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Baldwin strikes to put Sidley into final

(April 18, 2018)

St Leonards Social 0 - 1 Sidley United - Hastings FA Intermediate Cup Semi Final

A moment of quality from Sean Baldwin settled this rather low key encounter and ensured Sidley United will play in the final at the Pilot Field against Hollington United.

The Blues began well and enjoyed some early pressure without seriously testing the home goalkeeper. It took Social until around 20 minutes to really start to get a foothold in the tie but likewise they found chances hard to create.

An Andy Garman drive from a half cleared corner was as close as the Blues went while a couple of Social free kicks in dangerous positions were well defended by the Blues back line.

Two minutes after the restart proved to be the decisive minute. Social broke through on the right wing and while Sidley defenders stopped looking for an offside flag that didn't come, the flag was raised when the striker in the middle strayed ahead of the ball as it was crossed into the box.

Moments later Blues struck as Baldwin controlled a cross with his back to goal, shifted the ball past his man and finished past the goalkeeper with his left foot. 

A tired Blues side dropped deep towards the end, inviting pressure as they looked to see out the game but they were solid at the back with Mark Funnell in particular making some timely interceptions and dealing well with the Social attack which was unable to really trouble Joe Rogers. 

Arron Scrace had a chance to seal it on the break but the goalkeeper saved his effort. In the end that mattered little as Sidley ran out winners and they have a chance to finish the season with a trophy when they play the league leaders Hollington in the final at the home of Hastings United. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Funnell, Copley, Day (Eldridge), Hill, Bailey (Kelly), Garman, Scrace, Baldwin. 

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