding as well as injury, Blues adopted an unfamiliar 4-4-2 formation.

The opening quarter was evenly fought but Massaro got his first goal when he volleyed home a cross midway through the first half before Ryan Hackett's mis-hit shot went past Matt Shoesmith in the Sidley goal.

In the second half Massaro tapped home a cutback from the byline before the Blues rallied and got themselves right back into the game. First Paul Balch latched onto a loose ball and lobbed the goalkeeper expertly before Graham Morris scored from the spot after a foul by Paul Smith on Jordan Wood. 

But Bridges pulled away again on 80 minutes as Jamie Edwards run ended with a shot into the far corner of the net before Massaro grabbed his third in the final moments.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, G Morris, Eldridge, Dadswell, Finch, S Morris (Wood), Ward, Watson, Tate, Rose, Balch.

Sidley United 0 - 0 Ringmer - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 18th March 2003

Sidley United had to settle for a point in this drab draw at home to Ringmer.

Chances were at such a premium that the crowd as well as the management of both teams were of the opinion that had the game been played all night, still neither team would have scored.

The closest either side came to registering came 10 minutes before the interval when the crossbar came to the home side's rescue as a free kick came off the head of Graham Morris before looping onto the woodwork.

Sidley responded with a quick break down the left which saw Kevin Rose fire a deflected cross into the six yard box and from the corner Lee Wood had a wild swing at the ball before Paul Balch blazed over the crossbar.

The teams cancelled each other out for the rest of the contest although Warren Byerley could have stolen the points for Ringmer right at the death but his flashing drive sped just wide of the post.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, Wood, Copley, Finch, Ward, Tate (Linch), Balch, Rose (Freeman).

Sidley United 2 - 0 Arundel - SCFL Division One - Saturday 15th March 2003

Sidley United dusted themselves down from the disappointment of losing a cup final to record an ultimately comfortable victory at home to Arundel.

The opening 45 minutes was a rather low key affair but United sensed the game was there for the taking and they stepped up the gears in the second half.

Adam Day and Jason Finch both launched a couple of efforts at the visiting goal before the Blues finally broke through in the 71st minute. Owen Ball embarked on a probing run down the right and crossed for Ward who controlled superbly before firing home.

Kevin Rose made sure of the win 10 minutes later, slotting home from close range after another fine centre from Ball.

The only sour point was an injury to Shae Spreafico which potentially could rule him out for the rest of the season.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, Wood, Copley, Ward, Finch, Tate (Rose), Day, Spreafico (Balch). 

Southwick 2 - 1 Sidley United - RUR Cup Final - Tuesday 11th March 2003

Sidley United missed out on lifting a major trophy as they were defeated by Southwick at Sussex FA headquarters in Lancing.

The Blues dominated the opening 20 minutes with Wes Tate blazing over in the 6th minute before Dave Ward struck the crossbar with a wonderful effort from 30 yards. Adam Day couldn't direct his shot wide of Southwick goalkeeper Phil Reid whilst Owen Ball nipped in to touch Day's low ball across goal fractionally wide of the far post.

In between those misses Southwick took a fortunate lead in the 11th minute when a high ball forward from Mark Burt sailed tamely over Matt Shoesmith and into the back of the Sidley net.

The Blues responded less than 60 seconds later though when Tate strode past Seb Kazemi and found Shae Spreafico in a congested penalty area and the young striker cooly rounded Reid and tapped home.

Southwick then began to assume control and Burt headed narrowly over before Shoesmith pulled off a decent couple of saves from Simon Funnell free kicks, the second of which clipped the bar. 

Goalmouth action was far less frequent after the break but the decisive moment came in the 67th minute when Funnell shoved Chris Copley off the ball on the halfway line and sent a superb ball through the heart of the Sidley defence for Tony Holden to slot past the onrushing Shoesmith.

All Sidley could muster in response was a couple of long range efforts from Ball and the impressive Jason Finch which were comfortably held by Reid, until Paul Balch volleyed a golden chance over from 6 yards in the fifth minute of stoppage time. 

A disappointing night in the end for Sidley who are now left to concentrate on finishing as high up the table as possible.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball, Eldridge, Morris (Balch), Wood, Copley, Ward, Finch (Watson), Tate, Day (Rose), Spreafico.

Sidley United 0 - 1 Whitehawk - SCFL Division One - Saturday 1st March 2003

After the highs of Tuesday night, It was back to earth with a bump for Sidley United as they were beaten by a single goal in a poor game against high flying Whitehawk on Saturday.

Sidley's problems began early on as livewire Shae Spreafico was forced off with a calf problem inside the opening quarter of an hour. The first half was a rather drab affair with neither side creating much in the way of goalscoring opportunity.

But into the second half Sidley fell behind after 66 minutes in controversial circumstances. The Blues partially cleared a corner but as the ball was driven back in by Simon Rowland, a Whitehawk player was clearly standing in an offside position, in front of Matt Shoesmith, but the goal was allowed to stand as it was deemed the player was not interfering with play.

Sidley then belatedly got themselves going but could not find an equaliser. Wes Tate could have done better with a couple of half chances and substitute Kevin Rose sqaundered an opening when he chose to attack the ball with his foot when his head may have been a better option.

Owen Ball picked up an injury late on which forced him off as Sidley slid to a home defeat.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball (Balch), Eldridge, Morris, Copley, Dadswell, Ward, Day, Tate, Finch, Spreafico (Rose).

Sidley United 2 - 2 Selsey (Sidley United won 10 - 9 on pens) - SCFA RUR Cup Semi Final - Tuesday 25th February 2003

Sidley United emerged victorious from a titanic battle to book their place in the RUR cup final.

