Match Reports

2021/22

Sidley United 4 - 3 Rotherfield - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 20st November 2021

Sidley United recovered from going 2 - 0 down to take all three points and maintain their unbeaten league record.

In a match played at The Oval, home of Eastbourne United FC, Sidley started positively and set the pattern for the match as they set up camp in the Rotherfield half, winning a succession of free kicks and corners. It seemed a matter of time before the Blues opened the scoring but some wayward shooting and some dogged defending denited them.

To compound their frustration, Rotherfield scored with a rare counter-attack on the cusp of half time through Alan Haugh to leave Sidley shaking their heads as they went into the break.

The second half started in much the same way, with Sidley pushing hard. However on 55 minutes they found themselves 2 goals down when the referee adjudged a tackle by Peter Featherstone to be a foul inside the penalty area and Luke Beaton stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick.

Sidley didn't give up though and were rewarded with a goal in the 63rd. minute when, following a goal-mouth scramble, Zac McEniry turned the ball into the net. And just 2 minutes later, Sidley equalised when Tyler Capon, in his first appearance for Sidley, knocked in the equaliser.

Well on top now, Sidley hit the front as Captain and Man of the Match, Josh Elliott-Noye scored the third on 80 minutes before Charlie Cornford added a fourth on 85 minutes, holding off 2 defenders, wriggling free to send his shot into the corner of the Rotherfield net.

There was a late scare as a mix-up between goalkeeper and defender allowed Rotherfield to pull one back just before the final whistle but the Blues held on to claim a welcome three points.

Next week it is a local derby as the Blues travel to old rivals Hollington United.

Sidley Team: Hutchins, Walker, McEniry, Featherstone, McCue, Elliott-Noye, Clifford, Capon, Cumming-Bart, Cornford, Rogers. Subs: S Crabb, Carey.

Sidley United 0 - 3 Balcombe - Montgomery Cup Quarter Final - Saturday 13th November 2021

Sidley United saw one chance at silverware slip through their fingers as they suffered a first defeat of the season with Balcombe progressing to the Semi Finals of the Montgomery Cup.

The two sides met last month where Sidley ran out 8 - 0 winners but this match, played at Hailsham Town FC, never looked like being a repeat. A much changed Sidley side, suffering from suspensions and injuries, found it tough to get going with the visitors shading the early stages of the first half possession while Sidley's best moment came when Danny Ellis flashed a shot wide of the far post after a twisting run.

Just two minutes before half time, Balcombe took the lead as a shot from the edge of the area beat Blues goalkeeper Ricardo Teixeira. There was still time for a glorious chance to equalise as Chris Cumming-Bart got through one-on-one but he got too much on his attempted lob over the goalkeeper and it cleared the crossbar.

In the second period, the game became increasingly fractrious and it threatened to spoil over. From one example of dissent, Balcombe's Ryan Davidson was sin-binned for dissent. Sidley thought they had equalised as Ellis' resulting free kick evaded everyone to nestle in the net but the goal was disallowed as the free kick was indirect.

Shortly afterwards, Alan Foster was also sin-binned for dissent and Balcombe took advantage to double the lead. As Sidley wasted their own throw in, the ball came through to Jamie Weston whose low strike from the edge of the area found the net on 73 minutes.

The game was put to bed when a third goal was scored. A Balcombe corner finding its way to one of their players to head home inside the six yard box on 84 minutes.

Then almost inevitably, the game finally boiled over as Balcombe's Chris Clarke and Sidley's Danny Ellis were shown straight red cards for an incident which led to a mass melee involving nearly everyone from both sides. A disappointing end to the match as the referee blew for full time immediately after the two dismissals.

A day to forget for the Blues but Balcombe were worthy winners on the day. Next week the Blues will return to league action as they take on Rotherfield.

Sidley Team: Teixeira, Walker, McEniry, Featherstone, McCue, Clifford, Agutter Ellis, Foster, Carey, Cumming-Bart. Subs: Trickett, Rogers, S Crabb.

