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

Season 2001/02


Three Bridges 1 - 4 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 30th April 2002

A patched up Sidley United completed their season with an excellent win at Three Bridges.

Missing key players for various reasons, Sidley gave a start to 18 year olds Matt Shoesmith, Steve Morris and Matt Dadswell.

They took the lead on 30 minutes as Peter Baker beat his man on the left and after having a couple of shots blocked by the goalkeeper he then set up Kevin Rose to drive the ball home.

Bridges equalised with an excellent goal. Carlo Castrechino's run took him past four Sidley players and although Matt Shoesmith managed to palm out his shot, Pat Massaro was on hand to tuck in the equaliser. 

The second half saw Sidley get on top and they struck with 2 goals in 2 minutes in the 62nd and 63rd minute. First a run down the left by Russell Eldridge saw his cross met superbly by Paul Balch before Peter Baker burst through to score another.

A speculative long range effort from Baker on 70 minutes bounced over the home goalkeeper. Bridges created a couple of late half chances but Sidley were worthy winners in their final match of the campaign.

Sidley Team: Shoesmith, G Sully (C Morris), G Morris, Dadswell, P Sully, Ward, Balch, S Morris, Eldridge, Baker, Rose (Cochrane). 

Horsham YMCA 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Thursday 25th April 2002

Sidley United's poor finish to the campaign continued on Thursday as again they threw away a lead at Horsham YMCA.

The Blues failed to build on an early effort by Mark Freeman's 21st minute opener after Shae Spreafico refused to give up a ball that appeared to be going out of play, cutting the ball back for Freeman to tap in.

Kevin Rose should have doubled Sidley's lead but hit a half volley wide from eight yards out.

After the break Horsham took control and they grabbed two goals through headers by Andrews.

The home side were reduced to ten men when a player was sent off for dissent shown towards a linesman but they never looked in any real trouble from a Sidley side still missing key players.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Copley, B Poole, P Sully, G Morris, Finch, Scott, Eldridge, Spreafico, Rose (Dadswell), Freeman (Ward).

Hassocks 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Monday 22nd April 2002

Two late goals for Hassocks condemned Sidley to another defeat on Monday.

Shae Spreafico was again on the scoresheet for Sidley as a well worked short corner was played back in to the area by Chris Copley and the youngster got between two defenders to stab the ball home.

It looked good for Sidley but with just 5 minutes remaining Paul Sully was guilty of a blatent handball in the area and Laing cooly converted the spot kick.

Sidley pressed forward looking to restore their lead but deep into injury time a swift counter attack left them short of cover at the back. Although Sidley tried to play offside, Rendell was able to finish from a tight angle.

Sidley Team: D Poole, P Sully, G Morris, Copley, Eldridge, Finch, Balch, Ward, Spreafico, Rose (Freeman), Baker.

Littlehampton Town 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 20th April 2002

Brad Poole was sent off for Sidley as they crashed to an unexpected defeat to relegation threatened Littlehampton Town.

Sidley had gone a goal behind when Grant Vanson finished off a superb solo run with a shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Poole was then dismissed when a long ball forward found Steve Davies through on goal and the Sidley defender chose to pull him down, leaving the referee little choice but to show him the red card.

Peter Heritage came close to levelling but his shot was just wide of the target and top scorer Peter Baker had a couple of strikes well saved by the home goalkeeper.

A better second half display saw Sidley change formation and they created several half chances but in the end Littlehampton could have doubled their lead on a few occasions as they caught Sidley on the break but failed to make the most of it.

Sidley Team: D Poole, B Poole, Copley, P Sully, G Morris, Eldridge, Finch (Scott), Ward, Spreafico, Heritage (Rose), Baker.

Hailsham Town 0 - 4 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 16th April 2002

Sidley United scored four goals in the last 10 minutes as they clinched a win at their near neighbours Hailsham Town. 

Hailsham dominated the match for large spells but were unable to pierce the Blues back line often, although they did hit the crossbar with an effort. 

Peter Heritage and Paul Balch both went close to converting for Sidley who otherwise struggled to create much for the first three quarters of the match. 

But after 80 minutes Shae Spreafico opened the scoring for the Blues when he capped a brilliant move down the left and Peter Baker headed a second goal 4 minutes later.

Sidley's third goal a minute later was a flowing one touch move which ended with Baker finishing off Heritage's cross while the final goal came from the penalty spot after Baker had been fouled by Steve Monk, earning the Hailsham defender a red card. Baker rolled home the penalty to complete his hat-trick in stoppage time. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, P Sully, G Morris, B Poole, Copley, Eldridge, Balch, Ward, Spreading, Heritage, Baker. 

Sidley United 1 - 0 Selsey - SCFL Division One - Saturday 13th April 2002

A late penalty from Peter Baker gave Sidley United their first win in four outings to keep alive Sidley's faint hopes of finishing second in the league.

Blues started the game nervously and were guility of losing possession all too often in the first half.

A vital save from Danny Poole kept Selsey at bay while his brother Brad nearly scored an own goal when the post got in the way of a careless touch.

The second half was much brighter from Sidley but Baker was unable to convert a couple of half chances while Kevin Rose and Dave Ward also came close.

It looked like being a frustrating afternoon for the Blues but with a minute to go youngster Shae Spreafico was needlessly brought down in the area and Baker calmly converted the penalty low to the goalkeeper's right to clinch the points.

Sidley Team: D Poole, P Sully, G Morris, B Poole, Copley, Eldridge, Balch, Ward, Spreafico, Heritage, Baker. 

Whitehawk 2 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Monday 8th April 2002

Sidley United's hopes of claiming second place in the Sussex County league were all but ended on Monday night, however they can come away pleased with a point after Whitehawk had raced into an early two goal lead.

The notorious sloping pitch made conditions difficult with the ball bouncing all over the place. Sidley played downhill in the first half, making it difficult to prevent balls from rolling through to the Whitehawk goalkeeper.

