2017/18

Hollington United 5 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 12th May 2018

It was a dramatic finish to the East Sussex football league campaign as three late goals saw Hollington United come from behind to take the title in their final match in the ESFL. 

The hosts needed a win to take the crown away from Battle Baptists and they made a fast start, taking the lead after just 2 minutes as Grant Payne followed up to score after an initial shot was saved. However Sidley showed they weren't here to make up the numbers and they levelled on 7 minutes through Sean Baldwin's 24th goal of the season - ensuring he finished the season as the league's top goalscorer.

Things got even better for Sidley on 23 minutes as Rosh Wells put them 2 - 1 up with a free kick which the home goalkeeper perhaps should have done better with. The remainder of the half saw Sidley defend doggedly with goalkeeper Joe Rogers making no less than 3 fantastic saves as they got to the interval with a slender lead.

At half time news filtered through that Rye Town had suffered a surprise defeat at bottom side Crowhurst, ensuring that Sidley would finish in third place regardless of their result. And early on the Blues twice went close to extending their lead as only a fingertip save denied Arron Scrace while Chris Copley headed a corner against the crossbar.

Just moments after that though Hollington were level after an initial shot was headed as far as the edge of the area where it was smashed home by Callum Smith. However, with Hollington pushing for the winner that they needed, a suicidal throw in towards their own goalkeeper allowed Scrace to nip in and he was brought down for a penalty by the goalkeeper which Gary Hempe confidently tucked away on 77 minutes to restore the Blues' lead.

Hollington were throwing everything at Sidley and on 84 minutes they won themselves a penalty when Chris Copley fell over in the area and the ball struck his hand. Smith rolled home the spot kick and set the scene for further late drama. Just a few moments after the restart Baldwin was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident to put Sidley down to 10 men with minutes remaining.

And with just 2 minutes to go a long ball pumped into the Sidley area wasn't cleared and the ball dropped for Anthony Storey and his shot from just inside the area flew into the top corner to spark jubilant scenes amongst the home contingent. And Hollington weren't finished as in the first minute of stoppage time a lobbed effort from Jan Bailey flew over Rogers' head and into the net to finally secure the title for the home side. 

A terrific, see-saw afternoon which was played in the right spirit and with great quality from both sides. Congratulations to Hollington who will move into the Mid Sussex League next season and thank you to all the fans for your support throughout the season.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Eldridge, Hempe, Cole, Copley, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Garman, Elphick, Scrace, Baldwin.

Crowhurst 0 - 8 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Tuesday 8th May 2018

A 6 goal haul from Sean Baldwin helped Sidley record their biggest win of the season at basement side Crowhurst. 

On a rather overgrown pitch Sidley dominated from the off and Baldwin grabbed his first as he controlled a cross and fired into the bottom corner on 12 minutes. 

His second came on 19 minutes as a nice one-two with Lee Carey put him in on goal and he fired low into the opposite corner while his hat-trick goal was a tap in from yards out after good work by Arron Scrace on 40 minutes. Scrace then got in on the act just before half time with a similar tap in. 

Early in the second half Sidley seemed to have dropped the tempo but they picked themselves up to score again as Baldwin took the ball from Scrace in the area to finish with his left foot. His fifth goal arrived on 68 minutes as he took down a cross from the right and fired home. 

Goal of the match though had to go to Josh Elliott-Noye as he volleyed home first time a high cross on 80 minutes for number seven. It was left to Baldwin to wrap up the scoring on 83 minutes as he mopped up when the Crows goalkeeper spilled a shot at his feet. 

Six goals for Baldwin certainly helps in his personal quest for the top league scorer award whilst Sidley rise to third in the table but will probably need a result at Hollington United on their final game on Saturday if hey are to finish there. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, Eldridge, Hempe, Cole, Copley, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Elphick (Scott), Scrace, L Carey, Baldwin. 

Hollington United 1 - 0 Sidley United - Hastings FA Intermediate Cup Final - Saturday 5th May 2018

Sidley United suffered late heartbreak as a Chris Copley own goal was enough for Hollington United to clinch the cup.

On another very hot afternoon Sidley were forced to play in luminous yellow due to the referee deeming there to be a kit clash. A couple of early efforts from Gary Hempe showed warning to the league leaders. 

But after Ian May picked up an injury and had to be replaced Hollington grew more into the game with their biggest threat coming down the right hand side but on the few occasions when they did get into dangerous positions the final shot found the side netting.

Sidley then created the best chance of the half as Arron Scrace was played through and from just inside the right of the penalty area his shot cannoned back off the crossbar with the Hollington goalkeeper beaten. 

After the interval it was Sidley who again created the best opportunities as Sean Baldwin was twice inches away from meeting dangerous balls into the box. 

The game seemed destined to go to extra time but with 3 minutes to go Sidley were hit by a sucker punch. A Hollington forward got to the byline and his ball in towards Jan Bailey hit the leg of Copley and wrong footed Joe Rogers as it rolled into the back of the net. 

There was still time for the Hollington goalkeeper to deny Baldwin an equaliser as Sidley pushed for a route back into the game but Hollington held on to lift the trophy.

A tough one to take after such a positive performance but Sidley must rally quickly as they travel to basement side Crowhurst on Monday. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May (Day), Hempe, Funnell, Copley, Cole, Hill, Elphick (Scott), Garman (Bailey), Scrace, Baldwin. 

Sidley United 0 - 1 Bexhill Town - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 21st April 2018

Sidley United slipped to defeat in their final home match of the season as Bexhill Town took the points in this local derby. 

