Match Reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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