The match itself was a largely poor affair which Sidley took charge of after 12 minutes as a Dave Ward shot slipped through Selsey goalkeeper David Leaver's grasp following a corner.

Selsey levelled though on 37 minutes when Paul Lee's driven corner was met by Barry Rishman who planted a thumping header past Shoesmith.

Sidley regained control when Wes Tate slammed the ball into the roof of the net from 6 yards and Blues looked like hanging on until Selsey again levelled in the 92nd minute as Clinton More's effort took a big deflection to deceive Shoesmith and force extra time.

Selsey edged the extra period and almost won it when Jason Reed headed into the side netting but with no further goals the match went to penalties.

And in an epic shoot out, after 18 successful penalties it was Shoesmith who made an excellent one handed save to deny Rishman, tipping his effort onto the bar. That set the stage for Matt Dadswell to step up and send Leaver the wrong way and deal Sidley's place in the final.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, Copley, Dadswell, Ward, Day, Tate (Wood), Finch (Balch), Spreafico.

Sidley United 4 - 0 Sidlesham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 22nd February 2003

Shae Spreafico was the star of the show, grabbing a brace as Blues crushed Sidlesham to warm up nicely for the SCFA RUR Cup final on Tuesday. 

Sidley grabbed an early goal as Spreafico netted in the 12th minute with an exquisite chip. Eight minutes later Blues doubled their lead as a corner wasn't defended well and Chris Copley got in front of his marker to slot home.

In the second half Sidley grabbed the third when Wes Tate beat a couple of defenders before finishing on 67 minutes and Spreafico completed the scoring 13 minutes from time with another delicate lob. 

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, Dadswell, Copley, Finch (Balch), Day, Ward, Spreafico, Tate (Rose).

Sidley United 2 - 5 Chichester City United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 15th February 2003

Sidley United's recent run of good form came to a shuddering halt as Chichester City United romped to victory at Gullivers.

Blues were forced into a last minute changew as Dave Carey failed to arrive did not arrive until shortly before kick off.

The visitors took the lead in the 24th minute through Roger Moore as he outmuscled Lee Wood and they doubled their advantage on 41 minutes through Paul Thomas.

Despite creating little Sidley hauled themselves back into the contest a minute later through Dave Ward's looping header after Chris Copley had challenged the goalkeeper at a corner.

Blues may have hoped that the momentum was now with them but a third goal on the stroke of half time for the visitors via the boot of Jamie Laidlow was a killer blow. 

The home side were more in the game in the second period but Chichester added further goals on the break from Neil Murfin on the hour and Laidlow mine minutes later.

Wes Tate built several defenders to pull one back 17 minutes from time but it proved too little too late.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, Copley, Wood, Ward (Freeman), Finch, Day, Spreafico, Tate.

Sidley United 6 - 3 Arundel - SCFA RUR Cup Quarter Final - Saturday 8th February 2003

Sidley United produced a devastating performance to blow away Arundel and reach the Semi Finals of this cup competition.

The tie had been switched to Gullivers due to the poor state of the Arundel pitch but it was the visitors who made themselves at home in the first 10 minutes as Pete Amsley finished off a neat move with an emphatic drive.

A superb save by Arundel goalkeeper James Latter denied Dave Carey an equaliser but Sidley didn't have to wait long to draw level as Russell Eldridge hit the target with a low free kick which went in off the post after 15 minutes.

Dave Ward put Blues in front on 24 minutes with a well placed drive before Shae Spreafico's dazzling run ended with him providing for Wes Tate to make it 3 - 1. Eldridge's fine finish just before the interval from Adam Day's through ball gave Sidley a healthy half time lead.

The teams traded goals in the second half. A Norgate header on 56 minutes reduced the arrears only for Tate to almost immediately restore Sidley's three goal cushion.

Spreafico made it 6 on 70 minutes, finishing off after a sublime pass by Carey before Miles Soerri ended the scoring with a well placed free kick.

For Sidley, a semi final against Selsey awaits and a real chance for silverware come the end of the season.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ward, Eldridge, Ball, Wood, Copley, Finch (Balch), Day, Tate (Rose), Carey (Freeman), Spreafico.

Sidley United 1 - 1 Hailsham Town - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 28th January 2003

Chris Copley grabbed a late equaliser to earn Sidley a draw at home to neighbours Hailsham Town on Tuesday.

The Blues dominated early on but struggled to turn possession into chances and it was Hailsham who opened the scoring on the stroke of half time through Simon Stevens.

But Sidley kept plugging away and got their reward with four minutes to go as Copley struck after Hailsham failed to deal with an Adam Day corner. 

Sidley may have even won the game at the death but a strong appeal for a penalty with virtually the last kick of the game was waved away.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, Wood, Copley, Ward, Finch (Day), Carey (Freeman), Tate, Spreafico.

Sidley United 1 - 0 Selsey - SCFL Division One - Saturday 25th January 2003

Sidley United pickled up another three points thanks to Graham Morris' 87th minute penalty.

Blues began confidently, buoyed by the excellent win away at Horsham YMCA last week and they produced the sort of football that was sadly absent for much of the first half of the season. 

They created several good chances in the first half with Dave Carey coming closest with a header that struck the crossbar. Wes Tate couldn't quite get a header to a good ball in whole Russell Eldridge fired just over on a couple of occasions. 

In the second period both Carey and Shae Spreafico went close before Dave Ward was denied by a top save from the visiting goalkeeper. But as time was ticking away a couple of shots were blocked before the ball fell to Spreafico who was bundled over for a penalty.

Morris stepped up to convert to seal a deserved but hard earnt three points for the Blues. 