A hot afternoon which necessitated drinks breaks in both halves for the players produced few chances. A Bexhill corner was headed off the line by Ian May whilst at the other end Sean Baldwin and Ash Elphick were off target for the Blues. 

But Sidley gave away some rather needless free kicks and from one such set piece on 41 minutes Bexhill took the lead as the ball was poked home from inside the area by Kelvin Lowes. 

Sidley began the second half positively and thought they had a way back into the game when a Sidley forward was brought down by the Town goalkeeper. However to the disbelief of the Sidley faithful the referee chose not to award a penalty despite the strong appeals and rather sheepishly restarted play with a goal kick. 

The Blues continued to enjoy the bulk of the play as Town looked to hit them on the break. But despite Sidley battering them, the well organised Town defence held firm as the visitors took all 3 points. 

A disappointing result but with 2 league matches and a cup final left Sidley are still on course for their best camping since joining the East Sussex Football League. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Copley, Funnell  Elliott-Noye, Wells, Elphick (Robb), Scrace, L Carey, Baldwin. 

St Leonards Social 0 - 1 Sidley United - Hastings FA Intermediate Cup Semi Final - Wednesday 18th April 2018

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 in to start to really 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 from 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 a flag that didn't come, the flag was raised when the striker in the middle strayed in front 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 late on, 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 take on 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.

Rye Town 2 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 7th April 2018

A makeshift Sidley United side moved up to third in the table as they overtook Rye Town with another impressive win. 

Missing a number of regular players the Blues could have been forgiven for not finding their usual rhythm but they defied the changes by racing into a two goal lead with early strikes from Lee Carey on 6 and James Bailey on 8 minutes. 

The game appeared as good as over when Rosh Wells added a third Sidley goal on 30 minutes but Rye gave themselves a lifeline as Charlie Stevens struck a couple of minutes later. Despite that setback the Blues went in at the break firmly in control. 

The second half saw Rye come forward determined to get back into the game but Sidley defended resolutely. The home side did manage to grab another goal through Stevens' second of the match to reduce the arrears but the Blues held on. 

An excellent result for Sidley who rose to third with the win and on this recent form must be confident of a successful finish to the season. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Scott, Elliott-Noye, Eldridge, Kelly, Wells (Robb), Garman, Scrace, Bailey (Uttley), L Carey. 

Sedlescombe Rangers 2 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Monday 2nd April 2018

Sidley United continued their good run of form to see off Sedlescombe Rangers and strengthen their grip on fourth place in the table. 

With Sedlescombe's pitch waterlogged the game was moved to Hooe Rec and Sidley began well. A number of corners in quick succession saw Blues hit the post before another resulted in Josh Elliott-Noye heading them in front on 21 minutes. 

As the rain fell harder Sedlescombe levelled on 38 minutes as a fortunate deflection fell for Matt Shaw and his low strike then took another deflection to beat Joe Rogers at his near post and level the scores at the break. 

The Blues made a double substitution in the second half after Chris Copley picked up a hand injury but they restored the lead on 63 minutes as a clever through ball was slotted home by Lee Carey from just inside the area.  

Sedlescombe came forward in search of the equaliser but on 84 minutes they left Sean Baldwin in too much space in the area and the Blues' top scorer slammed the ball home. 

That goal proved vital as Sedlescombe somehow contrived to miss a glorious chance after the striker rounded Rogers but steered his shot wide of the post. Moments later though Michael Booth controlled an excellent cross, cut in from the right and arched a shot past the dive of Rogers to reduce the arrears. 

That made for a tense final few minutes as an often overly fussy referee added on almost 6 minutes stoppage time but Sidley protected the ball well to see out the win. 

An important win for the Blues who should be given a lot of credit for turning in another good performance just 2 days after Saturday's excellent result against higher grade opponents. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Copley (Cole), Funnell, Wells, Elliott-Noye, Bailey (Scott), Scrace, L Carey, Baldwin. 

Sidley United 5 - 1 Westfield - Hastings FA Intermediate Cup Quarter Final - Saturday 31st March 2018

Sidley United put in arguably a performance of the season as they progressed to the Semi Final of this cup competition with a thumping victory over County league outfit Westfield.

The Blues got off to a dream start as Sean Baldwin headed home a left wing cross after just 3 minutes. The visitors seemed to struggle to cope with Sidley's energy and movement up front and they had further chances before the game was effectively put to bed with 3 goals in 3 minutes.

First Baldwin did well down the right to get away from his man and fed Ash Elphick who finished low into the bottom corner past Westfield goalkeeper Gavin Bourne. Barely a minute later Arron Scrace was played through and he steered a low shot into the far corner before Baldwin got the fourth moments later as he smashed an effort inside Bourne's near post.

Joe Rogers made a couple of important saves to keep Westfield at bay before the interval. Sidley looked to be cruising to an excellent victory but it was put into doubt at half time as the referee, nursing a hamstring injury, seemed unable to continue but after conversations with both sides he decided he would be able to complete the game.

The second half lacked the drama of the first as Sidley understandably looked to protect what they had. The visitors did get on the scoresheet as Kevaughn Ward scored with a free kick from the edge of the area on 72 minutes. But Baldwin wrapped up his hat-trick on 77 minutes as he played a nice one-two with Elphick before dinking the ball over Bourne to wrap up the scoring.

A terrfiic performance sees Sidley deservedly through to face either Sedlescombe Rangers or St Leonards Social. Blues are back in action at Sedlescombe on Bank Holiday Monday.

