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Season Review 2015/16

(May 10, 2016)

After a successful season which saw the Blues clinch a league and cup double, we look back over the season. 

Ticehurst 1 - 1 Sidley United - Division One 
(Sidley United later awarded three points)
 
An opening day draw at Ticehurst as Sidley were thwarted by a string of top class saves from home goalkeeper Ryan Hunt.
Ticehurst took the lead on a breakaway through Rob Briley before Arron Scrace headed Sidley level.
However Sidley were awarded the points as it later transpired that Hunt was in fact ineligible to play in the match.
 
Sidley United 3 - 1 Crowhurst - Division One
 
Blues' first win of the season against dogged opposition. Sidley struck right at the end of the first half as Sam Thompson's drive went in off the far post.
Crows levelled through a deflected Karl Tomlin strike but two late goals from Ashley Elphick and Scrace won the points for the Blues.
 
Wadhurst United 1 - 2 Sidley United - Division One
 
Two first half goals from Mark Funnell and Gary Hempe put Sidley in control against a side who best us home and away last season. 
Despite creating numerous chances, Sidley couldn't grab a third and a late Wadhurst goal made the final moments more nervy than they should have been.
 
AFC Hastings 3 - 1 Sidley United - Birchwood Group Challenge Cup 
 
An early cup exit for the Blues who were not at their best in this game. Early pressure from Hastings saw them go 2 goals up before Sidley began to play and got a goal back through Aston Cochrane.
Blues conceded to a breakaway goal before winning a penalty but Keith Miles, in his only appearance of the season, saw his spot kick saved and Sidley crashed out.
 
Sidley United 2 - 0 Eastbourne Rangers - Division One
 
Blues took the lead at the top of the table after seeing off high scoring Rangers.
In a tightly contested game with few clear chances, Sidley got on top in the second half and took the lead through Scrace's header after his shot had come back off the bar.
They made the game safe with a goal at the death from James Bailey who bundled home from on the ground to give Blues a fine win.
 
Sidley United 2 - 0 AFC Hastings - Division One
 
A dominant performance but Blues were frustrated to go in goalless at half time. They didn't have to wait long though as in the first minute of the second half Chris Copley lobbed an effort into the net after the goalkeeper has flapped at a corner.
Sidley got the second after Simon Corke beat a defender and went round the goalkeeper only for Chris Sanderson to beat him to the ball and smash home as Sidley made it 5 wins from 5.
 
The J.C Tackleway 1 - 3 Sidley United - Division One
 
A come from behind victory for the Blues who fell behind to Charlie Cornford's strike. The equaliser came from the head of Elphick from a corner and Blues began to get on top.
Sidley took the lead through Bailey's fierce drive into the top of the net before Corke scored a stoppage him third to put the game beyond doubt.
 
Partridge Green 0 - 3 Sidley United - Sussex FA Junior Cup First Round
 
The first step on the road to cup glory came away to the West Sussex league side. Lee Roberts grabbed his first two Sidley goals inside 20 minutes which Bailey added to in the second half.
A comfortable afternoon for the Blues who could and probably should have scored more.
 
Sidley United 2 - 1 Wadhurst United - Division One
 
Another come from behind victory as Wadhurst took the lead after just 5 minutes with a neat passing move finished off by Lee Bates. However Blues levelled 3 minutes later as Bailey rifled home after Scrace's shot was parried before Roberts used his strength well to score with a shot on the turn low into the corner.
In poor conditions in the second half, both teams had chances but the most notable moment was a red card for Wadhurst's Edward Clark for a headbutt on John Carey.
 
Sidley United 6 - 1 AFC Hastings - Hastings FA Junior Cup 
 
A comprehensive win for the Blues against league rivals as Roberts, Funnell and Scrace gave Sidley a commanding 3 goal lead at the break.
Roberts bagged two more to complete his hat trick and Scrace grabbed another before a needless late penalty conceded gave Hastings the chance to grab a consolation but it mattered little to the outcome of this tie. 
 
Sidley United vs Ticehurst - Division One
 
Match not played as Ticehurst unable to raise a side. Walkover win for Sidley United.
 