Ringmer AFC 0 - 2 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 6th November 2021

Sidley United picked up a crucial three points and moved clear at the top of the Mid Sussex Premier Division as they inflicted a first defeat of the season on title rivals Ringmer. 

This match had all the bearings of a potentially decisive game at the top of the table with both sides unbeaten in 10 league matches coming into the game and separated only by goal difference.

The Blues thought they hit the front with just 25 seconds on the clock as a cross from the left was cushioned down by Paul Rogers to Sam Crabb who finished high into the net but the offside flag had gone up against Rogers.

Undeterred though Sidley dominated the opening exchanges and took the lead on 7 minutes as a throw-in fell at the feet of Crabb who poked the ball home at the near post from close range to give Sidley a dream start.

Ringmer grew into the game around 20 minutes in and started applying some pressure on the Sidley goal with goalkeeper Dan Hutchins making a good low save from an effort from distance while a momentary mix up right at the end of the half almost gifted Ringmer an equaliser before the Blues dealt with the danger. However going into the break Sidley felt they had a measure of control.

The second half began with Chris Agutter replacing Paul Rogers for the Blues to stiffen up the midfield. Unfortunately Agutter only managed to go 6 minutes before being booked for a foul tackle which presented Ringmer an opportunity with a free kick which Hutchins did well to beat away.

On 53 minutes came the most controversial and possibly decisive moment. As a Ringmer player attempted to head the ball back to his goalkeeper, Chris Cumming-Bart nipped in and lifted the ball over him. A scrambling covering defender hooked the ball out from the goal but the referee deemed that the ball had crossed the line first despite the assistant not signalling it had done so. The referee did go and speak to the assistant but deemed he was not in a credible enough position to tell and, confident in his decision, duly awarded Sidley the goal.

Two could have become three when Sidley caught Ringmer napping with a quick free kick which sprung Danny Ellis through on goal but he dragged his effort wide of the post. 

Fortunately, the miss mattered little as the Sidley back line doggedly defended some late Ringmer corners and crosses to secure the win, the clean sheet and a 3 point gap at the top of the table.

Sidley Team: Hutchins, Walker, Featherstone, McEniry, Elliott-Noye (Funnell), Foster, Ellis, Carey, Cumming-Bart, S Crabb (McCue), Rogers (Agutter).

Westfield 0 - 3 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 30th October 2021

Sidley United returned to winning ways with a victory in the local derby as they beat Westfield 3 - 0.

A rainy morning turned into a sunny afternoon at the Parish Field as Sidley started with their usual energy, winning a succession of corners with Westfield defending stoutly, blocking a number of shots.

Westfield would find themselves briefly down to 10 men when Wayne Giles was sin-binned for dissent. However, as the half wore on, Westfield started to get a foot in the game and came close to opening the scoring when a shot at goal struck the foot of the Sidley post.

However, it was Sidley who took the lead 2 minutes before the break when Danny Ellis was fouled and Lee Carey stepped up and struck the free-kick over the wall and into the net to give Sidley a narrow half time lead.

The second half was pretty much one way traffic as Sidley pinned Westfield in their own half as they started to dominate. The home side held out until the 74th minute when a ball into the box was neatly laid off by Paul Rogers into the path of Matt McClean who calmly stroked the ball into the corner of the net.

The game was put to bed just 3 minutes later when Alan Foster scored Sidley’s third; beating the offside trap and running through to slot the ball home. The Blues could have extended the winning margin when they were awarded a penalty when a Sidley played was bundled over in the box but Lee Carey steered the spot kick wide of the post with what proved to be the final kick of the game.

Sidley remain top of the Premier Division ahead of rivals Ringmer AFC on goal difference. The two unbeaten sides meet next weekend in what could prove to be a crucial clash.

Sidley Team: Teixeira, Walker, Featherstone, McEniry, Elliott-Noye, McCue, Ellis, Foster, Carey, McClean, Rogers. Subs: Corke.

Sidley United 1 - 1 Cuckfield Rangers - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 23rd October 2021

Sidley United missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the MSFL as a stoppage time equaliser ensured that Cuckfield went away with a point.