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Copley, Funnell, Cole, Scott (Carey), Bailey (Uttley), Elphick, Scrace, Baldwin.

Ore Athletic 0 - 6 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 24th March 2018

Sidley United picked up their biggest win of the season with a comfortable victory at troubled Ore Athletic.

The Blues gave a debut to Lee Carey, brother of boss John, but it was a familiar face who got the ball rolling as top scorer Sean Baldwin netted after just 30 seconds. 

Baldwin struck the post with another effort before Carey capped a dominant midfield display with a low strike into the bottom corner on 27 minutes. The most danger the Sidley defence encountered was when Chris Copley was adjudged to have brought down an Ore player just outside the area but the resulting free kick came to nothing. 

The second half was an even more one way affair as Sidley dominated and were only denied further goals by a number of crucial blocks. Eventually though Blues did find the net as Gary Hempe struck a venomous free kick from 30 yards on 70 minutes. 

The floodgates really opened late on. Josh Elliott-Noye was upended in the area to allow Hempe to stroke home from the spot on 83 minutes before Elliott-Noye scored with a looping header on 87 and Baldwin rolled home Sidley's 6th just 2 minutes later to wrap up the scoring. 

A good afternoon should help boost the confidence as Sidley now turn their attention to a meeting with Westfield in the Quarter Finals of the Hastings FA Intermediate Cup next weekend.

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Cole, Copley, Elliott-Noye, Carey, Wells, Elphick (Uttley), Scrace (Bailey), Baldwin. 

Sidley United 0 - 3 Northiam 75 - ESFL Premier Travel Challenge Cup Semi Final - Saturday 10th March 2018

Sidley United saw a chance of silverware disappear as Division One leaders Northiam earned a 3 - 0 win to progress to the final of the ESFL Premier Travel Challenge Cup. 

The Blues knew they would be in for a tough match against a Northiam team who have been prolific in the league this season but it was their defensive organisation which frustrated Blues early on as a number of corners came to nothing. 

At the other end Northiam struck as a lovely passing move was finished off by leading marksman Scott Embery who slotted low past Joe Rogers on 23 minutes. 

Sidley huffed and puffed but Northiam defended resolutely and only a couple of half chances fell to Arron Scrace before the interval. 

In the second half Northiam grabbed a simple second goal as a free kick was nodded down to Stephen Housago who slotted home on 58 minutes. 

Blues pressed after that and enjoyed the bulk of the possession but failed to create any real clear chance as Northiam's dogged and determined approach to the game served them well. 

And with Sidley pushing men forward and taking chances defensively, Northiam wrapped it up on the break in the 89th minute as Embery was left alone in space and finished low past Rogers to put the seal on the win. 

A disappointing afternoon for Sidley but credit a Northiam side who were worth the win and on this showing will hold their own in the Premier Division next season. The Blues are without a game next weekend. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Funnell, Cole, Copley, Thompson (Carey), Wells, Elliott-Noye, Elphick (Day), Scrace (Bailey), Baldwin. 

Sidley United 2 - 1 St Leonards Social - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 24th February 2018

Sidley United saw off rivals St Leonards Social to strengthen their hold on fourth place in the table. 

The Blues began positively and unlike last week they maintained that level of performance for the majority of the game. Sean Baldwin had already gone close to giving them an early lead with a lobbed effort before he cut inside and smashed a powerful shot high into the net on 19 minutes. 

The remainder of the half was an even contest with Social belying their third bottom position to play some neat football, orchestrated mainly by Brett Patten. However with only a few half chances for either side the half ended with Sidley in front. 

Early in the second half a couple of goal-line blocks in quick succession were needed to keep Social from equalising before Sidley doubled their lead. Arron Scrace rolled his man and struck a low left foot finish underneath the goalkeeper on 65 minutes. 

Blues weren't able to relax though as just four minutes later Shane Ryan capitalised on a mistake at the back and finished well past Joe Rogers from wide on the left. 

Both sides had presentable chances late on as Social struck an effort just wide of the near post before James Bailey was denied by a smart save from the Social goalkeeper.

However Sidley held on for the win and will now turn their attention to two cup competitions starting with next week's scheduled Quarter Final against Westfield in the Hastings FA Intermediate Cup. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Elphick (Garman), Cole, Copley, Kelly, Scott, Wells, Elliott-Noye, Scrace (Bailey), Baldwin. 

Sidley United 1 - 1 Hawkhurst United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 17th February 2018

Sidley United went fourth in the table despite a poor performance as they drew 1 - 1 at home to Hawkhurst United. 

The Blues gave a debut to new signing Corey Scott, signed from Sedlescombe Rangers, in midfield but it was his young team-mate Rosh Wells who got Sidley off to a terrific start as his low 25 yard shot hit the inside of the post and rolled across the goal line and into the net. 

But after that Sidley put in a largely listless performance despite Hawkhurst having to play the opening 15 minutes with only 10 men. Once the numbers were evened up though Sidley did have a golden chance to double the lead as the away goalkeeper gifted the ball to Arron Scrace but his reluctance to shoot early saw the chance go begging. 

Hawkhurst came more into the game on a bobbly pitch as Sidley seemed off the pace and only two good saves by goalkeeper Joe Rogers kept the Blues in front before half time. 

But on 64 minutes Robert Guile took advantage of some slack defending to draw the visitors level with a shot high into the net from just inside the penalty area. That setback failed to stir Sidley from their slumber and they were perhaps glad to come away with a point in the end given their performance. 