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Eldridge (Dadswell), Wood, Copley, Morris, Ball, Finch (Day), Ward, Spreafico, Tate, Carey (Freeman).

Horsham YMCA 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 18th January 2003

Sidley United claimed victory thanks to Russell Eldridge's first minute strike.

Wayne Potter brought down Jason Finch 30 yards from goal and the resulting free kick was touched to Eldridge who drove his low strike into the net after just 53 seconds.

Micky Hennessy created Horsham's first opportunity with a mesmerising run but Matt Shoesmith making a rare appearance between the posts, saved his low shot with his feet.

The Blues could have doubled their lead as Dave Ward broke free before squaring to Dave Carey whose weak shot fell to Wes Tate who fired wide. 

The home side were much better immediately after the break and Shoesmith made a good double save. Horsham created mainly speculative chances and it was Sidley who had the better chances as Tate's shot was tipped round the post.

The longer the game went on, the easier the afternoon became for Shoesmith in the Sidley goal as Blues claimed an impressive away win.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, Copley, Wood (Dadswell), Morris, Ball, Eldridge, Finch (Day), Ward, Spreafico, Tate (G Sully), Carey.

Southwick 2 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 28th December 2002

Christmas may have gone but Sidley United were still giving out presents as they fell behind after just 20 seconds on route to defeat at Southwick.

Without touching the ball the Blues were behind as Tony Holden let fly from 20 yards with a speculative volley which looped over a flat-footed Danny Poole and into the net.

Sidley then galvanised themselves in search of an equaliser with Russell Eldridge leading the charge with some skilful runs and clever passing.

The Blues' best chance fell to Paul Balch on 24 minutes as his run into the box ended with his shot hitting the post while Wes Tate had an effort cleared off the line.

However Sidley fell further behind on the stroke of half time as an attacking corner turned into a Southwick counter attack with Simon Funnell left free to squirm a shot past Poole.

Sidley dominated the second half but again failed to turn possession into goals. Their best chance fell to Andy Linch who beat the offside trap and was clean through before being brought down by Stuart Garrod, earning the Southwick defender a red card.

But Sidley were unable to make the numerical advantage count with Eldridge flashing the resulting free kick wide. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Morris, Dadswell, Wood, Ball, Eldridge, Watson, Balch, Spreafico, Tate (Ward), Carey (Linch).

Redhill 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 14th December 2002

Sidley United were left kicking themselves after failing to turn first half chances into goals as they slipped to defeat at Redhill.

Sidley went into the game without the suspended Adam Day and Kevin Rose and Chris Copley was only fit enough for the bench while Dave Ward missed out through work commitments.

The Blues totally dominated the opening 45 minutes and had more than enough chances to put the game beyond doubt. Russell Eldridge went close on 14 minutes with a shot which flew into the side netting, Dave Carey had a header that flashed over and Shae Spreafico spurned a gilt edged chance when he was clear on goal but Redhill's Lee Osbourne managed to deny him the chance to shoot.

After weathering the early storm Redhill turned the game on its head in the second half. Luke Johns had an impressive second half and he popped up with the winner on 62 minutes as Jamie Sinclair's high cross looped up and Johns outjumped Sidley goalkeeper Danny Poole to nod into the gaping net.

There was no sign of a Sidley response until Wes Tate had a great chance four minutes into injury time as Poole's long ball forward found Tate with just the goalkeeper to beat but Wastell in the home goal kept out his effort.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, L Wood, Dadswell, Watson, Funnell (Balch), Carey, Linch (Tate), Spreafico.

Sidley United 3 - 1 Southwick - SCFL Division One - Saturday 7th December 2002

Sidley United continued their mini revival with a thoroughly deserved victory over Southwick with young striker Wes Tate at the forefront of their performance.

Shae Spreafico had fired Sidley into a fourth minute lead with an exquisite finish beyond onrushing goalkeeper Danny Long. But he didn't last much longer as Neil Winter's bad late lunge on him forced him to be brought off. Winter was booked and was lucky not to be sent off for treading on the back of the prone Andy Linch.

Southwick ended the half the stronger and two minutes before half time Tony Holden got away down the left and his low cross was met on the volley by Carl Dunk whose shot cannoned in off the inside of the post.

10 minutes into the second half Sidley retook the lead as Tate sprang the offside trap and charged towards goal. Despite the cross being the easier option, Tate chose to strike a low effort which cannoned off Longand went into the net.

Soon after that Winter finally was shown the red card after a tussle with Dave Ward who was also booked. With the man advantage Sidley seemed somewhat casual and often gave the ball away but the nerves were settled when Tate played a lovely one-two with Dave Carey before unleashing a rasping drive which flew past the diving Long.

Tate could have had a hat-trick but headed wide from a corner while Russell Eldridge, Peter Heritage and Tate again went close before the final whistle.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Morris, L Wood, Copley, Ward (Dadswell), Funnell, Carey (Heritage), Linch, Spreafico (Tate). 

Sidley United 2 - 1 Eastbourne Town - SCFA RUR Cup Third Round - Tuesday 26th November 2002

Sidley United exacted revenge on Eastbourne Town as they progressed to the Quarter Finals of the SCFA RUR Cup.

The Blues were knocked out of the Sussex Senior cup by the Division Two leaders last week but this time they came out on top. After a well contested but scrappy first half, the tie only really got going 10 minutes into the second period when Town were awarded the controversial first of two penalties but Gary Brockwell fluffed his lines by dragging the spot kick wide of the post.

While the first Town penalty seemed harshly awarded against Graham Morris' challenge on Nick Barden, their second penalty though brought few complaints as Yemi Odubade was bundled over by Chris Copley and Odubade stepped up to sidefoot home from 12 yards.