AFC Hastings 1 - 3 Sidley United - Division One
 
Blues continued their perfect league record with victory at a windy Bexhill Road. Blues took advantage of a mix up at the back as Elphick nipped in to open the scoring. 
Sidley grabbed a second as Corke dummied cleverly for Scrace to fire in a second goal before Hastings grabbed a goal out of nothing with a shot at the near post.
Sidley made the game safe with the final kick as Scrace curled in the third.
 
Sidley United vs AFC Hastings - Sussex FA Junior Cup Second Round 
 
Match not played as AFC Hastings unable to raise a side. Walkover win for Sidley United. AFC Hastings withdrew from the league shortly afterwards.
 
Sidley United 1 - 0 The J.C Tackleway - Division One
 
After a month off action, Sidley continued the winning run by seeing off Tackleway in a tight game. Tackleway had early opportunities but were unable to take them.
John Carey smashed the bar with an effort from outside the area but went one better shortly after, finding the corner of the net from a simile position.
Blues made more chances in the second half but Scrace was denied by the post and Elphick rolled an effort wide but Blues held on.
 
Ticehurst 0 - 4 Sidley United - Sussex FA Junior Cup Third Round
 
In a game moved to Hooe Rec, Sidley were comfortable but it took a rocket from Gary Hempe on 30 minutes to get them in front. Hempe completed a first half hat trick with a brace of penalties after Sanderson and Roberts were brought down.
A fourth goal arrived in the second half from Carey and Bailey went close to a fifth as Sidley moved into the Quarter Finals.
 
Eastbourne Rangers 5 - 1 Sidley United - Division One
 
Blues tasted league defeat for the first time on Rangers' 3G pitch. They led after 2 minutes when a handball led to a penalty which Hempe converted comfortably and Sidley had the better opening 20 minutes but Rangers scored two goals in as many minutes to lead at the break.
In windy conditions, Blues struggled to get out of their half in the second period and Rangers scored a third with a swift cross field move before 2 late goals from Matthew Wheeler added some gloss to the score on a rare off day for the Blues.
 
Midway 1948 FC 1 - 3 Sidley United - Sussex FA Junior Cup Quarter Final 
 
After a late change of venue, Blues fell behind early on as Veenaye Munsaram rounded Rogers to give Midway of the Brighton District League the lead. Sidley were the stronger side though and levelled through Scrace's penalty after Roberts was brought down.
Funnell headed Sidley in front from a free kick and Cochrane's stoppage time goal sealed Blues' place in the semi finals.
 
Sidley United 1 - 3 Crowhurst (after extra time) - Hastings FA Cup Quarter Final
 
Blues missed a string of chances to win this game in the 90 minutes and were made to pay. An even first half ended goalless but Blues struck 17 seconds into the second half through Elphick's firm finish but Crowhurst levelled when Jordan Turner turned home a corner at the back post. Sidley thought they'd won it at the death but Scrace's shot came back off the inside of the post. 
In the first extra period, Crows scored when a free kick was flicked on to Steven Mcgowan who finished low before the same player closed down a clearance and raced through to slot low past Rogers and dump Sidley out.
 
Saturday 5th March 
Sidley United 4 - 1 Woodingdean Wanderers - Sussex FA Junior Cup Semi Final 
 
Blues cruised into the final against a young and inexperienced Woodingdean. Early goals from Elphick and Ian May set Blues on the way and a brace from Scrace meant Blues led 4 - 0 at the break.
Funnell was sent off for pushing a Woodingdean player during a melee and Sanderson was belatedly shown a second yellow for a foul after the referee initially forgot he had already booked him. 
Woodingdean pulled a goal back late on but it made little difference to the outcome.
 
Saturday 12th March
Ticehurst 1 - 6 Sidley United - Division One
 
Struggling Ticehurst only had 10 men for this game and Blues soon took control, scoring through Cochrane's free kick, an overhead from Scrace and a brace from Roberts to go in 4 - 0 up at the break.
Cochrane smashed a penalty against the bar before Ticehurst scored a goal on the break through Steve Travers. However Sidley got back to work, scoring through Corke and Elphick as they moved closer to top spot.
 
