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Last second penalty denies Blues win

(December 05, 2020)

Sporting Lindfield 2 - 2 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division

A contentious penalty kick, which was the final action of the game, denied a rusty Sidley United a win on their return to action.

After an enforced month off, the Blues found it a struggle to get going on a poor pitch in the first half and fell behind on 20 minutes as a ball in from the right was turned home from close range by Alex Pollard giving Blues' debutant goalkeeper Phil Hawkins no chance.

The home side were battling for every ball and seemed more determined however the game seemed to turn in Sidley's favour as Sporting's Tony Hughes was shown a straight red card for violent conduct towards Lee Carey who was booked for his part in the flashpoint. But even that failed to yield immediate benefits as the Blues created only a couple of half chances as they went in at the break a goal behind.

Making use of the new 'rolling subs' rule both sides made changes and Sidley began to threaten. On 60 minutes home goalkeeper Harry Stewart made an excellent save to deny Alan Foster but from the resulting corner Danny Ellis headed home from close range to bring Sidley level.

With the momentum in their favour, Sidley pushed for the next goal but it was from another set piece that they got it as a corner from the other side found Rhys Whybourne who headed the ball down and into the net on 77 minutes. 

The game, which had become needly with bookings on both sides, seemed to be in Sidley's pocket but the crucial third goal didn't arrive as Charlie Cornford missed a good chance to seal it before the final second drama unfolded. 

After the Blues failed to hold the ball high up the pitch, Sporting broke forward and after a coming together of players the referee pointed to the spot, to lots of argument. However the referee was set on his decision and Daryl Mothee slotted home the spot kick with the referee blowing for full time immediately after. 

Two points dropped given the circumstances but maybe Sidley would have considered themselves fortunate if they had taken all three. Next week the Blues are back at home as they welcome Willingdon Athletic to Little Common Rec.

Sidley Team: Hawkins, Clifford, Walker, Hickman-Smith, Elliott-Noye, Bristow, Foster, Ellis, Carey, Cornford, Baldwin. Subs: McEniry, Whybourne, Elphick, Trickett, Wells. 

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