Sidley hit back less than 3 minutes later though as Dave Carey hit a well struck 20 yard drive which Town goalkeeper Mark Oldroyd could only get a hand to as the ball trundled into the net. 

Extra time was looming but on 88 minutes Russell Eldridge crossed and Oldroyd failed to deal with it properly, allowing Shae Spreafico to challenge and Spreafico got up quickest to shoot into the unguarded net.

Almost 10 minutes of injury time allowed Town a chance to come forward again but Sidley held firm to claim a much deserved win.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ward, Eldridge, Morris, Copley, L Wood, Funnell, Watson, Carey (Tate), Lynch (Balch), Spreafico.

Eastbourne Town 4 - 1 Sidley United - Sussex Senior Cup Second Round - Wednesday 20th November 2002

It was a night to forget as Sidley United were dumped out of the Sussex Senior Cup by Second Division Eastbourne Town.

The game may have taken a different pattern had Dave Carey converted a great chance to give Blues the lead after just 4 minutes but after he rounded goalkeeper Mark Oldroyd he could only find the side netting from a tight angle.

Paul Balch created some space for himself with a neat bit of skill before unleashing a 25 yard drive which sailed wide but Town started to get to grips with their higher grade opponents and they took the lead on 20 minutes thanks to a brilliant 20 yard strike by Gary Brockwell.

Two minutes after the break Brockwell grabbed his second when he finished a good run with an emphatic finish. Sidley fell further behind when Yemi Odubade hit a curling free kick past the wrong footed Jon Gardner in the Sidley goal on 56 minutes.

Town's scoring was completed when Neil Maplesden was unable to get out of the way of a punched clearance by Gardner to score a cruel own goal before Gardner had to be taken off after bruising his ribs with Maplesden taking over between the sticks for the final 5 minutes. The Blues did manage a scarcely deserved consolation goal when substitute Shae Spreafico touched in Russell Eldridge's deep corner in injury time.

Sidley Team: Gardner (Spreafico), Ward, Eldridge, Morris, Copley, Dadswell, Balch, Funnell (Maplesden), Carey, Heritage (Tate), Lynch.

Wick 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 16th November 2002

It was an inconsistent performance from Sidley United as they were beaten away at Wick.

The Blues began well but found as with many times this season that their finishing let them down.

Robbie Pook tapped home the only goal of the game on 38 minutes when he was left unmarked at the back post to give Wick only their fourth win of the season.

The Blues had a great chance to draw level in the second half when they won a penalty but home goalkeeper Michael Oatley saved Adam Day's spot kick.

Sidley were disappointing thereafter and when Shae Spreafico went off injured any chance they had of getting something from the game left the pitch with him.

Wick finished strongly and could have wrapped it up but Mark Price twice hit the post and Paul Morby somehow contrived to miss from 2 yards out.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Woods (Dadswell), Copley, J Carey, Eldridge, Ward, Funnell, Day, Spreafico (Heritage), Rose (Ball), D Carey.

Sidley United 1 - 1 East Preston - SCFL Division One - Saturday 9th November 2002

Substitute Dave Carey, making his first appearance after a 35 day suspension, rescued a point for Sidley United in a controversial match against third placed East Preston.

Kevin Rose went close for Sidley with two chances in the first half but the visiting goalkeeper matched his efforts. East Preston took the lead on 14 minutes when Matt Huckett scored with a brilliant 25 yard effort which flew into the bottom corner.

The Blues could only really create half chances after the break and they seemed destined and they seemed destined not to score until Carey produced a piece of magic when he turned his marker and chipped an exquisite effort from 25 yards.

The game ended with real drama though as East Preston's Dave Walker went down in the area in the last minute and the referee blew to award a penalty, only to change his mind and award a free kick on the edge of the box instead.

Seconds later Sidley were appealing for a penalty of their own as Lee Wood's overhead kick appeared to strike the arm of an East Preston defender but the refereee blew for full time as opposed to blowing for a penalty as both sides ended the match unhappy.

Sidley Team: Gardner, J Carey, L Wood, Copley (Morris), Ward, Funnell, Balch, Day (Tate), Eldridge, Spreafico, Rose (D Carey).

Sidley United 6 - 0 Littlehampton Town - SCFL Division One - Saturday 2nd November 2002

The gloom around Gullivers was finally lifted as Sidley United recorded a comprehensive win to end their awful sequence at home.

Littlehampton were beaten 22 - 1 earlier three weeks ago by Horsham YMCA and they showed why they are bottom of the league with some kamikaze defending. Sidley weren't about to let them off the hook and Shae Spreafico opened the scoring when a defensive mix up left him with a simple finish after just 5 minutes.

Spreafico then laid the ball off to Lee Wood to convert the second from close range before Russell Eldridge notched the third three minutes before half time after latching onto a poor clearance by the visiting goalkeeper.

A poor Littlehampton actually got worse after the interval and Spreafico scored after a brilliant bit of skill on the edge of the area allowed him to get a shot away which the home goalkeeper attempted to push over the bar but only managed to push into his own net.

Graham Morris added a fifth from the penalty spot four minutes later after Spreafico had been brought down and Peter Heritage completed the rout with a delicate chip after an attempted back pass had stopped in a puddle.

Sidley Team: Gardner, J Carey, L Wood, Copley, Eldridge (Morris), Ward, Balch, Day (Heritage), Funnell, Spreafico, Rose (Freeman).

Sidley United 1 - 2 Peacehaven & Telscombe - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 29th October 2002

It was a familiar story for Sidley United as they suffered another defeat on Tuesday night by a 2 - 1 scoreline for their fifth straight home defeat.