The hosts enjoyed a lot of possession without creating many chances but they converted the two opportunities they did create with Jamie Lambert and Josh Christison leaving Sidley with plenty of work to do.

Sidley went into the interval with renewed hope however after Peter Baker hit the post before Dave Ward went close with a long distance drive.

And in the second half Sidley fought their way back into the contest as Baker pulled one back with his 24th goal of the season before young starlet Shae Spreafico popped up with an equaliser six minutes from time.

They still had some nervy final moments to endure as the hosts had a loud appeal for a penalty turned down in the closing stages, which joint manager Peter Heritage admitted afterwards looked 'stonewall'.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Copley, B Poole, P Sully, Ralley (C Morris), Finch, Ward, Spreafico, S Morris, Rose, Baker. 

Sidley United 1 - 1 Pagham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 6th April 2002

Sidley United's poor run of form in the second half of the season continued with a draw to plummeting Pagham on Saturday.

After the defeat to Ringmer on Monday, this was a game Sidley really needed to win against a side who have fallen down the table since losing their manager and a clutch of players. But the weather played into the visitor's hands as the strong wind and bumpy pitch really levelled the contest.

Sidley fell behind after only 10 minutes when Lee Stevens scored but they hit back strongly in the second half and youngster Shae Spreafico grabbed a deserved equaliser with 25 minutes remaining.

This was Spreafico's third goal in as many games for the front side and joint manager Peter Heritage is confident he will be one to watch out for in the future.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Finch, Ward, Copley, B Poole, Eldridge, P Sully, Watson (S Morris), Spreafico, Baker, Rose.

Ringmer 3 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Monday 1st April 2002

Fears of a heated encounter between arch rivals Ringmer and Sidley United proved unfounded as the game passed with only a handful of bookings and barely a cross word.

After the encounter earlier in the season, there could have been high tensions amongst the sides but the game passed smoothly enough.

Ringmer created the first chance after three minutes with Stuart Corlett teeing up Graham Martin from a corner but his volley flew wide.

Peter Heritage threatened to open the account for Sidley until Matt Geard halted his progress with a sliding challenge, despite a suspicion of handball.

But Ringmer opened the scoring as Geard's long ball found the head of Glenn Davies to head home. Grant Bean then made a desperate goal-line clearance to deny Blues an equaliser. However Sidley struggled to find their shooting boots and although they created opportunities they rarely tested home goalkeeper Sam Figg.

Spencer Mears added Ringmer's second when he nipped onto a loose ball as the static Sidley defence watched him score. In the second period Chris Howarth made it 3 - 0 after a Sidley corner was cleared and a quick break was clinically dispatched.

Blues did register though as Shae Spreafico grabbed his first Sidley goal with a well taken and deserved consolation.

Sidley Team: D Poole, B Poole, Copley, Finch, Ralley, Ward, Spreafico, G Morris, Balch, Heritage, Rose. 

Saltdean United 0 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 30th March 2002

Sidley United eased to a straight forward win over relegation certainties Saltdean United.

The Blues were gifted a perfect start when Kevin Rose was brought down in the box in the second minute and Graham Morris steered home the resulting spot kick.

Promising youngster Shae Spreafico enjoyed a debut to remember after having impressed for the Under 18's and reserve sides. He started the move for Sidley's second, taking the ball down the right before cutting it back to Peter Heritage who's Brazilian style flick fell perfectly for Dave Ward to smash the ball into the net. 

Saltdean created a few chances themselves and looked decent enough going forward but Sidley were always in command and should have scored more as Rose missed a sitter after he hesitated expecting an offside flag.

In the second half Heritage missed a golden opportunity while Rose was denied by the home goalkeeper on a couple of occasions. Danny Poole in the Sidley goal enjoyed a comfortable afternoon as Sidley claimed the three points.

Sidley Team: D Poole, B Poole, Copley, Finch (Eldridge), Ralley, Ward, Spreafico, G Morris, Balch (Scott), Heritage (G Sully), Rose.

Sidley United 0 - 1 Hassocks - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 26th March 2002

An uninspiring performance saw Sidley slump to a disappointing defeat at home to Hassocks.

The Blues had an early effort disallowed for offside before going close through Dave Ward's snapshot which went just over the bar.

Hassocks went close as a case of pinball in the area fell eventually to Anthony Hibbert who poked his effort straight at Danny Poole in the Sidley goal before Owen Ball could consider himself fortunate to stay on the pitch when as the last man he collided with Matt Simpson.

The visitors broke through ten minutes into the second half as a free kick rebounded to Luke Frolo who struck his effort past an unsighted Poole.

Sidley went close to equalising through Paul Balch before Kevin Rose had a great chance to level. The ball was hooked through by Baker and the Hassocks goalkeeper missed his challenge but just as Rose was steadying himself to shoot, the referee blew to award a free kick for a non-existent foul.

To rub salt into the wounds, Ball collided with the goalkeeper late on and was taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball (Copley), Eldridge, Finch, Ralley, B Poole, G Morris, Watson (Balch), Rose, Baker, Ward (Heritage).

Sidley United 1 - 1 Horsham YMCA - SCFL Division One - Saturday 23rd March 2002

Sidley United were unable to gain revenge on Horsham YMCA as they had to settle for a point on Saturday.

Horsham knocked the Blues out of the John O Hara cup at the semi final stage earlier in the season but this was a much different affair as Sidley posed the greater threat.

Owen Ball had already had a couple of opportunities to score before he eventually set up Dave Ward to net early in the second period. Some neat passing freed Ball who picked out Ward for a far post finish.

Sidley enjoyed a decent spell as Peter Baker headed over and Ward let fly from distance.

But Horsham levelled on 72 minutes as some poor marking at a corner saw Ramin Jarvand, arguably the smallest player on the pitch, to outjump everyone and head home to claim a point.

