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Blues beaten at Tackleway in title blow

(March 26, 2016)

The J.C. Tackleway 3 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Division One

Sidley United suffered a huge setback in their quest for the title as a hat-trick from Tackleway striker Charlie Cornford condemned them to their second defeat of the season.

The Blues began the stronger and had the best of the early exchanges before Tackleway scored on 6 minutes. Cornford's pace took him though on goal and as Sidley goalkeeper came out to meet him, he won the contest with Rogers to score for the home side. 

Sidley soon got into the ascendency though and created numerous chances, with the game virtually played in the Tackleway half. However they were unable to make the pressure pay. Tackleway's tactic was simple - to play the long ball and let Cornford use his pace and Sidley looked susceptible to it throughout.

Sidley did equalise just before the half time whistle as a good low ball in from Lee Roberts was turned high into the net by Arron Scrace as Sidley's dominance was finally rewarded.

The sense was though that Sidley weren't at their best, with several players carrying knocks or suffering illness. And three minutes into the second half Tackleway retook the lead with a virtually identical goal to their first, Sidley lost the midfield challenge and Cornford ran through before rounding Rogers and firing home.

There was a key 60 second period which could well have decided the result though. A Sidley corner was headed against the underside of the bar as opposed to going in. From the long kick forward Cornford challenged Rogers, whose attempted clearance rebounded off the striker and rolled into the net to put the home side 3 - 1 to the good.

Despite the scoreline, Sidley still had the majority of the play and pulled a goal back on 69 minutes as a corner from the right was turned in at the near post by a Tackleway defender.

They then continued to press forward and Scrace came close to equalising as another good cross from Roberts found him at the far post but his effort was agonisingly wide. Blues had to play the final minutes with 10 men as James Godden picked up what appeared a bad knee injury and Tackleway were content to keep the ball high up the pitch as they sought to hold on to the win.

A frustrating result which surely hands the initiative to Eastbourne Rangers and makes Monday's match at Old Hastonians even more important.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Godden, Aston, Copley (Hempe), Eldridge, Day, Cochrane (Sanderson), Bailey (Carey), Scrace, Corke, Roberts.

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