The visitors went into the game on the back of a 7 - 0 drubbing by Three Bridges and it looked as if they could suffer a similar fate here as Sidley dominated the opening stages but the Blues suffered again from a failure to finish off their chances. Dave Ward had an effort well saved by Peacehaven goalkeeper Ian Sutton on 20 minutes and he also tipped a long range effort onto the crossbar.

The Blues continued to dominate the play and they almost took the lead on 30 minutes but Wes Tate's shot cannoned off the post while a header from Shae Spreafico from close range also went wide just on half time.

After the break Sidley were made to pay for their misses as Jon Donohue put the visitors in front when he got in behind Chris Copley and fired home from 15 yards. Sidley hit back immediately though when pressure by Paul Balch resulted in Sutton spilling a cross from the left and Balch had a simple task to knock home the equaliser.

But another defensive error handed Peacehaven all three points as a poor kick from goalkeeper Jon Gardner handed the visitors possession and Carl Lloyd hit a shot from 20 yards which took a couple of deflections and looped over Gardner to seal the win.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Woods, Copley, Eldridge, Morris (Freeman), Balch, Day, Ward, Funnell, Tate (Rose), Spreafico.

Sidley United 1 - 2 Horsham YMCA - SCFL Division One - Saturday 26th October 2002

Sidley United's dismal home form continued as they were beaten by Horsham YMCA.

Sidley started brightly enough and took the lead in the 10th minute when Mark Funnell headed home a good cross from Graham Morris from close range. Sidley then had the chance to extend their lead but Shae Spreafico squared to Dave Ward on the edge of the penalty area but his low shot was just wide.

The Blues were made to pay for that miss when on the stroke of half time they failed to clear a corner and Horsham grabbed an equaliser as Paul Young volleyed through a crowd of defenders.

The second half was a totally different story as the visitors were on top from the start and it was no surprise when they took the lead on 55 minutes. Gil Taylor ran 40 yards unchallenged and hit a tame looking shot but it had enough power to creep past Jon Gardner and into the net.

Paul Balch missed a glorious chance to level on 75 minutes after good work by Kevin Rose but his effort flashed wide on another frustrating home afternoon for the Blues.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Morris, Eldridge, L Wood, Copley, Balch, Ward, Funnell, Day, Spreafico (Rose), Tate (Freeman).

Sidley United 0 - 1 Hassocks - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 22nd October 2002

Adam Day was sent off as Sidley United went down to their second 1 - 0 home defeat in the space of three days.

The Blues dominated the first half and rained shots in on the Hassocks goal but to no avail. The visting goalkeeper repeatedly frustrated Sidley with a number of great first half saves, particularly from Dave Ward who hit eight long range efforts at goal but he was matched every time.

Sidley threw Kevin Rose into the fray in the second half and he immediately had a great chance to score but his shot crept just wide. The game turned in the 55th minute as Day received his marching orders when he hit out at an opponent and the game turned on that moment.

Hassocks grew in confidence with the man advantage and they hit the winner on 75 minutes through Joe Fernley after some sloppy defending. The Blues were given hope of salvaging a draw right at the end with a few half chances but all of them went begging.

Sidley Team: Gardner, J Carey, Copley, Woods, Eldridge (Balch), Morris, Ward, Day, Funnell, Tate (Rose), Spreafico (Freeman).

Sidley United 0 - 1 Redhill - SCFL Division One - Saturday 19th October 2002

Sidley United slipped to their third defeat in a row with a performance that joint manager Peter Heritage described as "utter rubbbish".

The Blues created only one chance throughout the entire match as they slumped to a loss against a side who sit 5th from bottom in the table. The visitors struck after just 4 minutes through Herve King who beat Blues goalkeeper Jon Gardner to a corner to powerfully head home.

That was virtually it as far as chances were concerned until Chris Copley had the opportunity to snatch a draw 5 minutes from time but his effort hit the post as Sidley got exactly what they deserved - nothing.

The result leaves Sidley down in 7th place and a massive 17 points off runaway leaders Burgess Hill.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Morris, Copley, Woods, Eldridge, Ward, Day, Balch, Spreafico, Rose (Tate), Funnell. 

St Leonards 3 - 2 Sidley United - Hastings Senior Cup - Monday 14th October 2002

A wonder goal by Dave Ward ended up being in vain as Sidley United were knocked out of the Hastings Senior cup by local rivals St Leonards.

St Leonards lost their manager two days earlier after Glyn White resigned and Sidley started brightly looking to add to their misery. Chris Copley was brought down in the area for what appeared to be a stonewall penalty in the 8th minute but the referee seemed to be the only person who didn't think it was.

Things got worse for the Blues as St Leonards struck after 29 minutes when a short corner was whipped in by former Sidley striker Peter Baker and Andy Johnson nodded past Jon Gardner at the near post. Three minutes later the home side added a second as Baker's free kick deflected off Dave Ward and past the hapless Gardner who was left rooted to the spot.

It was a different story after the break though as Sidley kept up the tempo to pull a goal back on 71 minutes when Kevin Rose beat the offside trap and fired past another former Blue in the shape of goalkeeper Peter Newstead. 

Ward's spectacular effort 7 minutes later set up a rousing finish when he picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and unleashed a tremendous strike which rattled off the crossbar and into the net. But St Leonards had the last word as Monroe finished a brilliant run with a cool finish to leave a harsh ending to a brave Sidley performance.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Morris, Eldridge, Carey, L Wood (Dadswell), Copley, Day, Ward, Funnell (Heritage), Rose, Spreafico (Balch). 

Sidley United 0 - 5 Pagham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 12th October 2002

A five goal drubbing left Sidley United stunned as Pagham romped to victory at Gullivers on Saturday, despite playing for 70 minutes without a recognised goalkeeper.