Sidley Team: D Poole, B Poole, Ralley, Finch, Eldridge, Ball, Watson, Ward, G Morris, Baker, Rose (Heritage).

Sidley United 5 - 0 Arundel - SCFL Division One - Saturday 16th March 2002

Sidley United were back to their old selves on Saturday with a 5 - 0 destruction of Arundel.

Not everything ran smoothly for the Blues though as referee David Bull nearly lost control of this match, letting several dangerous and niggling challenges from both sides go unpunished while the linesman frustrated the dugouts with tardy flags and poor offside decisions.

Peter Baker has had a bit of a barren spell of late but he ended that run on the half hour mark when Paul Balch and Adam Day combined well to rip open the Arundel defence before the ball was laid to Baker eight yards out to smash home. 

A few minutes later Owen Ball should have doubled the lead but was left with his shirt over his face in embarrassment as he ballooned an open goal opportunity over the bar.

Baker was more accurate just before half time, running through two defenders and steering a shot around Arundel goalkeeper Rob McClelland for a 2 - 0 half time lead.

The second period was even more one sided with Jason Finch mopping up every counter attack in his sweeper role.

Substitute Heritage added the third when he escaped the offisde trap to latch onto a perfect Balch through ball to slot home before Graham Morris scored a fourth when McClelland missed his challenge.

Baker was denied a hat-trick opportunity as he was substituted a minute before Ball was clattered to the ground in the area, leaving Morris to wrap up the scoring from the spot.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Finch, Ralley, B Poole, Morris, Watson, Rose (Heritage), Baker (Dadswell), Balch (Ward).

Peacehaven & Telscombe 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 12th March 2002

Sidley United were unlucky to come away with only a point away to third placed Peacehaven on Wednesday night.

United were much more like their old selves and with some better finishing the result could have been more favourable than it turned out to be.

Blues goalkeeper Danny Poole had to make an important point blank save early on but Peacehaven struggled to create much of note after that.

Sidley put together several half chances but had to wait until the 38th minute to take one. A ball played into the box was cleared only as far as Jimmy Watson who hit a gorgeous dipping volley over the home goalkeeper.

Peacehaven drew level before half time with a dubious penalty which Leighton Allen converted.

Sidley dominated the second half and Peter Heritage forced the goalkeeper into a smart save. Kevin Rose was then denied his second goal in as many games when his shot was cleared off the line before Paul Balch poked an effort wide and Dave Ward's goalbound shot was blocked by a defender as Sidley were left to settle for a point.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Finch, Ball, Ralley, G Morris, Eldridge, Watson,  Balch, Ward, Heritage, Rose.

Southwick 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 9th March 2002

Ten man Sidley United came from behind to earn a point at Southwick on Saturday.

Alarm bells rang early on as Sidley allowed the hosts, battling relegation, to get behind them several times early on. They were finally punished on 23 minutes as Tobi Hutchinson pounced on a poor back pass by Owen Ball.

Blues then saw Jimmy Watson dismissed for an apparent elbow, although the Blues player appeared to be merely shielding the ball.

However Sidley rallied and Peter Baker missed a decent chance before having to be replaced due to injury. Without their top scorer it looked looked like being one of those days for the Blues but in the final minute, Baker's replacement Kevin Rose beat the Southwick goalkeeper to a bouncing ball and slotted into the empty net to salvage a point.

Sidley Team: D Poole, B Poole, Ralley, Finch, Ball, Eldridge, Morris (Heritage), Watson, Ward, Balch, Baker (Rose).

Horsham YMCA 3 - 1 Sidley United - John O Hara Cup Semi Final - Tuesday 6th March 2002

Sidley United's defence of the John O Hara cup ended with a degree of controversy at the semi final stage.

The home side dominated the game and took the lead when a free kick into the box was headed past his own goalkeeper by Blues defender Jason Finch.

Sidley drew level when Peter Baker equalised with a well placed shot before he was denied a second goal with a highly contentious offside flag.

That moment changed the course of the game and the home side took charge after that. They went ahead again just before half time as Matt Turfield's run into the area went unnoticed and he fired past a static Danny Poole in the Sidley goal.

Blues began the second half well and Adam Day and Paul Balch both went close. But Horsham put the game out of reach as Paul Boxall headed in a corner.

Boxall had a late header come back off the woodwork as the home side finished strongly and Sidley never really looked like forging a way back into the tie.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge (G Sully), Finch, Bolton, B Poole, Ward, Watson (Funnell), Day, Balch, Baker (Heritage).

Sidley United 0 - 1 Chichester City United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 2nd March 2002

Sidley United slipped to their second home defeat in a week with a disappointing performance against Chichester City United.

A poorly defended corner cost the Blues with the visitors' Jamie Laidlow claiming the last touch although the ball came back off the post and may have been an own goal by Tim Bolton.

Despite taking the game to Chichester, Sidley were unable to score with Peter Heritage and Paul Balch missing a couple of half chances with Kevin Rose and Peter Baker seeing headers fly over the bar. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Eldridge, Bolton, Ball, Finch, Ward, Morris, Balch, Baker, Heritage (Rose), Scott (Funnell).

Sidley United 1 - 2 Ringmer - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 26th February 2002

Sidley United crashed to a home defeat against 10 man Ringmer on Tuesday.

The game was almost 15 minutes old before the first real chance was created as Paul Balch fired over for the home side before missing a one on one chance when he elected to pass rather than shoot and the opportunity was lost.

And that moment proved costly as on 32 minutes Tony Holden placed a superb header past Danny Poole from an inswinging cross.

Ringmer added a second when poor defending let in Graham Martin and he made no mistake as the visitors went in 2 up at the break.

In the second half the visitors had a man sent off in bizarre circumstances. Russell Eldridge fouled Stuart Corlett who reacted angrily by kicking out at the Blues player. The referee showed Corlett the red card and awarded Sidley the free kick.

