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Blues suffer title setback in home loss

(March 26, 2022)

Sidley United 1 - 2 AFC Southwick - MSFL Premier Division

Sidley United suffered a setback in their push for the MSFL title as AFC Southwick came from behind to take all three points.

A tight first half played out in strong windy conditions saw both teams struggle to really dominate the game but Sidley took the lead through one quality moment on 10 minutes. Tyler Capon played a brilliantly timed ball through for Paul Rogers to run onto, staying onside to get in one on one with the Southwick goalkeeper and he slotted home calmly to give Blues the lead.

Sidley had chances to extend their lead playing into the wind as Rogers forced the visiting goalkeeper into a low save before Lee Carey's strike from distance just evaded the far post. Southwick didn't create many moments, their best coming as a shot on the turn forced Dan Hutchins to parry the ball clear.

In the second period, Sidley nearly doubled the lead when a long throw came out to the edge of the area to Danny Ellis and his strike evaded the crowd of bodies but cannoned back off the post before being cleared.

On 66 minutes a defensive miscommunication saw two Sidley defenders go for the same ball which then came through to the unmarked Southwick player. Despite the shot being blocked behind for a corner, the resulting set piece saw the ball fall at the feet of Sean Russell who slotted high into the net to level the scores. 

A potentially decisive moment came moments later when a Sidley attack was scuppered by a deliberate handball from a Southwick defender however the referee deemed there was a covering player coming in and chose to show a yellow card instead of red. The resulting free kick was steered just wide of the far post by Carey.

But it was to be Southwick who would find the winner with 5 minutes to go as they countered on the Blues and the cross in from the right was met by Andy McDowell to spark celebrations amongst the visitors. There was still time for Sidley to nearly snatch a point but Toby Clifford inadvertently blocked Carey's shot across goal before the final whistle sounded.

The Blues are without a game next week and are next in action against title rivals AFC Ringmer on April 9th - where a win for the Blues could effectively all but secure the title.

Sidley Team: Hutchins, Featherstone, McEniry, Walker, Elliott-Noye, Ellis, Carey, Cornford, Cumming-Bart, Capon, Rogers. Subs: N Crabb, Clifford, McCue, Trickett, S Crabb.

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