Pagham took an early lead in the 10th minute as Sidley were caught on the break and James Mandry slid home before their regular stopper Wes Hallett had to be taken to hospital following a 20th minute challenge with Mark Funnell, leaving Mandry to take over between the posts.

Funnell looked dangerous for Sidley and Graham Morris had a great chance to equalise but his effort was cleared off the line. Lee Stevens then took centre stage for the visitors as he struck twice in quick succession within 10 minutes of the break to put the game firmly beyond Sidley.

After the interval Stevens completed his hat-trick on 72 minutes and a dejected Sidley were punished further when a minute from time Russell Hardwell rounded off the scoring.

Sidley Team: Gardner, J Carey, Copley, L Wood (Eldridge), Morris, Ward (Heritage), Day, Spreafico, Rose (Freeman), Funnell.

Sidley United 3 - 1 Wick - SCFL Division One - Saturday 5th October 2002

Sidley United hit three first half goals as they downed Wick at Gullivers on Saturday.

The Blues controlled large chunks of the game and should have won by a more comfortable scoreline than the final result. They took the lead after just 8 minutes as Adam Day delightfully chipped over the Wick goalkeeper and into the net.

Wick hit a shock equaliser on 28 minutes through Paul Morby after Blues goalkeeper Jon Gardner spilled a cross. But Sidley soon regained the lead as some persistant chasing down by Kevin Rose led to him winning the ball back and he fed Mark Funnell who slid home at the second attempt.

The Blues made the points safe just before half time when Russell Eldridge did well down the left to tee up Shae Spreafico who ended a barren run in front of goal by letting fly with a shot that went in off the far post.

Sidley never really got going in the second half though as they seemed to take their foot off the pedal and the second period was something of a non event. However the Blues were content enough with their first half work as they held on comfortably for the three points.

Sidley Team: Gardner, J Carey, Copley, L Wood, Eldridge, Ward, Day (Heritage), Morris, Spreafico, Rose (Balch), Funnell (Freeman). 

Sidley United 0 - 2 Burgess Hill Town - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 24th September 2002

Two late goals from substitute Nicky Sullivan went Blues spinning to a defeat to the regining champions on Tuesday night.

The away side had the ball in the net in the first half but the referee disallowed the goal for a handball against Ben Andrews and the same player then hit the crossbar with a header early in the second period.

Sidley's best efforts were a couple of half chances for Kevin Rose and Paul Balch while substitute Mark Funnell almost latched onto a through ball but visiting goalkeeper Ronan O'Callaghan was alert to the danger.

It had looked like honours would finish even until Sullivan's late contribution. On 81 minutes a free kick whipped in from the right was met on the volley by Sullivan whose shot cannoned off the inside of the near post and into the net.

The same player struck again in injury time with a low shot from the edge of the area giving home goalkeeper Jon Gardner no chance and putting the seal on the win.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Ward, Freeman, Morris, Dadswell, Copley, Day (Tate), Watson (Funnell), Rose, Balch, Spreafico.

AFC Totton 2 - 1 Sidley United - FA Vase Second Qualifying Round - Saturday 21st September 2002

Sidley United crashed out of the FA Vase after a controversial defeat at AFC Totton as Chris Copley's injury time equaliser was chalked off.

The Blues were in the driving seat during the opening half hour and created a number of chances with Wes Tate and Kevin Rose both going close. Shae Spreafico also showed some nice touches in his second game back after injury.

The deadlock was finally broken just after the interval when Adam Day hit a brilliant free kick which the goalkeeper tipped onto the crossbar but Tate followed up to score.

Rose had a great chance to extend the lead only for Totton goalkeeper Wayne Shaw to come rushing out and body check him while Rose was in full flight. The Sidley bench were up in arms but the referee chose only to brandish a yellow card to Shaw while the home side seemed galvanised by the decision and equalised shortly afterwards.

A soft back pass by Chris Copley let in Martin Whiddett and in attempting to salvage the situation, goalkeeper Jon Gardner brought him down for an obvious penalty. Patrick James made no mistake from the spot to level things up.

The Blues continued to enjoy plenty of the ball but on 73 minutes they were made to pay for not making their dominance count when Freeman was caught out of position and Whiddett hit the winner before the controversial moment came. Deep into stoppage time, Copley powered home a header from a corner but the referee blew for an alleged push by the defender. Sidley vented their fury at the official who showed Mark Freeman a red card for dissent to further compound their misery.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Morris, Copley, Dadswell, Ward, Freeman, Day, Watson, Spreafico, Rose, Tate (Funnell).

Sidley United 2 - 2 Three Bridges - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 17th September 2002

Sidley United were denied victory over Three Bridges by an 86th minute penalty on Tuesday night.

The Blues were boosted by the return of Shae Spreafico who had been out injured during the last three games and they got off to a great start when Lee Wood scored with a brilliant header from a corner after 10 minutes.

Three Bridges hit back after half an hour through Pat Massaro but Rose gave Sidley a deserved half time lead when he finished in clinical fashion after good work by Jimmy Watson on the edge of the area.

That was as good as it got though as Three Bridges counter attacking posed Sidley a number of questions after the break. The influential Massaro having to be substituted through injury could have lifted Sidley but they were unable to take advantage. Instead Bridges were awarded a penalty 10 minutes from time when Kevin Rose was penalised but the spot kick was fired wide of the goal much to the home side's relief.

However Bridges made amends with their second spot kick, awarded after a foul by Blues' goalkeeper Jon Gardner and Roberts made no mistake to ensure honours were even.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Wood, Copley, Morris, Ward, Freeman, Balch, Watson, Spreafico, Tate, Rose.