And from that free kick Peter Baker smashed his effort in off the post after his first effort had rebounded off the defensive wall.

But despite the numerical advantage Sidley were unable to force an equaliser. The closest they came was through Paul Balch's close range header which brought a good reflex save from Keith Cheal in the Ringmer goal.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Sully, Copley (Ward), Bolton, Scott (Heritage), Morris, Watson (Finch), Balch, Baker.

Wick 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 23rd February 2002

Sidley United gained ground on their rivals for the runners up spot with a win at improving Wick. 

A bright start from the Blues saw Heritage miss an early sitter and after that Wick began to take the initiative. They got their reward on 32 minutes as Paul Morby headed home at the far post after an initial corner was not properly cleared.

With the wind against them in the second half though Sidley began to get on top and dominated the match. They equalised on the hour mark as Heritage lifted the ball over the home goalkeeper and Owen Ball was on hand to finish. 

And Chas Lister grabbed a late winner in bizarre circumstances. A long kick forward by Brad Poole was left by everyone except Lister, who challenged the goalkeeper who hesitsted when going to clear and the ball ricocheted into the back of the net.

Although Burgess Hill hit a late winner against Pagham, Blues were boosted in their push for second spot by defeats for Chichester City United, Three Bridges and Hailsham Town.

Sidley Team: D Poole, B Poole, Bolton, P Silly, Eldridge (Finch), Ball, Morris, Scott, Balch, Heritage (Watson), Baker.

Burgess Hill Town 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 19th February 2002

Sidley United picked up a credible draw against league leaders Burgess Hill Town but in reality the failure to come away with three points has all but ended any chance the Blues had of retaining their title.

The win that Sidley were searching for looked possible when Russell Eldridge fired them in front midway through the first half with a glorious finish. Peter Baker picked the ball up on the left and expertly found Eldridge who had run into the middle and he finished emphatically past Pat Gannon.

Burgess Hill responded immediately as Steve Harper's volley was deflected just over the bar before Richard Carter forced Danny Poole into a smart save and another goalmouth scramble saw Tim Brown's effort deflect off the bar.

Sidley too hit the crossbar in spectacular fashion as Baker took fly from near the touchline around 40 yards out and his effort for caught in the wind before landing plum on the top of Gannon's goal.

The strong wind picked up momentum after the break forcing Sidley back and the home side spent much of the half camped in Sidley territory. Finally they equalised when Ashley Carr had time in the area and his shot cannoned off Poole and into the corner of the net.

And Burgess Hill should have won it at the death as a ball across goal was turned onto the bar by Lee Isaac from 4 yards out. But Sidley defender superbly, marshalled well by captain Brad Poole. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Sully, B Poole, Bolton, Ward, Morris, Balch (Heritage), Day (Finch), Baker.

Sidley United 1 - 2 Sidlesham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 16th February 2002

Sidley United suffered their first home defeat of the season as Sidlesham took advantage of the Blues' lack of recent action.

Although the Gullivers pitch was deemed fit for play, it was too heavy for Sidley to impose their usual passing game. However they managed to take the lead through Peter Baker who ended a recent barren run with a 15 yard drive low into the corner.

Paul Balch had a good chance to double the lead immediately after the restart but instead a good save from the Sidlesham goalkeeper started a breakway move which saw the visitors draw level when Danny Owen was left with too much space and time to head home.

And the visitors went in front just before half time after a harshly awarded penalty for a trip in the box was converted by Dave Barnes.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men for the final 20 minutes as Glen Bridgeman was sent off for foul and abusive language but they still managed to hold on for the points.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Bolton (Heritage), B Poole, Sully, Morris, Day (Finch), Ward, Balch, Baker.

Wick 1 - 0 Sidley United - Sussex Senior Cup Third Round - Saturday 19th January 2002

The lack of competitive games took its toll on Sidley United as they struggled to get to grip with Wick in this Sussex Senior Cup tie. 

Too many misplaced passes meant Blues never really got going and they fell behind just before half time as Paddy Gibbs' cross-cum-shot was fumbled into the net by Danny Poole.

Russell Eldridge almost equalised with a superb solo effort but the Wick goalkeeper denied him before Paul Balch had a flying header just wide and Dave Ward was denied by the muddy conditions.

Sidley had a penalty shout in the final minute as Peter Baker broke the offside trap before following with the goalkeeper in a 50-50 challenge but the referee was unmoved.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Smith, Copley, Bolton (Sully), Balch, Day, Ward (Scott), Heritage (Carey), Baker.

Sidley United 2 - 0 Littlehampton Town - SCFL Division One - Saturday 5th January 2002

Sidley United turned on the style in the second half to beat Littlehampton Town on Saturday.

The Blues now lie 13 points behind leaders Burgess Hill Town but they do have 2 games in hand.

After a goalless first half the Blues went in front 15 seconds into the second half with a classy Owen Ball finish after he latched onto a delicious ball over the top by Adam Day. 

Littlehampton enjoyed their fair share of possession without ever really threatening the Sidley goal.

Russell Eldridge made sure of the points from an acute angle after Peter Baker and Peter Heritage had hit the woodwork as Sidley recorded a fairly straight forward win.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, B Poole (Smith), Copley, Bolton, Morris, Day, Ward, Heritage (Balch), Baker.

Sidley United 4 - 0 Redhill - SCFL Division One - Saturday 22nd December 2001

Sidley United were back to their best on Saturday with a comfortable win over Redhill.

The match started evenly and the visitors nearly opened the scoring when a slip by Chris Copley allowed Glen Barlow in but his weak effort was easily saved by Danny Poole.

Owen Ball forced the Redhill goalkeeper to tip over a disguised shot and Russell Eldridge saw a couple of low cut backs skip tantalisingly across the goalmouth.

The mounting pressure finally told when debutant Graham Morris scored with a crisp strike from the edge of the area.