A disappointing display today but Blues still moved up two places in the table and will hope to consolidate their position by playing better and taking points from the games in hand they have on the teams around them.

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Elphick (Hardy), Cole, Copley, Carey (Bailey), Scott, Wells (Bailey), Elliott-Noye, Scrace, Baldwin. 

Robertsbridge United 0 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Travel Challenge Cup Quarter Final - Saturday 3rd February 2018

Sean Baldwin was Sidley's match winner once again as his second half goal earned the Blues victory and set up a semi final against Division One side Northiam 75.

The match was switched to Hooe Rec due to the unavailability of the Robertsbridge pitch and the persistent rain made for difficult playing conditions. The opening 45 minutes forged only a half chance with a header from a corner for Robertsbridge while Blues' best chance came when Arron Scrace got through on goal but his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. 

Five minutes after the restart Sidley took the lead as a cross from the left by Gary Hempe was controlled well by Sean Baldwin before he struck the ball confidently into the net. 

The Blues dropped deeper looking to protect their lead but Robertsbridge failed to seriously test Joe Rogers in the Sidley goal with the few shots they managed all too often failing to find the target. 

Scrace had a couple of chances on the break to wrap it up but was unable to take them while he was also unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when he appeared to be brought down in the area late on. 

However Sidley were worthy of the win and they will perhaps see this competition as a good opportunity of lifting a trophy come the end of the season. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Cole, Copley, Funnell, Carey (Elphick), Wells, Elliott-Noye, Scrace (Bailey), Baldwin. 

Sidley United 4 - 3 Robertsbridge United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 27th January 2018

Sidley United survived a late rally from Robertsbridge United to pick up 3 points in a highly dramatic encounter which featured some quite excellent goals.

The game was only 3 minutes old when Josh Elliott-Noye headed against the post for the Blues who were awarded a penalty on 9 minutes when a Robertsbridge player handled in the area. Rosh Wells stepped up to take it but he dragged his effort wide of the right hand post.

To compound Sidley's frustration the visitors then went in front on 13 minutes as Chris Phillips cut inside and bent an effort past Joe Rogers and into the top corner of the net. But the Blues weren't behind for long as they equalised on 19 minutes. Ash Elphick was denied by a great last ditch challenge but Sean Baldwin was on hand to pick up the loose ball and finish into the far corner.

Baldwin then gave the Blues a half time lead with a sumptuous first time finish a minute before the break and Arron Scrace, who enjoyed an excellent game, put Sidley further clear with another terrific strike from the edge of the area 3 minutes into the second half.

The game appeared as good as over when Baldwin completed his hat-trick on 68 minutes as a free kick dropped to him in the box and he calmly stroked the ball low into the corner to put Sidley 4 - 1 up.

But Sidley's confidence that the game was won was challenged as Connor Benton Powell picked his way through to finish smartly on 82 minutes before a long goal kick found Curtis Coombes completely unmarked to slot home on 86 minutes to make the scoreline 4 - 3.

The Robertsbridge manager was sent from the touchline in the final minute for dissent shown towards the referee as the Blues held on for the points to move up 2 places in the table.

Sidley Team: Rogers, May (Bailey), Elphick (Uttley), Cole (Funnell), Copley, Kelly, Elliott-Noye, Thompson, Wells, Scrace, Baldwin.

Sidley United 2 - 2 Rye United - ESFL Premier Divison - Saturday 20th January 2018

Sidley United showed great character as they recovered from 2 goals behind to come back to draw against Rye Town in the only ESFL Premier Division game to beat the weather on Saturday.

The Blues began strongly and Rosh Wells hit an excellent free kick just over the crossbar but the visitors struck after 10 minutes as a cross in from the left was met by the head of Richie Weller who guided the ball back across goal and into the corner of the net.

Rye enjoyed the better of the half but Sidley goalkeeper Joe Rogers wasn't called into action too often as most shots came from distance and were relatively comfortable although much of the game was played in the Blues' half.

Rye struck the crossbar with another effort from distance 6 minutes into the second half and it looked like it was game over when Charlie Stevens added a second goal on 56 minutes when he cut in from the right and smashed the ball past Rogers at the near post to double Rye's lead.

But Sidley showed great character to respond and after a double substitution they pulled a goal back as Sean 'Irish' Kelly, having only come on a few minutes earlier, headed home a corner on 64 minutes to breathe new life into the contest. After that Sidley took control and they deservedly levelled when Arron Scrace turned on the left of the area and fired low into the net on 71 minutes.

Both sides pressed for a winner and it seemed a certainty that somebody was going to score late on. But Rye wasted a great chance from a free kick right on the edge of the area while Well's free kick in the final minute almost dropped over Rye goalkeeper Edward Avann who had to tip it over the bar for a corner.

A good point in the circumstances but Sidley also may feel that the elusive winner was within their grasp.

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Copley, Cole, Hempe, Elphick (Kelly), Day (Carey), Wells, Elliott-Noye, Scrace, Baldwin.

Sidley United 1 - 5 Angmering Seniors - SCFA Intermediate Cup Quarter Final - Saturday 13th January 2018

Sidley United's excellent run in the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup ended at the Quarter Final stage after defeat to West Sussex Premier League leaders Angmering Seniors.

The Blues conceded five times to the confident visitors before Sean Baldwin grabbed a last minute consolidation goal. The Angmering goalscorers were Sam Johnson, Jonathan Hendrick (3) and Stan Elder. 