After strolling to a huge victory last week, Cuckfield presented a far more determined and resilient opposition. However it was looking good for the Blues as their early pressure brought about an early goal for Paul Rogers on 9 minutes.

After this, the game became more of a battle with both sides looking to dominate with neither really succeeding. Chances were few and far between; although did Cuckfield force Sidley goalkeeper Dan Hutchins into an excellent save to preserve the narrow lead going into the half-time break.

The second half continued where the first half had left off; with scoring opportunities limited by dogged defending by both sides. Sidley made a triple change but could not find that second goal which would kill off the game.

But as the game approached stoppage time it looked as though Sidley had done enough to hold for a narrow victory. However in the 3rd minute of stoppage time, Cuckfield won a corner kick which was evenutally bundled home by Jamie Weller to earn the visitors a deserved share of the points.

The Sidley Man of the Match was Peter Featherstone. 

Sidley Team: Hutchins, Walker, McEniry, Featherstone, Elliott-Noye, McCue, Ellis, Carey, Cumming-Bart, N Crabb, Rogers. Subs: Foster, S Crabb, Hickman-Smith.

Sidley United 8 - 0 Balcombe - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 16th October 2021

Sidley United crushed Balcombe to cement their place at the top of the Mid Sussex Premier Division.

With Little Common still unavailable, the Blues returned to Hooe Rec for this match, sponsored by Hastings Direct, and began at a terrific tempo. A neat one-two with Paul Rogers sprang Nathan Crabb away down the right and he finished powerfully at the near post to put the Blues in front on 13 minutes.

Sidley would double the lead when Zac McEniry headed home a corner on 22 minutes before Lee Carey finished with a low drive from the edge of the area on 33 minutes to leave Balcombe stunned.

The Blues went in at the break 5 goals to the good as the impressive Danny Ellis beat the offside trap with a run from deep, cut inside his man and finished on 41 minutes before Crabb almost replicated that 2 minutes later, cutting in from the right hand side to round the goalkeeper and slot home.

The challenge in the second half was maintaining the same intensity but Sidley showed no sign of slowing up as they won a penalty when Chris Cumming-Bart was brought down on 50 minutes and Paul Rogers calmly slotted the ball home low to the goalkeepers' left from the resulting spot kick.

Crabb completed his hat-trick when Ellis brilliantly beat a final defender and sat the goalkeeper down before rolling the ball across the line for Crabb to tap home on 67 minutes and Rogers completed the scoring when he was bundled over to win another penalty, picking himself up to convert in the same corner as the first to make it 8 - 0 on 71 minutes.

Balcombe created one chance late on which goalkeeper Dan Hutchins did well to repel but they could never really lay a glove on the Blues who put in probably their most complete performance of the season to remain top of the Mid Sussex table. The Man of the Match was hat-trick hero Nathan Crabb.

Sidley Team: Hutchins, Featherstone, McEniry, Walker, Elliott-Noye, Ellis, Carey, McCue, Cumming-Bart, N Crabb, Rogers. Subs: Cornford, Foster, Thompson.

Rotherfield 0 - 4 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 9th October 2021

Sidley United returned to the top of the MSFL with a comfortable victory over Rotherfield.

After the frustration of the weather denying them a victory over Ringmer last weekend when the game was abandoned at half time with the Blues 2 - 0 up, they were determined to put this game to bed as early as possible. 

The game started somewhat controversially as Sidley thought they scored after 2 minutes when Paul Rogers ran onto a cross from the right to finish neatly past the keeper. However, the Rotherfield assistant referee raised his flag for offside; much to the surprise and annoyance of the Sidley players. The referee went over to the assistant and, after a brief discussion, the goal was disallowed and a free kick awarded to Rotherfield.

Rogers, clearly incensed by what he saw as a wrong and unfair decision, carried his protests to the referee too far and was sin-binned as a result.

However, his absence did not stop Sidley from continuing to attack and in the eighth minute they were rewarded with the opening goal. Chris Cumming-Bart found himself unmarked in the Rotherfield half, when the ball ran through to him and he calmly slotted it home. Although clearly in an offside position, the ball had come off a Rotherfield player which meant he was free to play it. Again, the Rotherfield assistant referee raised his flag, and again the referee went over to speak to him. This time however, the goal was given, as the referee had clearly seen the sequence of events.