Sidley doubled their lead shortly after half time when Adam Day's effort rebounded to Ball who scored from 10 yards out. Joint manager Peter Heritage added to his tally for the season on 75 minutes to put the game out of reach, despite being clearly offside and he held off his man to slot home from close range.

But the goal of the match went to Chris Scott, who picked the ball up in the area and confused the Redhill defence with a clever juggle before flicking the ball up to volley past Tony Reynold and put the seal on an emphatic victory.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Bolton, Copley, Ward, Morris, Heritage (Small), Balch (Funnell), Day, Scott.

Selsey 3 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 15th December 2001

Sidley United's title defence suffered a hiccup as they slumped to their first defeat of the season at Selsey.

Jason Reed put the hosts ahead after 15 minutes when he got in front of the Sidley defenders at a free kick and his shot looped over Danny Poole and into the net.

The second goal came shortly before half time when Selsey beat the offside trap and after Brad Poole and Chris Copley missed a couple of challenges, the ball was crossed over to Paul Lee who headed home.

The third was a killer goal. Sidley expected an offside decision against a player in the centre but the referee waved play on and the ball was knocked wide to Lee who made no mistake with his finish.

The Blues began to come back into the match in the last 20 minutes but when Peter Baker had to go off with an injury they were unable to conjure up a reply.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Copley, Bolton, B Poole, Ward, Funnell (Day), Watson (Scott), Heritage, Baker (Freeman).

Sidley United 6 - 0 Three Bridges - John O Hara Cup Quarter Finals - Saturday 8th December 2001

A stunning six minute hat-trick from joint manager Peter Heritage propelled holders Sidley United into the semi-finals of the John O Hara cup.

Both league encounters between the two sides had ended 1 - 0 in Sidley's favour and another tight encounter was expected. But that prediction was blown away by the dominant Blues on a pudding of a pitch.

Paul Balch almost fired Sidley in front after just 30 seconds with a lob from well outside the area but goalkeeper Darren Lambert got back to tip his effort onto the crossbar. However Balch was successful with the same trick midway through the first half, this time beating Lambert with another delicate effort.

Owen Ball doubled the lead on 35 minutes when he blasted home from close range after his initial cross had been headed back across goal by Peter Baker. Jimmy Watson was then denied by the crossbar but soon after his clip into the box was gobbled up by Balch, sliding in bravely between defender and goalkeeper to convert the third.

With the game sewn up at half time, Sidley could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas but instead they pushed on and Heritage made the second half his own. His first goal came following clever work by Watson and his second was a free header from Russell Eldridge's corner.

The best though was saved to last when a great move down the left by Baker ended with Heritage netting with a diving header for the sixth goal.

With the game nearly over, Three Bridges conjured up a couple of late efforts but each time they got an effort on goal Danny Poole managed to divert the ball over the crossbar.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball (Scott), Eldridge, Bolton, Copley, B Poole, Balch, Watson, Heritage (Ward), Baker (Freeman), Funnell.

Sidley United 3 - 0 Eastbourne United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 27th November 2001

Defending champions Sidley United maintained their unbeaten record with a comfortable win against local rivals Eastbourne United on Tuesday night.

They had to weather something of a storm in the first half though as Eastbourne belied their lowly status with a series of lightning raids. Lawrence Dorman got away down the left but his low cross was put wide by Lee Walsh from 10 yards.

Russell Eldridge responded by forcing a good save out of Eastbourne goalkeeper Mark Oldroyd before Mark Funnell opened the scoring on 17 minutes. A corner from the left was headed back across goal by Peter Heritage and Funnell did the rest.

Eastbourne continued to press forward and Danny Poole had to be on his toes to keep out efforts by Tobi Hutchinson and Walsh. But nine minutes into the second half, Paul Balch beat Oldroyd to a high ball and his header just crept over the line before the covering defender managed to clear it.

Sidley strolled through the second half after that and added to their tally on 70 minutes when Owen Ball released Peter Baker who did well to stay onside and from his cross, the evergreen Heritage made no mistake with a precise header.

Heritage and Baker both went close with later efforts but Sidley had to settle for the three goals on a night that leaders Burgess Hill Town also won comfortably.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Bolton, Copley, B Poole, Balch (Scott), Watson, Heritage (Freeman), Funnell (Dadswell), Baker.

Three Bridges 0 - 1 Sidley United - Sussex Senior Cup Second Round - Tuesday 20th November 2001

A superb performance from a Sidley side missing eight regulars saw off Three Bridges in the Sussex Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

The Blues totally dominated this tie and but for the home goalkeeper and the woodwork would have won by a greater margin.

Their preparations for the game were hit by the late withdrawals of Paul Balch, Mark Ralley and Chris Scott meaning that Matt Dadswell, Mark Funnell and Jimmy Watson were required to form a new look midfield but they performed admirably and it was Funnell who grabbed the winning goal, heading home Russell Eldridge's cross after a quickly taken free kick just before the half hour mark.

The game followed a similar pattern in the second half as both Peter Baker and Owen Ball were denied by the woodwork while Heritage forced a fine save out of the home stopper.

Bridges, who have yet to drop a point at home, woke up in the final 15 minutes but were still unable to seriously test Danny Poole in the Sidley goal.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldrdige, Bolton, Copley, B Poole, Watson, Dadswell, Funnell (Linch), Heritage, Baker.

Sidley United 1 - 1 Whitehawk - SCFL Division One - Saturday 17th November 2001

Sidley United needed an 85th minute equaliser from Peter Baker to maintain their unbeaten run against Whitehawk.

The Blues were never at their best although they were missing a number of players due to injury. They still created enough chances to win the match and Baker should have given them the lead after just 2 minutes but he lifted his finish over the crossbar.

Owen Ball then fired across the Whitehawk goal before the visitors struck just before half time when a harmless looking ball into the box found its way to Ollie Rowland whose shot bobbled past Danny Poole and into the net.

