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Blues end season with home draw

(April 08, 2017)

Sidley United 1 - 1 St Leonards Social - ESFL Premier Division

Sidley United ended their maiden ESFL Premier Division campaign with a hard fought home draw against St Leonards Social.

With regular striker Sean Baldwin missing for the Blues, they lacked a focal point in the early exchanges and struggled to create much going forward.

Social had also created little of note but took the lead with the first good bit of football in the match. A neat move down the left ended with Andy Garman heading past Rogers after 10 minutes to give the visitors the lead.

A change in shape saw Mark Funnell move up front from centre back as Blues looked to have more of an impact in the opposition penalty area and they began to have some joy with James Bailey twice being denied by visiting goalkeeper Gavin Bourne before half time. However it was fair to say that Social certainly had the better of the first half with the glorious sunshine often more of a talking point than action on the pitch.

The half time whistle seemed to galvanise Sidley who equalised within the first minute of the second period. Some positive play by Chris Sanderson, on for the injured Adam Day, enabled a cross from the right which was turned past his own goalkeeper by a Social defender. 

Sidley began to get on top and almost went in front when a lovely move saw a dangerous low cross by Gary Hempe defended well by a covering Social defender.

Both teams had late chances to win it late on as Sidley first gave the ball away in their own penalty area and were saved by a last ditch block before almost winning it when Bourne clawed the ball away from just under his crossbar.

However a winning goal wasn't to be and a draw was probably a fair reflection. The draw does at least ensure that Sidley will finish in the top half of the table although their chances of finishing third are almost surely over now given rival's matches remaining.

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

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