Match Reports

2023/24

Sidley United vs Crowhurst - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 11th May 2024

Match not played as Sidley United unable to raise a side. Walkover win for Crowhurst.

Hawkhurst United 5 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 4th May 2024

Another poor Sidley performance consigned them to comprehensive defeat as Hawkhurst gave themselves a strong chance of survival in the ESFL Premier Division. 

If the Blues thought the previous week at St Leonards Social was bad, the opening 20 minutes here proved even worse as Hawkhurst stormed into a 3 goal lead. Firstly a ball crossed in from the left was slotted home by Mark Mitchell on 9 minutes before Nebiyu Elias strolled through two half-hearted tackles to stroke the ball home on 20 minutes.

And on 24 minutes George Lawrence was on hand to slam the ball home after more poor defending allowed him the freedom of the penalty area. 

Sidley finally woke up when the linesman quickly retrieved the ball for a goal-kick which was hit long to free Logan Copley who got away from his man to slot home on the verge of half time to give the Blues a lifeline.

However, the second half proved no better as Hawkhurst got their fourth goal on 61 minutes when a simple give and go got Mitchell in on goal. Archie Ball replied with a lovely lob on 66 minutes as Sidley briefly threatened to get back into the game with Gary Hempe striking the crossbar with a free kick shortly afterwards.

But Hawkhurst put the game to bed on 87 minutes with Sidley defenders appealing for offside in vein, Mitchell slotted home his hat-trick. It could have been even worse as the home side were awarded a penalty in stoppage time but the taker dragged the effort wide of the post.

A really poor end to the season for the Blues who have seen their chances of jumping above Sandhurst and J.C Tackleway dashed by recent defeats.

Sidley Team: Gray, Dangerfield (O'Callaghan), Hempe, Freeman, Eldridge, Carey, Witham, S.Atkin, K.Atkin, Ball, Copley. 

St Leonards Social 0 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 27th April 2024

An 88th minute from Archie Ball settled a poor match against relegation threatened St Leonards Social.

The Blues came into the game off the back of 2 defeats whilst Social have had a run of poor results and that was reflected in a game that lacked quality with little created by either side. 

In the second half, Social came closest when Liam Miles mis-hit a cross to the back post and it clipped the crossbar. Meanwhile Sidley created little in a game that almost seemed destined to end goalless.

However in the 88th minute a long ball from goalkeeper Ritchie Gray sprang Archie Ball free and he finished first time into the far corner to clinch the points for the Blues.

Sidley may still be able to finish 7th in the table if they are able to claim wins against Hawkhurst United and Crowhurst in their final two matches; but they will need to improve from today's showing.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Carey, Jack, Dangerfield, Burgon, Witham, S.Atkin, K.Atkin, T.Atkin, Ball. Subs: May, O'Callaghan.

Bexhill Town 2 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 20th April 2024

A poor Sidley United performance meant they missed out on the chance to rise up to 8th in the table as they lost to basement side Bexhill Town.

With the game reversed to Hooe Rec, Sidley may have hoped to make home advantage pay against a team who had only picked up 1 win all season and lost every other match but they never got going.

Toby Fuller gave Town the lead on 20 minutes with a scrappy goal. The Blues failed to overly test the Town goalkeeper as they went in at the break behind.

The second half began with hope for Sidley as Fuller was sin-binned in the second minute but they failed to make the numerical advantage count. In fact, things got worse on 54 minutes as a free kick saw goalkeeper Ritchie Gray fumble the ball straight to Elliott Matthews who knocked the ball home to double Town's lead.

Sidley grabbed a goal back from Will Witham on 74 minutes but in truth didn't deserve anything from the game as Town breathed fresh hope in their battle to survive the drop.

Sidley Team: Gray, Freeman, Hempe, Jack, Eldridge (K.Atkin), Carey, Burgon, S.Atkin, Witham, Ball, A.Atkin (Dangerfield).

Sidley United 0 - 1 Rye Town - ESFL Premier Division - Wednesday 17th April 2024

Sidley United put in a battling performance against the champions elect as they were just edged out in a narrow defeat at Hooe Rec.

The first half was a fairly even battle with neither team creating much in the way of clear cut chances with most of the game being played in the middle of the park. Rye almost scored right on the stroke of half time with a spectacular strike from fully 40 yards which Ritchie Gray did well to tip over the bar.

In the second half, Rye grabbed the all important goal on 54 minutes as a good ball through found Sam Hesmer who stayed onside and slotted beyond Gray. 

Sidley were undeterred and Will Witham almost found an equalier as his curling effort went just wide of the far post. 

With darkness quickly coming in, Rye looked to keep the ball away from danger but Sidley nearly snatched an equaliser with a late Cam Burgon free kick which was fiercly struck but just wide of the post. 

In the end though Rye held on to claim the points that put them on the brink of the ESFL title. Sidley are back in action on Saturday with the match against Bexhill Town switched to Hooe Rec for our penultimate match their this season.

Sidley Team: Gray, Freeman, Hempe, Carey, Jack, Thompson, R.Mote, Thompson, S.Atkin, Witham, Ball, Copley. Subs: K.Atkin, Burgon, A.Atkin.