Sidley upped the tempo in the second half but they had to wait until 5 minutes from time before they got their reward as Baker converted Ball's cross for his 18th goal of the season.

Sidley spent the rest of the match chasing the winning goal but were unable to create an opportunity that would have given them the points.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Ralley (Bolton), Copley, B Poole, Ward (Freeman), Balch, Scott (Dadswell), Heritage, Baker. 

Sidley United 1 - 2 Dereham Town - FA Vase - Saturday 10th November 2001

Sidley United experienced one of those days when they nothing much went right as they crashed out of the FA Vase.

Blues suffered an early setback after just 2 minutes when midfielder Adam Day had to be substituted with an achilles injury. Despite the change the Blues still looked the better side but poor marking at a free kick allowed Pert to give the East Counties Premier outfit a lead on 23 minutes which even the visitors found hard to believe.

A quarter of an hour later more slack play in and around the home goal saw an attempted clearance cannon off a Dereham player and into the path of Christie who made it 2 - 0.

Chris Scott reduced the arrears for Sidley midway through the second half with a spectacular overhead kick after good link up play between Russell Eldridge and Owen Ball. Sidley then laid siege to the Dereham goal and hit the woodwork four times through Eldridge, Dave Ward, Peter Baker and one of their own defenders thanks to a deflection but all came back off the post or bar rather than fall between the posts.

Brad Poole looked to have won a penalty when he was upended in the box but the referee turned away Sidley's strong appeals and Dereham held on to progress through to the next round.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Ralley, B Poole, Copley, Day (Scott, Heritage), Ward, Balch, Carey, Baker. 

Redhill 1 - 4 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 3rd November 2001

Sidley United came from behind to pick up an excellent win at Redhill on Saturday.

The hosts began the brighter though and took the lead after just 7 minutes. A long ball forward caught the Blues defence napping and allowed Dave O'Dongo to race clear and slot beyond Sidley goalkeeper Danny Poole.

Sidley dusted themselves down and responded immediately. Owen Ball linked up well with Dave Ward who crossed for Dave Carey to finish from close range.

Carey played a big part in Sidley's second goal just before half time. He chased down a long ball and pressurised a home defender into a mistake, playing the ball straight to Peter Baker who smashed the ball into the top corner.

Sidley had a rather comfortable second half but only made the game safe four minutes from time when Brad Poole rose highest to head home a corner and they added some gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time when Ball played in Baker to score his 16th goal of the season.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge (Scott), Bolton (Ralley), B Poole, Copley, Day, Ward, Funnell, Carey (Heritage), Baker.

Burgess Hill Town 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFA RUR CUP - Tuesday 30th October 2001

Sidley United were sent tumbling out of the SCFA RUR Cup on Tuesday thanks to a controversial last minute penalty.

Early on Chris Copley wasted two good headers and strikers Dave Carey and Peter Baker had decent chances to score but it was to prove to be one of those nights for the Blues.

Burgess Hill had the better of the opening 15 minutes but after that Sidley enjoyed the better of the game.

But the controversy came with extra time looming when goalkeeper Danny Poole appeared to be impeded by a Hillians attacker and Brown nipped in to claim the last minute winner.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Bolton, Copley, B Poole, Ball, Eldridge (Scott), Funnell, Day, Ward, Baker, Carey.

Selsey 2 - 3 Sidley United - John O Hara Cup Third Round - Saturday 27th October 2001

Sidley United kept their hold on the John O Hara cup with a narrow away win at Selsey, although they should have won more comfortably.

Blues opened the scoring after 15 minutes through Mark Ralley when he headed home after a short corner and Owen Ball added a second nine minutes later when he finished from 12 yards.

On the hour mark the home side were awarded a penalty which Lee converted and they were only denied an equaliser by the crossbar. Danny Poole then made a fantastic save to keep Sidley ahead, pushing a 15 yard volley over the bar.

But Ball grabbed his second to restore Blues' two goal advantage with 10 minutes to go with a thunderous drive from outside the box.

In the dying seconds Ford pulled another back for Selsey but it was too late to stop Sidley progressing to the next round where they will meet either Three Bridges or Hassocks.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Ralley, Copley, B Poole, Funnell, Day, Ward, Baker (Bolton), Carey (Heritage).

Sidley United 7 - 0 Southwick - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 23rd October 2001

Sidley United hit a magnificent seven against struggling Southwick on Tuesday.

The hosts almost took the lead in the very first minute as top scorer Peter Baker outpaced his marker and beat the goalkeeper to the ball but a covering defender was able to clear off the line.

Baker was instrumental in the opening goal though. Finding himself one on one with the goalkeeper from a tight angle, he opted to square for Dave Ward to slot home on 10 minutes before Ward for his second shortly after following a defensive mistake.

Russell Eldridge made it 3 - 0 with a sweet drive from outside the area on 35 minutes before Baker added his name to the scoresheet when he was left alone in the area shortly before the interval.

While chances were more limited in the second half, Sidley continued to make them count. On the hour mark Ward was left alone to volley home a controlled finish for his hat trick goal.

Joint magaers Glen Sully and Peter Heritage made cameo appearances and Heritage made it 6 with virtually his first touch.

Baker grabbed the seventh despite the best efforts of visiting goalkeeper Richard Whittington, but for whom the scoreline could have been much heavier.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Ralley (Bolton), Copley, B Poole, Ward, Funnell, Balch (G Sully), Day (Heritage), Baker.

Sidley United 3 - 1 Hassocks - FA Vase - Saturday 20th October 2001

Sidley United never needed to hit top gear as they had too much for Hassocks.

The hosts cruised through the opening 15 minutes and they took the lead as Chris Copley headed home Russell Eldridge's pinpoint cross.

Adam Day nearly added another when he stole the ball from two dithering defenders but Harding in the Hassocks goal kept him at bay.