Once back on the pitch, Paul Rogers wasted no time in getting amongst the goals as he scored his first goal on 16 minutes which was then followed by his second from the penalty spot just 3 minutes later, following a rash kick out from a Rotherfield defender inside the area.

Rotherfield offered very little in the way of attack, and when they did, the Sidley defence dealt confidently with any threat leaving debutant Sidley goalkeeper Dan Hutchins little to do.

The second half continued in the same vein, with Sidley on the front foot and dominating the game. However, despite creating chance after chance, they had to wait until the 77th minute to score their fourth goal. Charlie Cornford held off 2 defenders and suppllied the perfect cross for substitute Lee Carey to head across the keeper and into the net for his first goal of the season.

A dominant display this from Sidley who went top after rivals Ringmer were held to a draw. The Man of the Match was Chris Cumming-Bart. 

Sidley Team: Hutchins, McEniry, Featherstone, Elliott-Noye, Hickman Smith, McCue, Ellis, N Crabb, Cumming-Bart, Cornford, Rogers. Subs: Carey. Walker, Trickett, Thompson.

Sidley United A - A Ringmer AFC - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 2nd October 2021

Sidley United's match against Ringmer was abandoned at half time owing to a waterlogged pitch.

In atrocious conditions, the Blues were leading 2 - 0 at the break but a large pool of standing water that refused to be cleared in the end put paid to the game.

The Blues began well and aided by the strong wind and heavy rain, had Ringmer penned back in their own half for most of the half. They took the lead on 23 minutes when a nice one-two ended with Chris Cumming-Bart squaring across goal for Nathan Crabb to control his finish into the net.

Sidley grabbed the second goal with practically the final action of the half as a corner from the left was headed home by Steve Hickman-Smith.

However, the worsening pitch and constant poor conditions meant that despite the Sidley staff and players' efforts, the referee was left with no other choice but to abandon the game.

Sidley Team: Masters, S Crabb, Walker, McEniry, Hickman-Smith, Foster, Ellis, Carey, Cumming-Bart, N Crabb, Rogers.

Willingdon Athletic 1 - 4 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 25th September 2021

Sidley United made it 5 wins from 6 on the road but had to overcome a hard working Willingdon side who refused to lie down.

The first half began at a fierce pace with both sides looking to get on top. However as play settled down it was Sidley who managed to enjoy the bulk of the pressure with Willingdon looking to counter.

Sidley got their noses in front on 30 minutes as Nathan Crabb struck before Sam Crabb added a second goal just two minutes later.

A controversial incident just before half time saw the clean through on goal Nathan Crabb brought down by the last Willingdon defender but the referee deemed that he got the ball and waved away the appeals of the Sidley faithful. Paul Rogers took his complaints a little too far for the referee’s liking and was sin-binned.

In the second half Willingdon upped their game as they began to find their passes and created some more chances. Fortunately the strength in depth on the Sidley bench meant they could introduce fresh legs to counter this threat.

Willingdon did pull a goal back on 78 minutes when they were awarded a penalty which was tucked away by Alex Burton past debutant goalkeeper Clark Masters.

Keeping their heads though, Sidley responded by scoring again within 2 minutes after the ball pinged around the area and came out to Danny Ellis who finished well. Charlie Cornford wrapped up the win on 85 minutes with a strong drive and confident finish.

Sidley Team: Masters, S Crabb, Walker, Featherstone, Hickman-Smith, Foster, Ellis, Carey, Cumming-Bart. N Crabb, Rogers. Subs: Cornford, McCue, Trickett

Balcombe 0 - 1 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 11th September 2021

Nathan Crabb's second half goal was enough to see off plucky Balcombe and send Sidley back to the top of the MSFL.

The Blues returned to a pitch where they suffered a heavy loss after the Covid break last season determined to put on a better showing this time around. They began well although the biggest talking point in the opening 15 minutes was the huge tree overhanging a good part of the pitch.