Sidley United 1 - 2 Lancing - John O Hara Cup Second Round - Saturday 14th September 2002

Sidley United were on the wrong end of a cup upset as they were knocked out of the John O Hara cup by Second Division Lancing.

The Blues took an early lead when Kevin Rose finished off a good move instigated by Dave Ward and Wes Tate. But they failed to build on that advantage and their lead only lasted 8 minutes as Jamie Cole broke clear of the Sidley defence to score.

Sidley never back into the game after the equaliser and failed to create any clear cut chances for the remainder of the half.

After the restart it was Lancing who looked the more menacing with Sidley failing to string their passes together. The visitors finally went ahead on the hour mark as a deep cross by Andy Long was met by Neil Richardson whose looping header went over Jon Gardner and into the back of the Sidley net.

Paul Balch let fly with a tremendous 25 yard shot which the Lancing goalkeeper did well to keep out but that was as much as Sidley managed to create as they slumped to defeat.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Morris, Copley, Wood, Ward, Freeman, Day, Balch, Dadswell (Linch), Rose, Tate (Smith).

Whitehawk 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 10th September 2002

Sidley United slipped to defeat thanks to a second half own goal from the unfortunate Lee Wood.

The home side dominated the first half but the game was noticable for it's lack of goal-mouth action. A half chance for Simon Rowland gave Sidley goalkeeper Jon Gardner something to think about but it was not until the 32nd minute that he was called into serious action to stop a strike from Terry Cooper.

The visitors started well in the second half and could have opened the scoring when Kevin Rose rounded home goalkeeper Marr Ades but from a tight angle he could only shoot into the side netting.

That proved to be Sidley's best chance as the home side again started to take control. The breakthrough came after Chris Copley had prevented an own goal when he cleared off his own goal-line but from the resulting corner the ball was whipped in and cannoned in off the boot of the unfortunate Wood and flew past Gardner.

Sidley substitute Lee Roberts looked lively after coming on but the closest Sidley came was in the last minute from a Wes Tate header which flew wide of the target.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Balch, Freeman, Morris, Wood, Copley, Dadswell (Roberts), Day, Rose, Funnell, Corke (Tate).

Selsey 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 7th September 2002

Two first half penalties by Adam Day helped Sidley United to victory at Selsey on Saturday in a bad tempered game which saw 14 players booked and 2 Selsey players sent off.

Despite being without the talented teenager Shae Spreafico, Sidley started well and won their first spot kick on 28 minutes when Paul Balch was brought down by the home goalkeeper after his initial volley had come back off the crossbar. Day calmly dispatched the kick and he did the same again a minute before half time after the goalkeeper had again been punished when he brought down Kevin Rose.

Selsey came out fired up for the second half and Stuart Morey was perhaps a little too fired up as he was shown a second yellow card for a wild lunge at Chris Copley.

The referee then started booking everything in sight, including Peter Heritage for some choice words. The game threatened to really spill over and Selsey were reduced to nine men as Darren Lowery decided to take a swing at Sidley goalkeeper Jon Gardner.

The home side composed themselves enough to halve the deficit on 63 minutes as Barry Rishman bundled home a scrappy goal but Sidley defended stoutly thereafter and saw out the game without too many scares.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Copley, Wood, Morris, Balch, Freeman, Day, Dadswell, Corke, Funnell, Rose (Roberts). 

Ringmer 0 - 5 Sidley United - SCFL Divison One - Wednesday 4th September 2002

It was an excellent result at Ringmer for the Blues as they cruised to a heavy win.

The first 20 minutes was a rather even affair as both sides struggled to get hold of the game but after Sidley grabbed the first goal on 28 minutes the writing was on the wall. Graham Morris' free kick found Paul Balch left totally unmarked to head home.

Blues doubled their lead straight from the restart as the home side gave the ball away and Kevin Rose charged through to score. And Sidley went in at the break three goals to the good as Morris' low cross was turned into his own net by Terry Haworth a minute before the interval.

Another mistake led to Sidley's fourth after the break as a right wing cross was misjudged allowing Shae Spreafico to score with ease. 

Blues wrapped up the scoring as John Carey's free kick was met by the head of Mark Funnell and despite the goalkeeper making a terrific save, Funnell was on hand to clatter in number five. The rest of the match was a rather mundane affair with the game effectively over long before the whistle sounded.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Morris, Freeman (Hole), J Carey, Wood, Copley, Balch, Day, Rose (Roberts), Funnell (Tate), Spreafico.

Sidlesham 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 31st August 2002

A goal six minutes from time condemned Sidley United to their first defeat of the season.

Both teams struggled to get into any kind of momentum during a drab first 45 minutes.

Sidley came out for the second period in determined mood and began to set the pace. Their best chance came when John Carey floated in a free kick which picked out Kevin Rose unmarked in the box but he failed to connect with the ball.

Sidley's day was summed up in one moment when a scramble in their own area saw the ball rebound off the back of Scott Tipper and loop into the air and seemingly safely into Jon Gardner's gloves. But Gardner obviously thought that the ball was going to sail over the crossbar and elected to leave the ball, only to see it drop underneath the crossbar and into the net to condemn the Blues to a harsh defeat.

Sidley Team: Gardner, J Carey, Wood, Copley, Freeman, Day, Balch, Morris, Spreafico, Rose (Corke), Tate (Funnell). 

Sidley United 2 - 0 Redhill - SCFA RUR Cup First Round - Monday 26th August 2002

Sidley United maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a routine victory over a mediocre Redhill side to progress to the next round of the SCFA RUR Cup.

The Blues struggled to recreate the fluent play they showed in the opening games of the campaign but they hardly needed to in this match.