Hassocks then were awarded an indirect free kick in the Sidley penalty area but the Blues defensive wall kept them at bay. However the visitors did equalise soon after half time as a cross into the area was met by Marc Randall who had too much time and space to smash a half volley past Danny Poole in the Blues goal.

Within two minutes Sidley were back in front. Eldridge hit a low ball across the box and Owen Ball steamed in to score from close range.

Just past the hour mark Sidley got the third goal. Another dangerous cross in was spilt by Harding straight at the feet of Dave Carey who gratefully accepted the gift.

Hassocks were denied a blatant penalty for handball late on; just one of a strong of questionable decisions given by the referee but Sidley were grateful on that occasion as they booked their place in the next round.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Eldridge, Bolton, Copley, B Poole, Ward, Funnell, Carey (Heritage), Day, Baker.

Pagham 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFA RUR Cup - Saturday 13th October 2001

Sidley United put one over on their title rivals Pagham by knocking them out of the SCFA RUR Cup.

The Blues looked shaky for the first 20 minutes but then got on top and were unlucky not to score before the break.

New signing Russell Eldridge teamed up with Dave Ward to present Dave Carey with a chance but he headed over from 8 yards before Eldridge fired over from 25 yards.

Pagham's possession game never really troubled Sidley, who carried on controlling the game in the second half. Sidley made light of the absence of Wayne Farrier and Brad Poole and in particular Tim Bolton and Mark Ralley both performed well.

But it was Chris Copley who stole the limelight as he powered home a corner on 70 minutes.

Sidley face an even tougher prospect in the next round as they will face Burgers Hill Town.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Bolton, Copley, Ralley, Eldridge, Ward, Day, Watson (Dadswell), Carey, Baker.

Sidley United 1 - 0 Three Bridges - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 9th October 2001

It was a satisfying win for Sidley United after the poor performance of Saturday.

The Blues won the match after the hard-working Dave Carey created space for Peter Baker to score.

United could have added to the scoreline in the second half as Carey proved to be a real handful although in the end they had to make do with the narrow 1 - 0 win.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ralley, Copley, B Poole, Ball, Scott, Day, Ward, Watson, Carey (Heritage), Baker.

Sidley United 1 - 1 Saltdean United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 6th October 2001

Sidley United needed a 90th minute strike from Peter Baker to spare their blushes against basement side Saltdean United.

In a lethargic display from the outfield players, goalkeeper Danny Poole appeared to be on a one man mission to prevent Sidley from sliding to an embarrassing defeat.

Sam Assefi eventually put the visitors in front on 65 minutes when he got a crucial touch during a goalmouth scramble. 

Poole kept Sidley in the game until they were given an undeserved lifeline in stoppage time. Baker was needlessly brought down just inside the area and he made no mistake from the spot to steal a point for the Champions.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Copley, Farrier (Sully), B Poole, Ball, Scott (Funnell), Day, Ward, Watson, Carey (Heritage), Baker.

Sidley United 2 - 1 Wick - SCFL Division One - Saturday 29th September 2001

A late goal from joint manager Peter Heritage kept Sidley United in the mix with the sides at the top of the table.

The Blues started the stronger and were awarded an early penalty when Dave Ward was brought down, leaving Peter Baker to slot home the spot kick.

However from the restart Wick hit back. A cross into the box saw Sidley goalkeeper Danny Poole get fingertips on the ball but only to divert it into the path of Green who rifled the ball home for the equaliser.

Wick created a couple of good chances towards the end of the half but the Sidley defence stood firm. The second half saw the Blues back in control but finding it hard to create chances.

Heritage stepped off the bench to try and find the winner and with two minutes to go he got it. Jimmy Watson set him up 18 yards out and Heritage's strike gave the goalkeeper no chance.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Farrier (Ralley), B Poole, Copley, Scott (Funnell), Ball, Day, Ward, Watson, Baker, Carey (Heritage).

Sidley United 0 - 0 Burgess Hill Town - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 25th September 2001

The two title heavyweights cancelled each other out on Tuesday night, ensuring both sides' unbeaten run continued.

Burgess Hill had marginally the better of the game by winning more of the balls in midfield but some quick one touch football by Sidley caused them problems going the other way.

The referee unfortunately had a night to forget, frustrating both teams in equal measure by blowing up for nothing or missing obvious decisions.

Chances were at a real premium throughout though, with Danny Poole's late double save at the end of the game really the only moment of note. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Scott, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Ward, Watson, Funnell, Carey (Heritage, Baker.

Sidley United 7 - 0 Bosham - John O Hara Cup - Saturday 22nd September 2001

Holders Sidley United lived up to their billing as pre match favourites as they brushed aside Division Two strugglers Bosham to reach the next round of the John O Hara cup. 

The Blues took the lead after just 5 minutes as Jimmy Watson dispossessed a hesitating defender before making no mistake with his finish.

Soon after he scored again after Peter Baker's free kick was twice parried. Chris Copley scored with a free header at a corner before Dave Ward made it 4 - 0 on the stroke of half time to all but end the contest.

Owen Ball scored with a thunderous 25 yard strike before Ward sliced in the sixth after another good move before Carey met an excellent cross from Watson to round off the scoring.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Copley (Dadswell), Ralley (Roberts), Farrier, Scott, Ball, Funnell, Watson, Ward, Carey, Baker (Heritage).

Sidley United 3 - 0 Hailsham Town - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 18th September 2001

A second consecutive hat trick from Peter Baker gave Sidley United a generous win over Hailsham Town on Tuesday night.

Hailsham started the brighter as both sets of players struggled to get to grips with the wet and slippery surface. However the Sidley defenders, boosted by the return of captain Wayne Farrier, restricted the visitors to long distance efforts which were wide of the target.

Deep into first half stoppage time a Hailsham player slipped, allowing Owen Ball in down the wing and his low cross fell to Baker who hit a sumptuous first time volley past Russell Tanner in the Hailsham goal.