Gradually Sidley got on top and looked threatening at corners particularly with Zac McEniry and Steve Hickman going close and another good ball in from Lee Carey going begging. Balcombe's best moment came when Phil Hawkins picked up a backpass and an indirect free kick was given inside the area but Sidley defended it well.

Into the second half, the game was an even affair with neither goalkeeper overly tested until Crabb broke the deadlock on 57 minutes when he reacted quickest to a lofted clearance to get in on goal on the right and, despite getting a foot to his low strike, the Balcombe goalkeeper could only help the ball into the roof of the net.

Balcombe came further forward after this with Sidley resolved to defend well and try to wrap up the game on the the break. Man of the Match Crabb almost clinched it when he was played in on goal by Paul Rogers but this time his low strike just cleared the far post.

The home side applied late pressure with some long throws into the Sidley area but the defence held firm for a welcome clean sheet to go along with the three points.

Sidley Team: Hawkins, Walker, McEniry, Featherstone, Hickman, Ellis, Baldwin, Carey, Cumming-Bart, N Crabb, Rogers. Subs: Trickett, Elphick, Elliott-Noye, McCue.

AFC Southwick 1 - 1 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 4th September 2021

Sidley's winning start to the campaign came to an end as they were held to a 1 - 1 draw by Southwick in a reunion of the former County sides.

On a warm afternoon at the home of Whitehawk FC, both sides found it difficult to create clear cut chances in the first half. A succession of Sidley corners midway through the half suggested they may have had more of the momentum but nothing really came of them.

Both sides were restricted to efforts with a curling Chris Cumming-Bart effort for Sidley going just over the bar before Southwick had an opportunity late on in the half which was comfortably dealt with by Blues goalkeeper Phil Hawkins.

In the second half though the game came more to life. Sidley had good opportunities through Charlie Cornford and Alan Foster early on but were then hit by Southwick who took the lead on 61 minutes. A corner from the left was met by a header which Hawkins did brilliantly well to save but Jordan Groom was on hand to smash the ball high into the net, much to the delight of the home fans.

That might have been the wake up call that Sidley needed as only a great double save by home goalkeeper Josh Measor prevented Blues from levelling almost immediately.

However Measor was beaten on 70 minutes when Sidley's Man of the Match Nathan Crabb was played through on goal and Measor came out to meet him, appearing to handle outside the area. The referee chose to allow play to continue with Crabb rolling the ball into the empty net and possibly sparing Measor a potential red card.

Sidley had the lions share of the play from then on and another late winner was looking a distinct possibility as Southwick were pinned in their own area. However it wasn't to be this week as Southwick held on for a deserved draw. The Blues slip to second place in the table as a result of Ringmer's win.

Sidley Team: Hawkins, Walker, McEniry, Featherstone, Carey, Baldwin, Foster, Ellis, Cumming-Bart, Cornford, Rogers. Subs: S Crabb, N Crabb, McCue, Elphick.

Sedlescombe Rangers 2 - 3 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 28th August 2021

A stoppage time winner from Charlie Cornford earned all three points and kept Sidley's winning run going. 

It looked like the Blues would have a comfortable afternoon early on as they took a two goal lead. First a neat move played in Sam Crabb clean through on goal and he finished smartly past former Blue stopper Peter Newstead on 16 minutes. 

The lead was then doubled on 31 minutes when a long throw from Cornford was half cleared before being fired across the box for Paul Rogers to turn the ball home from close range to continue his run of scoring in every game since joining the club.

But the Blues may have taken their foot off the pedal at that point and the home side pulled a goal back on 36 minutes when a shot was parried out by Sidley goalkeeper Phil Hawkins and Liam Cobley was quickest to slot home the rebound. 

And Sedlescombe levelled the scores just before half time as Sidley appealed in vein for offside before the ball was cut back to Ben Seal whose shot crept into the net via the inside of the post. 

The second half saw Sedlescombe sitting deeper and trying to catch Sidley on the counter. Alan Foster came close to restoring the Sidley lead but his curling shot came back off the crossbar. 

