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Blues upset Baptists to reach cup semi

(February 11, 2017)

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Battle Baptists 1 - 2 Sidley United - Hastings FA Intermediate Cup Quarter Final 

Sidley United produced an excellent performance to see off title challengers Battle Baptists and set up a semi final against league leaders Hollington United In the Hastings FA Intermediate Cup.

Blues were handed an unexpected home advantage as the match was switched to Hooe Rec with Battle's home pitch waterlogged. However, on a heavy pitch, this was always going to be more of a battle than a display of free-flowing football. Blues made one change from their previous outing in the rout against Ore with Mickey O'Callaghan coming in for John Carey.
 
Battle started the stronger, with Sidley perhaps showing too much respect to the title chasing contender. This allowed Battle to dominate the early play but without really threatening the Sidley goal. Sidley grew into the game and started to exert pressure on the Battle goal in the last 15 minutes of the first half. 
 
Goalless at half time, the tie was very much still in the balance. This changed only four minutes into the second half however, when a Sidley attack brought the first goal of the game, with James Bailey coolly finishing off a smart move. 
 
One became two just three minutes later as Sean Baldwin found the net after winning the ball, holding off two defenders and turning to slot the ball past the Battle keeper. A fine individual goal, showing the qualities Baldwin has added to this Sidley side. Baldwin almost made it three, shooting across goal narrowly wide of the far post. 
 
Battle kept the tie alive, however, with a goal on the hour mark. A free-kick lofted into the box, was headed down by a Sidley defender rather than up and away and the ball fell at the feet of a Battle attacker who poked it past Sidley keeper Joe Rogers.
 
This gave Battle a lift and they pushed on looking to take the tie into extra time. Sidley defended staunchly though, whilst also taking the game to Battle when the opportunity came. Blues saw the game out, ending Battle's run of 8 straight wins and sealing a semi final encounter at home to Hollington United.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Elphick (Funnell), Hempe, Copley, Eldridge, Cole, Day, O'Callaghan (Agutter), Bailey (Sanderson), Scrace, Baldwin. 

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