That knocked the stuffing out of Hailsham and Sidley took charge in the second half. Twenty minutes in, Dave Carey ran at the visitor's defence before laying off to Baker on his left who slotted past the advancing Tanner.

Minutes later an almost identical scenario saw Baker roll the ball under Tanner but this time his effort hit the post. Baker was quickest to the rebound though to nudge it over the line for his treble.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Funnell, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Ward, Watson, Balch (Carey), Day (Roberts), Baker.

Chichester City United 3 - 3 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 8th September 2001

A Peter Baker hat trick was not enough as Sidley twice threw away a lead at Chichester.

After a tense and goal-less first half, Sidley settled into the match and took the lead after an excellent move involving Lee Roberts, Mark Funnell and Dave Ward ended with Baker heading home at the far post after 50 minutes.

Baker doubled Sidley's lead on 67 minutes when he charged through on goal and clipped the ball over the goalkeeper before finishing into the empty net.

But Chichester rallied and immediately responded through Paul Thomas' deflected free kick before John Oliver then equalised with a brilliant 25 yard strike.

Just as Sidley seemed to be losing control, Baker grabbed his third by pressuring the goalkeeper into a mistake and being allowed to tap into the empty net. But Chichester again responded and from a free kick Chris Rustell headed home to ensure the spoils were shared.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Copley, B Poole, Roberts (Bolton), Scott, Funnell, Ward, Day, Balch, Baker.

Sidlesham 0 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 1st September 2001

Brad Poole was the hero for Sidley as he scored in each half to beat Sidlesham.

Sidley were always in control of this fixture and were unlucky not to win by a greater margin.

While Sidley missed a number of chances, they finally broke through on the half hour mark. Poole charged out of defence and when no-one closed him down he unleashed a 30 yard effort which screamed into the top corner of the Sidlesham net.

The second half started in much the same vein with Sidlesham rarely troubling the Sidley goal. Five minutes into the half Poole claimed his and Sidley's second, heading home accurately from a corner.

After that goal went in Sidley relaxed somewhat and the game was allowed to drift to it's conclusion.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Copley, B Poole, Scott (Bolton), Funnell, Ward, Watson, Day, Heritage (Roberts), Baker. 

Sidley United 2 - 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe - SCFL Division One - Monday 27th August 2001

It was an indifferent performance by Sidley United on Bank Holiday Monday but they still did just about enough to record a win over Peacehaven. 

Sidley went into the match without Wayne Farrier and Paul Sully but their absences could hardly excuse the poor general performance.

The visitors were unlucky not to go in front when John Lockheart's curling shot cannoned back off the crossbar with Danny Poole beaten.

But Sidley finally got their act together enough to get the important goals just minutes into the second half. First a long pass forward found Baker who's progress was impeded by a tug in the area. Baker took the resulting spot kick to notch his third goal in three days.

Sidley then doubled their lead when Baker's free kick was allowed to drift all the way across the box for Paul Balch to drill into an empty net.

Baker went close to a third before Peacehaven grabbed a goal when Ian Gilmour powered home a corner on 77 minutes and while Baker and Balch had great chances to make it three, in the end Sidley did just enough to record the win.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Scott, Weston, Copley, B Poole, Ward, Watson, Day, Balch, Baker.

Arundel 0 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 25th August 2001

Sidley United came away with another three points in the sweltering heat at Arundel thanks to two goals from Peter Baker.

The Blues took the lead after 14 minutes when Chris Copley's ball into the box fell to Baker who turned and volleyed into the corner of the net.

Sidley controlled the midfield and Danny Poole was restricted to coming to claim a few attempted through balls as Blues controlled the match.

Arundel came hurtling out of the blocks in the second half but Blues' excellent defending meant they could only muster couple of half chances. Sidley made the game safe 15 minutes from time as substitute Stuart Weston burst through the Arundel defence and played in Baker for a comfortable finish.

Such was the heat that Blues midfielder Adam Day lost half a stone during the 90 minutes.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Scott, Sully (Freeman), Copley, B Poole, Ward, Watson (Bolton), Day, Baker, Heritage (Weston).

Pagham 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 18th August 2001

A late goal from Paul Balch ensured Sidley United came away with a point from the long trip to Pagham on Saturday.

Pagham are expected to be strong contenders for the title this season and they were the better side in the opening 45 minutes. However they went in at the break only one goal to the good; Julian Curnow scrambling home after 20 minutes.

But the second half saw the game turn in Sidley's favour and Dave Ward had a couple of efforts which went close before Chris Copley's point blank header was somehow kept out by the home goalkeeper.

But Sidley were not to be denied and they levelled with just 2 minutes to go. A Peter Baker corner found the head of Balch who planted a superb downward header into the bottom corner of the net.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Copley, Farrier, Scott (Heritage), Weston, Watson, Ward, Balch, Baker.

Eastbourne United 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Friday 10th August 2001

The County league champions kicked off their campaign with a win away to local rivals.

The first half though was a virtual non event until five minutes before the interval when Lee Roberts was played through by Peter Baker but he could only shoot into the side netting from close range.

But Sidley were getting on top and won a penalty early in the second half when Baker was upended by Eastbourne goalkeeper Simon Davey. Despite being the last man, Davey was not so much as spoken to and Sidley's sense of injustice deepened when Davey diverted Baker's spot kick onto the crossbar.

That setback spurred Sidley on and they took the lead 4 minutes later as Baker's fine volleyed cross was met by Owen Ball 8 yards out and he made no mistake with the finish.

Sidley then won a second penalty a minute from time when Baker was fouled in the area. Showing great composure Baker once again took it and this time his low strike found the corner of the net.

Eastbourne grabbed a consolation with almost the last kick of the game when Carl Harris got the final touch to a goal line scramble deep into stoppage time but it was of no consequence.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Freeman, Sully, Copley, B Poole, Ward, Day, Watson, Baker, Roberts (Weston).

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