Cornford's long throw was a weapon Sidley looked to use to their advantage and it caused the home side problems on a number of occasions but the final touch just seemed to be evading the Blues. 

But in the first minute of stoppage time, Man of the Match Cornford went on a strong run, passing his man on the right of the area and despite being forced wide, he managed to beat Newstead to the ball with his shot rolling into the far corner to secure all three points. 

A tough result for Sedlescombe who were worthy of getting something from the game but for the Blues that's two weeks in a row where late goals have earned them full points. 

Sidley Team: Hawkins, S Crabb, McEniry, Elliott-Noye, Walker, Ellis, Foster, Elphick, Baldwin, Cornford, Rogers. Subs: Featherstone, N Crabb, Williams. 

Eastbourne Rangers 1 - 2 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 21st August 2021

Two late goals turned this game around as Sidley United came from behind to steal victory at Eastbourne Rangers. 

The home side began well and had the ball in the net when a free kick from the left was turned home but this was correctly chalked off for an offside offence. That really though was the highlight of the half as an even battle ensued with both sides rather cancelling each other out. 

Thankfully the second period was more lively but it was Rangers who struck the opening blow on 52 minutes. A good move down the right hand side saw the ball fired across the box and, in trying to clear, Josh Elliott-Noye was unlucky to turn the ball into the net for an own goal. 

This lifted Rangers who may have got a second before the game became a little fractious in the final quarter. Sidley levelled on 82 minutes when they counter attacked on Rangers and the ball fell to Paul Rogers who hit a firm strike which the home goalkeeper could not keep out despite getting a hand to it.

A frustrated Rangers player was then sin-binned for dissent, further handing Sidley the momentum. And from a corner on 87 minutes substitute Zac McEniry headed home after the Rangers goalkeeper got lost in the middle to give Sidley the lead.

Sidley substitute Arron Scrace was shown a straight red card from the sideline for delaying the restart of play as tensions rose on the touchline but Sidley kept their heads on the pitch to hold on and make it 2 wins from 2.

The Man of the Match award was split between Chris Cumming-Bart and Steve Hickman. 

Sidley Team: Winterton, S Crabb, McCue, Elliott-Noye, Hickman, Ellis, Foster, Carey, Baldwin, Cumming-Bart, Rogers. Subs: Elphick, Cornford, Trickett, McEniry. 

Holland Sports 0 - 3 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division - Saturday 14th August 2021

Sidley United kicked off the new MSFL season with a 3 - 0 win away at newly-promoted Holland Sports.

The Blues fielded a number of new signings and began with positvitiy, controlling possession and pressing the home side. However it was at the other end that the first flashpoint occurred as on 12 minutes Sidley won the ball back in their own third and Holland Sports' George Smith landed a stamp on a Blues player, earning himself a straight red card in the process.

This would strengthen Sidley's control of the game, even though Nathan Crabb was forced off with a knock, but it was the home side who had a glorious chance to strike the first blow when they were awarded a controversial penalty on 26 minutes as Phil Hawkins was adjudged to have fouled a Sports player despite clearly punching the ball away before they collided. However Sidley were reprieved when the resulting spot kick was steered wide of the post.

The home side had to change their goalkeeper who picked up an injury with a defender taking over between the posts before Sidley broke through on 38 minutes. Charlie Cornford did well to beat his man and get to the byline on the left before rolling the ball across for Paul Rogers to turn the ball home from close range.

A goal and a man up at the break, Sidley would strengthen their grip on the game just 2 minutes into the second half when a corner from the right found Sam Crabb unmarked to turn the ball home.

Crabb would then go on to hit the woodwork twice more before Sidley finally put the game to bed when Rogers finished from outside the area on 81 minutes. A good late save by Hawkins ensured the Blues kept a clean sheet and started the campaign in perfect fashion.

The Sidley Man of the Match was Louis Walker. 

Sidley Team: Hawkins, S Crabb, McCue, Walker, Elliott-Noye, Ellis, Carey, Baldwin, Cumming-Bart, N Crabb, Rogers. Subs: Cornford, Foster, Elphick.

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