Blues still have two other cup quarter finals to look ahead to in local competitions as well as focusing on climbing the league table. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Cole, Copley, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Scrace, Day (Thompson), Garman (Bailey), Baldwin. 

Sidley United 0 - 2 Battle Baptists - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 6th January 2018

A contentious late penalty helped Battle Baptists to move top of the table with a 2 - 0 win over Sidley United.

On a slippery pitch, the first half passed by with relatively little goalmouth action with both sides enjoying a couple of half chances but failing to seriously test either goalkeeper.

In the second period Sidley had one or two moments of promise but couldn't find an end product while Battle looked similarly unlikely to make a decisive breakthrough.

However on 75 minutes a low cross into the box struck the arm of Chris Copley who was in close proximity and the referee, perhaps influenced by recent similarly contentious penalty awards in the Premiership, chose to point to the spot. Dale Vinall stepped up to calmly send Rogers the wrong way and put Battle in front.

The Blues looked to respond but failed to really test the visiting goalkeeper and Battle made sure of the points in the 86th minute as a low cross in from the left found Trystan Mayhew who guided the ball in at the near post.

A disappointing start to the new year for the Blues who now turn their attention to the Sussex FA Cup Quarter Finals next weekend when they will entertain the leaders from the West Sussex League Angmering Seniors. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Funnell, Cole, Copley, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Scrace, Elphick (Miller), Uttley (Bailey), Baldwin (Robb).

Mile Oak Reserves 3 - 4 Sidley United (AET) - Sussex FA Intermediate Cup Fourth Round - Saturday 9th December 2017

Sidley United made it through to the Quarter Finals of the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup thanks to an extra time win, despite finishing with 9 men. 

It had looked plain sailing as they took control of the match early on with Sean Baldwin's cool low finish on 20 minutes putting them ahead before he unselfishly squared for Jordan Uttley to roll the ball into the unguarded net to double the Blues lead after 29 minutes. 

But perhaps feeling the game was won, such was their comfort, Sidley just didn't turn up in the second half and seemed to drop far too deep. 

Despite a lot of home pressure though they rarely troubled Blues goalkeeper Joe Rogers until the referee blew to award a penalty for an apparent shirt pull in the area, booking Gary Hempe in the process for dissent as much as a foul. The Mile Oak player struck the penalty away low to Rogers' right on 66 minutes. 

Sidley still had chances to clinch the game but both Baldwin and Uttley fluffed one on one chances and that looked costly when after an inexplicable 9 minutes of injury time, Oak equalised right at the end with a header which took a nick off Chris Copley on the way in and forced extra time. 

Blues went back in front 3 minutes into the extra period as Baldwin deftly lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper but Hempe was shown a second yellow card soon after for bringing down his man. 

The game seemed settled when James Bailey coolly lobbed the goalkeeper on 110 minutes but after Jordan Cole picked up an injury and had to go off, 9 man Sidley conceded again with a strike from the edge of the area flying into the top corner with 2 minutes to go. 

But this time Sidley held on to finish their fixtures for the year with a 5th straight win and set up a home tie against Angmering Seniors in the Quarter Finals. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, Hempe, Elphick (Day), Cole, Copley, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Scrace, Garman, Uttley (Bailey), Baldwin. 

Hawkhurst United 2 - 5 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 2nd December 2017

Sidley United overcame the early sending off of Dan Hill as they hit five goals on route to winning away to Hawkhurst United.

The game's first real piece of action resulted in Hill's straight red card in the 9th minute after he lashed out at an opponent in retaliation to an apparent head-butt on him which went unpunished by the referee.

But the Blues rolled their sleeves up and soon took the lead as Sean Baldwin was played through and he struck an early low shot into the net on 13 minutes. Arron Scrace then doubled Sidley's lead on 18 minutes with a looping header.

And the shellshocked home side were simply overrun as on 20 minutes Baldwin got the third when his shot hit the inside of the post and flew across into the opposite side of the net while Scrace added a fourth before half time as he drove into the box and shot across the goalkeeper on 30 minutes.

The second half was a more even affair as Hawkhurst finally started to benefit from Sidley legs tiring. The home side were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute which was saved by Blues goalkeeper Joe Rogers only for the referee to order a retake for Rogers moving off his line before the kick was taken and the second effort was dispatched.

The home side struck a second goal on 73 minutes as a shot went in off the inside of Rogers' post. Sensing the tide had turned Hawkhurst pushed forward but it was Sidley who struck the killer next goal as Baldwin beat his marker and fired in a shot which the goalkeeper could only fumble into the net to complete his hat-trick.

Sidley then used their 3 substitutes to inject some more energy into the side and they saw out the remainder of the game comfortably to seal the win. 

The Blues travel to Mile Oak Reserves seeking a win to put them into the Quarter Finals of the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Elphick, Hempe, Cole, Copley (Kelly), Elliott-Noye, Wells, Hill, Scrace (Bailey), Garman (Day), Baldwin.

Rogate 08 1 - 2 Sidley United - Sussex FA Intermediate Cup - Saturday 25th November 2017

Andy Garman struck a 94th minute free kick to win the match as Sidley United progressed to the next round of the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup.

West Sussex side Rogate started brightly, forcing a succession of corners from which they had a half-hearted appeal for a goal as the ball struck the Sidley crossbar and bounced down onto but not over the goal-line.