Saturday 19th March
Crowhurst 1 - 2 Sidley United - Division One
 
James Bailey's best performance of the season won this game for Sidley. Blues took the lead when Rogers' long kick found Bailey who delayed cleverly before rolling the ball low into the net. Crowhurst equalised through a penalty given away by a rash challenge from Rogers and thought they'd taken the lead as a shot hit the underside of the bar but the referee ruled the ball had not crossed the line.
Sidley went back in front as Bailey raced onto a clever ball through from Scrace and fired in t the near post and almost chested in a third from Cochrane's cross as Sidley sealed a vital win.
 
Saturday 26th March
The J.C. Tackleway 3 - 2 Sidley United - Division One
 
Blues slipped to their second league defeat of the season as Charlie Cornford bagged a hat trick. Cornford raced through on 6 minutes to put Tackleway in front but Sidley equalised through Scrace's firm finish from the edge of the area to go in level at the break.
Cornford again scored a virtually identical goal, running through and rounding Rogers before he closed down Rogers' clearance and saw the ball roll into the net for his hat trick. 
An own goal at a corner gave Blues a lifeline but though they had chances they couldn't force an equaliser.
 
Monday 28th March 
Old Hastonians 1 - 3 Sidley United - Division One
 
An important win against tough opposition. Blues took the lead when Hempe's free kick went straight through ex Sidley goalkeeper Jon Saunders before Corke made it 2 as he followed up his initially saved shot.
Hastonians scored through Garman with their first effort on goal but Blues restored the 2 goal lead as Dom Clarke headed a free kick into his own net.
Rogers made a vital save to keep Hastonians at bay in the second half before Roberts somehow hit the bar from 4 yards out but Sidley claimed a huge win.
 
Wednesday 6th April
Sidley United 6 - 4 Wadhurst United (after extra time) - Sussex FA Junior Cup Final
 
Blues clinches the first trophy of the season in an epic final. Wadhurst led after 8 minutes as Lee Bates lifted the ball over Rogers but Sidley levelled when Elphick finished low. Wadhurst went in at the break in front as Ryan Bateman turned in a free kick at the far post but Scrace cancelled that out early in the second period.
John Penny headed in a corner but Sidley equalised for a third time through Scrace to forxe extra time.
Hempe gave Sidley the lead before a fine finish from Bailey. Wadhurst responsed with 2 minutes to go as Harry Bateman scored but Scrace was felled in the box a monure later allowing Hempe to score from the spot and finally seal the cup.
 
Saturday 9th April
Sidley United 2 - 2 Old Hastonians - Division One
 
Blues were pegged back by a late equaliser as the long week had an effect. Sidley led through Tom Cusden's unfortunate own goal and Cochrane's classy finish in the second half.
However Hastonians scrambled home a corner and grabbed an 87th minute equaliser at another set piece to claim a draw. 
 
Saturday 16th April
Sidley United 1 - 0 Eastbourne Rangers - Division One
 
The day the title was effectively won. Another right encounter where Sidley shaded the play but few chances for either until Funnell glanced in a cross on 78 minutes to put Sidley in front.
Hempe had a piledriving effort tipped over while Rangers were unable to create any clear chances as Sidley secured the win which realistically decided the destination of the title.
 
Saturday 23rd April
Wadhurst United vs Sidley United - Division One
 
Match not played as Wadhurst United unable to raise a side. Walkover win for Sidley United.
 
Monday 2nd May
Sidley United vs Crowhurst - Division One
 
Match not played as Crowhurst unable to raise a side. Walkover win for Sidley United which clinched the title.
 
Saturday 7th May
Sidley United 2 - 3 Old Hastonians - Division One
 
Blues finished their campaign with their only home defeat of the season on the day they lifted the title. Despite having more possession, it was Hastonians who led at the break as Chris Moon finished off a neat passing move.
Second half goals from Carey and Roberts looked to have won the game for Blues but a late Moon equaliser was followed up by Foster's stoppage time winner to take the gloss off the afternoon.
However, the Blues lifted the trophy which confirmed the status as Champions and Double Winners.
 
And that's the season. End of season awards are going to be presented on Saturday 21st May. Then comes a summer break before we embark on a first campaign in the ESFL Premier Division next season.

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