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Super Sidley hit back to down Hawks

(September 22, 2018)

Sidley United 5 - 2 Hawkhurst United - ESFL Premier Division

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

It had looked though as if another slow start would cost Sidley as they fell behind for the third match in a row. Casey Ham struck a terrific free kick from 25 yards into the net 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 final 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 kept that momentum going 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 on 48 minutes. 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. 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 goal 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.

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