At the other end the Blues also struck the woodwork as Dan Hill headed against the bar from a corner before they took a 22nd minute lead. Ash Elphick was brought down in the area following a driving run and Hill sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Rogate played their way back into the game though and they levelled 4 minutes before half time. A nice passing move was finished off by a Rogate player neatly chipping Joe Rogers to restore parity.

The second half was an open affair as both sides looked for the next goal and some rather desperate challenges resulted in a number of yellow cards for both sides. The home side came close with a shot that hit the post and rolled across the six yard area with no home player on hand to tap home.

And just as the game looked to be heading for extra time, Sidley snatched the winner. Garman's free kick evaded everyone and seemed to surprise the Rogate goalkeeper who got a hand to the ball but only helped it into the net.

Sidley will travel to Mile Oak Reserves in the Fourth Round.

Sidley Team: Rogers, May (Uttley), Hempe, Cole (Day), Copley, Elliott-Noye, Elphick (Miller), Wells, Hill, Scrace, Garman.

Sidley United 4 - 2 St Leonards Social - ESFL Premier Travel Challenge Cup - Saturday 18th November 2017

Sidley United battled through the difficult wet conditions to see off league rivals St Leonards Social in the ESFL Premier Travel Challenge Cup in a rip roaring game.

It was a bad start though as some scrappy defending eventually saw the ball fall to Greg Bennett who beat Joe Rogers from outside the area with a shot into the top corner on 7 minutes.

But Blues responded almost immediately as Ash Elphick beat the offside trap and, despite a heavy touch, squared for Arron Scrace to tap home from a couple of yards on 10 minutes.

Sidley went on to dominate the half and Scrace had 2 good chances before they did eventually take the lead when Chris Copley headed home Scrace's 24th minute corner.

The game could and should have been over but Social goalkeeper James Glavin made a terrific save to deny Gary Hempe before half time and Scrace again early in the second half.

But despite a wealth of chances in the driving rain it looked like Sidley could be made to pay for failing to convert their chances when Billy Rixon met a ball in from the left and headed Social level on 82 minutes.

However less than a minute later Sidley were back in front as a good run by the lively Andy Garman saw his low ball in find young striker Jordan Uttley who turned and fired home with practically his first touch.

And Sidley made sure of their passage into the next round in the final minute as Josh Elliott-Noye struck the fourth goal from the edge of the penalty area.

A composed performance from Sidley with an impressive display by debutant Rosh Wells and a thoroughly deserved win. Blues will play Robertsbridge United in the Quarter Finals.

Sidley Team: Rogers, May (Kelly), Hempe, Cole (Uttley), Copley (Funnell), Elliott-Noye, Wells, Garman, Elphick, Scrace, Baldwin.

Sidley United 3 - 2 Ore Athletic - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 4th November 2017

Sidley United picked up their second home win of the campaign with a narrow victory against second bottom Ore Athletic.

While Sidley welcomed back Joe Rogers in goal, the visitors had to kick off the match with 9 men as a couple of their players were running late but the numbers were levelled up after a few minutes.

And after 5 minutes they took the lead as Jordan Cole failed to get enough on his attempted back-pass to Rogers, allowing Kale Williams to nip in and finish from the angle.

The Blues settled down afterwards and gradually got on top. They levelled when a neat through ball played in Sean Baldwin who kept his composure and finished low into the net.

There was controversy just before the interval. After hitting the post from a free kick and then also the crossbar in short succession, Ore had strong claims for a penalty for handball as the ball appeared to be blocked by a Sidley arm. But the referee was unmoved despite their strong appeals.

In the second half, Sidley stepped up their performance and they took the lead on 49 minutes as Adam Day cut a deep cross back into the area for Arron Scrace to turn and fire home his first goal of the season.

Day then made it 3 - 1 with a terrific left foot strike from the edge of the penalty area which flew into the top corner on 73 minutes. But a lung-busting run down the left from an Ore player saw the ball played across for Scott Ramsay to bundle home with 5 minutes to go to set up a nervy finale. 

But Sidley held on to claim the points, a result that moves them up towards the middle of the table and will hopefully improve confidence ahead of their long trip to Rogate 08 in the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup next weekend.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Hempe, Garman (Bailey), Cole, Copley, Elliott-Noye, Hill (Eldridge), Cooper (J Aston), Day, Scrace, Baldwin.

Robertsbridge United 1 - 0 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 28th October 2017

Sidley United slipped into the bottom three after another disappointing performance at Robertsbridge.

Last season's 4 - 1 defeat was the Blues' worst performance of the season and they put in another contender for that accolade here as they were too often lacking in any real goal threat.

The home side took the lead after 5 minutes when some poor marking allowed the ball to be played across to Chris Phillips to slot home.

Both sides had plenty of endeavour but the lack of quality on show was apparent as goal scoring opportunities were severely lacking.

The second half introduction of Andy Garman briefly livened up the Sidley side but their best chance came from a well struck Adam Day free kick which was pushed up and over the bar by the home goalkeeper.

While Robertsbridge created extremely little themselves, it wasn't they who needed to score and Sidley did have the better of the football towards the end but sadly could not carve out any clear opportunities to equalise.

A disappointing performance and one that Sidley will have to bounce back from quickly when they take on second bottom Ore Athletic at home next Saturday in a game where the Blues must really target all three points.

Sidley Team: Hempe, May, Miller, Elliott-Noye, Cole, Copley, Funnell, O'Callaghan (Garman), Day, Scrace (Bailey), Baldwin (Carey).

Battle Baptists 3 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 21st October 2017

Sidley United saw a half time lead overturned but could consider themselves somewhat unfortunate to lose to Battle Baptists.