A forgettable first half was soon put out of the memory when Sidley scored two minutes into the second period when a through ball pitted forward Wes Tate in a foot race with Redhill defender Matthew Critchley. Both players stretched out a leg and it was the Redhill man who got the final touch to the ball which looped over goalkeeper Kieron Hall and nestled under the upright.

Sidley kicked on after that goal but despite having plenty of possession they struggled to break down a solid defence. Shae Spreafico managed to get clear on one opportunity but Hall spread himself well to pull off a fine save before Spreafico almost nipped in from Simon Corke's astute pass but Hall again denied him.

But the cushion of the second goal didn't arrive until the final minute when Lee Wood got up highest to power home a header from Mark Freeman's corner to ensure Sidley's safe passage into round two where they will meet Steyning Town.

Sidley Team: Gardner, G Morris, Freeman, J Carey, Wood, Copley, Balch, Day (Corke), Rose, Tate (Funnell), Spreafico.

Shoreham 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 24th August 2002

Sidley United dropped their first points of the season as they were held to a draw against a direct Shoreham side.

The home side always looked dangerous early on, especially from dead ball situations. One such set piece led to the opening goal after 6 minutes as Chris Copley misdirected an attempted clearance and thundered a header into his own net.

A young Sidley side weren't getting close enough to their opponents higher up the pitch which allowed Shoreham time to play long balls forward over the top of the Sidley defence. But Sidley began to grow into the game and they levelled four minutes before half time when Kevin Rose executed an exquisite chip over the goalkeeper for the equaliser.

But in the second half the Blues looked much better and Shae Spreafico missed a great chance to level. John Carey then went close with a free kick which the Shoreham goalkeeper clawed out from under the angle of the goal before Carey then made a goalline clearance in the very last minute to preserve Sidley's point.

Sidley Team: Gardner, J Carey, Copley, Wood, G Morris, Freeman, Dadswell, Corke, Spreafico, Rose, Tate (Funnell).

Peacehaven & Telscombe 1 - 3 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 20th August 2002

Sidley United continued their flying start to the new season with a third successive win away at Peacehaven thanks to three first half goals.

Sidley suffered an early blow as Dave Carey had to be substituted after 10 minutes due to a twisted knee but things soon picked up for them and after quarter of an hour Paul Balch finished brilliantly to give the Blues the lead.

Sidley dominated from that moment but Kevin Rose had a moment to forget as Sidley won a penalty which Rose firstly had saved by the goalkeeper before getting a second chance when the referee deemed that he had come too far off his line in making the save. The second attempt fared no better as Rose's effort cannoned back off the post and away to safety.

But Rose soon made amends as he headed home Graham Morris' cross to put Sidley two goals to the good before Wes Tate lobbed a killer third goal five minutes before half time.

The home side pulled a goal back in the second half when Matt Balmer converted a penalty after Sidley goalkeeper Jon Gardner was adjudged to have conceded a foul in the box. But that was really the only threat Peacehaven posed and Sidley comfortably maintained their 100% start to the new season.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Morris, Freeman, Wood, Copley, J Carey, Day, Balch, Spreafico (Dadswell), D Carey (Tate), Rose (Corke). 

Arundel 2 - 3 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 17th August 2002

Shae Spreafico was at it again for Sidley United as he struck another brace in the opening 20 minutes to put Sidley on route to victory at Arundel.

The visitors coped better with the high temperature the game was played in and they duly took the game by the scruff of the neck. The first goal came after 17 minutes when Spreafico held off a player, turned and chipped a delightful ball into the far corner of the net. Three minutes later a neat interchange between Mark Freeman and Kevin Rose resulted in a through ball for the youngster who waited for the goalkeeper to commit himself before making no mistake with his finish.

Sidley began to relax after that and Arundel pulled a goal back just before half time through Dave Ward. The home side came out with renewed vigour in the second half and equalised after an hour through Gary Norgate.

The Blues responded by bringing on Wes Tate who has returned to Gullivers and the lively forward made an immediate contribution by winning a free kick on the edge of the box which Adam Day curled round the wall and into the top corner to give Sidley another superb away win.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Wood, Copley, J Carey, Freeman, Day, Balch, Morris, Spreafico (Dadswell), Rose (Tate), D Carey (Corke). 

East Preston 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 10th August 2002

Shae Spreafico was the matchwinner for Sidley United on their opening game of the season, scoring twice to beat East Preston.

There were plenty of decent performances from the Blues side against a mediocre East Preston and the game should have been put to bed long before the final whistle. The home side were promoted last season but will find it a tougher time in Division One on this showing.

Spreafico went close on a couple of occasions early on, forcing a fingertip save from home goalkeeper Brett Simmonds and then scooping an attempted lob just over the crossbar. East Preston did manage to get the ball in the net but Matt Huckett's quick effort was ruled out as the referee was still busy booking Blues' Adam Day for a foul.

Kevin Rose twice tested Simmonds before Sidley finally made the breakthrough on 43 minutes. A corner from the right was headed on by Chris Copley and Spreafico's overhead kick had enough on it to beat the defender on the line.

After the break the home side came out with more intent but Sidley struck again when Graham Morris' well struck free kick was spilled by Simmonds and Spreafico followed up to score. Dave Ward should have added a third but his finish lacked the quality of the approach work.

Sidley were then knocked back when East Preston grabbed a goal through Huckett's low diving header after a spectacular scissors kick cross from his team-mate Ryan Morton.

But Sidley came through the rest of the game unscathed and Ward missed another good chance to further add to the Sidley tally.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Morris, Freeman, J Carey, Wood, Copley, Ward, Day, Rose, D Carey (Roberts), Spreafico.


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