Kicking with the wind at their backs, Sidley opened the scoring on 24 minutes when Josh Elliott-Noye beat the home goalkeeper with a strike from 25 yards out.

The Blues could have doubled their lead but the woodwork twice denied them as Gary Hempe's header from a corner came back off the crossbar before Sean Baldwin struck the post with a low free kick just before half time.

With the wind strongly in Battle's favour in the second half, Sidley found themselves being pushed back and the conceded in the 65th minute when the ball was given away and Finlay Garlick equalised, despite Sidley claims that Adam Day had been fouled in the lead up to the goal.

Sidley won an indirect free kick from a backpass which came to nothing before Battle took the lead in fortuitous style as Dale Vinall's 76th minute strike took a deflection which left George Aston stranded.

And just 2 minutes later Caleb Spicer Dreeling tapped home after Aston had parried an initial shot. The Blues continued to push hard but couldn't get back into the game with the final scoreline not truly reflecting the nature of the match.

Sidley Team: G Aston, Elphick (May), Hempe, J Aston, Cole, Copley, Garman, Elliott-Noye, Thompson (Scrace), Day (Miller), Baldwin.

Sidley United 1 - 0 St Francis Rangers II - Sussex FA Intermediate Cup Second Round - Saturday 14th October 2017

Sidley United endured a largely frustrating afternoon but still did enough to progress in the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup. 

The Blues began well and took an early lead as the lively Andy Garman beat his man and crossed for Adam Day to head home after only 6 minutes.

St Francis' main tactic was to play a long early ball over the top but the Sidley defence, led superbly by Chris Copley, dominated and didn't allow any opportunity for opponents to get in on goal.

That said, Sidley didn't fashion too many chances themselves despite dominating possession. The closest they came was when Sean Baldwin was played through on goal but the goalkeeper kept out his lobbed effort.

Sidley were even more dominant after the break and only two more excellent saves by the visiting goalkeeper denied them extending their lead. Even when the Blues finally did beat him their luck was out as Baldwin saw his effort come back off the post.

Luckily for Sidley though the early goal was enough to see them through against a Rangers side that failed to force George Aston in the Blues goal into a single save all game.

Sidley Team: Aston, Elphick, Hempe, Copley, Cole, Cooper, Elliott-Noye, Thompson (Bailey), Garman (May), Day (Miller), Baldwin.

Sidley United 2 - 1 Robertsbridge United - Hastings FA Intermediate Cup - Saturday 7th October 2017

Sidley United progressed to the next round of this cup competition with a home victory over Robertsbridge United.

Still missing a recognised goalkeeper, it was the turn of George Aston to take over the gloves this week, with Gary Hempe returning to his more accustomed role at wing back. Sidley also gave a start to new signing Andy Garman, who was to play a pivotal role in the result.

Sidley started well, often getting on the front foot and taking the game to their opponents. They opened the scoring on 19 minutes when top scorer Sean Baldwin met Garman's delicious ball in from the right to powerfully head home.

Aston was twice called upon to make key saves, first using his feet to block a low shot before excellently tipping an effort over the bar. Sidley then got a second as Garman again skipped past his man and flashed a low cross in which was met at the back post by Hempe who thumped his effort into the net to give Sidley a 2 - 0 half time lead.

But as with last week the Blues never really got going in the second half, seeming to drop deeper and handing Robertsbridge the territorial advantage.

And the visitors struck on 72 minutes as Sidley gave the ball away in a central area and Philip Green fired home. Baldwin nearly restored the 2 goal lead but struck the post for Sidley and the Blues were grateful to Aston for another good save late on to make sure of the win.

Sidley will play Westfield in the Quarter Finals. 

Sidley Team: Aston, Elphick (May), Hempe, Copley, Funnell, Carey, Thompson, Cooper (Miller), Garman, Day, Baldwin.

Sidley United 3 - 3 Sedlescombe Rangers - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 30th September 2017

Sidley United snatched a point with an injury time strike as they drew at home to Sedlescombe Rangers on Saturday.

A breathless start saw the visitors strike in the second minute when a piece of slack marking allowed Matthew Shaw to get a strike away which deflected past Gary Hempe in the Sidley goal.

However a minute later, Blues equalised as Dan Hill cut inside and his left foot shot struck the inside of the post before rolling into the opposite corner of the net.

The Blues got on the front foot and had some more pressure but had to wait until the 33rd minute to get in front when some neat play on the edge of the Rangers box allowed Sean Baldwin to get a powerful low strike away which beat the goalkeeper low at his near post to give Sidley the lead at the interval.

But in the second half the Blues never got going and the visitors levelled and Sedlescombe levelled on 72 minutes through Jack Booth after a defensive mistake by the home side. Rangers then took the lead on 79 minutes through Jon-Jo Wright.

Sidley could have gone under but showed great character and determination to take something from the game and deep into stoppage time they did just that as Baldwin, now top scorer in the league, finally converted after a scramble in the box to steal a draw.

Sidley Team: Hempe, Elphick (May), Cole (Aston), Tudor, Copley, Funnell, Thompson, Cooper, Hill (Scrace), Sanderson, Baldwin.

St Leonards Social 3 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 23rd September 2017

A patched up Sidley United side went down to two late goals as they lost 3 - 1 at St Leonards Social.

Starting on the front foot the home side opened the scoring on 9 minutes as Shane Ryan netted. However Sidley responded and equalised through Sean Baldwin 10 minutes later.

Blues' regular goalkeeper Joe Rogers returned to action but suffered a recurrance of his knee injury and had to be substituted at half time, with full back Ian May taking over in goal and new signing Cam Burgon coming on to play in defence.

In the second period Arron Scrace had two good opportunities to put the Blues in front, firstly being denied when through one on one before flashing a shot over the bar following good work on the wing by Ashley Elphick.

A draw was looking the most likely outcome but with 10 minutes to go Brett Patten weaved his way through the Sidley defence to put Social back in front by finishing powerfully into the corner of the net.

Pushing forward for the equaliser, Sidley were always susceptible to the counter attack and the hosts finished the game off in the 90th minute as Jack Elliott finished off a good move down the left to put the game beyond doubt.

Sidley will be hoping to get back on track with the return of some key players when they welcome Sedlescombe Rangers to Hooe Rec next Saturday.

Sidley Team: Rogers (Burgon), May, Miller, Eldridge, Cole, Funnell, Elphick, O'Callaghan (Hardy), Day, Scrace, Baldwin.

Bexhill Town 0 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 16th September 2017

Sidley United made it back to back wins in the ESFL Premier Division with a derby victory at Bexhill Town in a match where both teams finished with 10 men.

The Blues began strongly and took the lead after 15 minutes as Arron Scrace chested down stand in goalkeeper Gary Hempe's long kick forward into the path of Sean Baldwin, who finished low into the bottom corner.

A difficult start for the home side was made even tougher when Josh Clifford was shown a second yellow card on 25 minutes for a foul, having earlier been booked for dissent. 

However Sidley failed to make their numerical advantage count as Bexhill pushed hard for an equaliser, forcing Sidley into a defensive shape and effectively cancelling out the man advantage.

Two half time substitutions seemed to lift Sidley who went close early in the second period through Scrace before they also lost a man when Sam Thompson picked up a second yellow card with 20 minutes to go.

Shortly afterwards a collision between Ian May and an opponent led to both players being booked, but Blues player-manager John Carey, unhappy at the decision, had too much to say to the referee who dismissed him from the touchline for dissent.

Sidley held on though for the win but will come away with many areas of the game they will still look to improve upon as they continue their campaign next weekend away to St Leonard's Social. 

Sidley Team: Hempe, May (Elphick), Aston, Copley, Carey (Funnell), Cole, Thompson, Cooper, Scrace, Sanderson (O'Callaghan), Baldwin.

Sidley United 5 - 1 Crowhurst - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 9th September 2017

Sidley United recorded their first win of the new season with a comprehensive victory over newly promoted Crowhurst.

The visitors were the brighter during the opening 10 minutes but the floodgates opened as Sidley scored three goals in 5 minutes. First Sean Baldwin controlled a lofted ball forward before cooly stroking into the net on 20 minutes.

Two minutes later Anthony Cooper doubled the Sidley lead with a great 25 yard strike before Cooper then grabbed a third goal when he slotted home after good work by Arron Scrace.

Not to be outdone, Baldwin grabbed his second when he followed up Scrace's blocked shot to give the Blues a comfortable half time advantage.

To their credit Crowhurst didn't let their heads drop and they were unlucky to concede a fifth goal when a mix up between two defenders allowed the ball to roll over the line on 65 minutes.

With the game effectively over Sidley will be disappointed that they lost concentration at the back as the Gary Croft struck the visitors a consolation goal on 75 minutes to slightly taint Sidley's day but it was a small blotch on an otherwise excellent day as Sidley righted the wrongs of the previous week.

Sidley Team: Hempe, May, Aston (Godden), Copley, Carey, Cole, Thompson, Cooper, Scrace (Bailey), Sanderson (Elphick), Baldwin.

Sidley United 0 - 6 Hollington United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 2nd September 2017

It was not the start that new manager John Carey or Sidley United were hoping for as they were soundly beaten at home by last season's champions Hollington United.

With regular goalkeeper Joe Rogers still out injured, full back Gary Hempe took over the gloves and but for some excellent saves from him the scoreline could have been worse.

Sidley, sponsored by The Red Lion pub and under the charce of Carey, began well and had the better of the opening 10 minutes, going close through Sean Baldwin and Anthony Cooper.

But Hollington took the lead on 17 minutes. The ball was fed wide to an attacker who was flagged offside. The Sidley defence were guilty of stopping and expecting the free kick but the referee overruled the linesman and allowed play to continue with Danny Woodley eventually finding the net via the underside of the crossbar.

Ross Southwood doubled their lead on 32 minutes with an excellent 30 yard lobbed volley which dropped over Hempe and into the net. The next goal was always going to be crucial but in truth only one side looked like getting it as Hempe made two excellent stops before half time.

But early in the second half Hollington struck twice in quick succession. A cross from the left found Doni Dovla unmarked and his strike across goal found the corner before 2 minutes later Sidley defenders again left Grant Payne unmarked at the back post to plant his header past Hempe.

With the game losing its competitive edge, it looked like the damage was over but Hollington struck twice in injury time after running though some tired Sidley legs as Sam White struck from the right of the area before Dovla added a galling sixth goal as he walked the ball over the line in stoppage time.

A tough defeat but one Blues must bounce back from quickly. Next up is a visit from newly promoted Crowhurst next Saturday.

Sidley Team: Hempe, Miller, Scrace (Godden), Cole, Aston (Eldridge), Copley, Thompson, Cooper (Bailey), Funnell, Sanderson, Baldwin.

 

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