Sidley United 3 - 2 Westfield II - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 13th April 2024

Never have three points been more richly earned than the ones Sidley United picked up thanks to Harvey Jack's late winner against Westfield.

After the earlier match between the two sides was abandoned with Sidley 5 - 0 up after an hour, the game was ordered to be replayed much to the Blues' frustrations. However that decision proved immaterial as Sidley grabbed the three points on the pitch once again.

Sidley began with determination although suffered a setback when Ian May picked up an early injury and had to be substituted. However, they didn't let that put them off their aim and won a penalty which was converted by Cam Burgon on 20 minutes.

Westfield equalised on 31 minutes but Sidley went in ahead at the break as Burgon got his second goal of the game on 34 minutes.

Into the second period and again Westfield grabbed an equaliser on 60 minutes and the game was in the balance. However, it was the Blues who came away smiling as Harvey Jack knocked in Burgon's 88th minute corner to seal the points.

Sidley are back in action this Wednesday evening as we welcome league leaders and champions elect Rye Town to Hooe Rec.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Freeman, Jack, Eldridge, Carey, Burgon, S.Atkin, Witham, Ball, A.Atkin. Subs: K.Atkin, T.Atkin.

The J.C Tackleway 1 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 6th April 2024

Sidley United made amends for the two dropped points Tackleway took from them last week with a comprehensive victory against the same opponents.

With Tackleway's ground unfit, the match was switched to Bexhill Road but despite the challenging pitch, Sidley flew out of the traps determined to right the wrongs of the previous Saturday. Andy Atkin scored a delightful lobbed effort on 21 minutes to put them in front and Cam Burgon doubled the Sidley lead with a direct free kick on 27 minutes.

The Blues looked to have put the game beyond doubt when Atkin made it 3 - 0 on 43 minutes as Sidley looked to ensure that this time the lead did not slip through their fingers.

Tackleway though were given a glimmer of hope when Blues' goalkeeper Ritchie Gray conceded a penalty on 53 minutes with Nathan Smith stepping up to slot home the spot kick.

However, Tackleway were unable to exert sustained pressure that would cause Sidley concern and indeed the Blues had chances to extend the lead that went begging. In the end though, that mattered little as Sidley took the three points for their first away win of the season.

Next week Sidley welcome Westfield II, another match the Blues will feel determined to get a result in having seen their 5 - 0 lead wiped out in an abandoned match earlier in the season.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Jack, Freeman, Carey, Burgon, S.Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin, Copley. Subs: Van Wyk, Witham.

Crowhurst 4 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Monday 1st April 2024

Sidley United's good recent run came to an end at high flying Crowhurst on Easter Monday as the Blues tasted defeat in the league for the first time in 8 outings.

Sidley knew they would be up against it against a side pushing for runners up spot but they held out until the 42nd minute when Reece Johnson scored before then seeing a second goal go in right on the stroke of half time courtesy of Henry Barnes.

Crowhurst got a third goal on 55 minutes through Alex Mulumba as the game seemed out of the Blues' reach and although Logan Copley got a goal back for Sidley on 59 minutes, the home side grabbed a fourth from Harry Spice on 72 minutes to wrap up the game.

Sidley's season wont be defined by these types of fixtures though with a return game against J.C Tackleway on Saturday a much more likely opportunity to pick up some more points.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Carey, Jack, Freeman, Burgon, Dann, K.Atkin, S.Atkin, Ball, Copley. Subs: Van Wyk, Witham.

Sidley United 3 - 3 The J.C Tackleway - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 30th March 2024

A patched up Sidley United side were denied all three points by a goal that came 8 minutes into stoppage time.

Sidley came into the game missing a number of players and it showed in the first half as Tackleway shaded the play despite not creating a lot of opportunities. The visitors felt aggrieved when the referee awarded a free kick on the edge of the box instead of a penalty but they soon took the lead on 24 minutes as a defensive mix up allowed Harry Cawkhill to tap home.

Sidley were playing a direct game and thought they found an equaliser as a long ball forward found Andy Atkin who finished smartly into the top corner only to see the offside flag deny him.

In the second half, Sidley came out much more positively and levelled on 56 minutes. A free kick from Ricky Mote cannoned off the crossbar but Sidley kept the ball alive and Andy Atkin was able to turn the ball home from close range.

Sidley soon went in front when a reckless challenge brought down Sam Atkin and Gary Hempe stepped up to slot home on 72 minutes. Well on top, Archie Ball saw a goal debatably ruled out for offside but minutes later on 77 minutes he followed up from close range to make it 3 - 1.

Tackleway's response was immediate as a free kick into the Sidley box was headed home on 79 minutes by Nathan Smith before the visiting manager was sent off by the referee for having too much to say. This, plus a stop-start half, contributed to 8 minutes of stoppage time and with the final kick, a long range shot from distance from Josh Eaton seemed to catch Gray out and ended up in the back of the net as the visitors stole a point.

A tough one to take for a Blues side who should be proud of their efforts missing a number of players. It's a fast turn around as they travel to Crowhurst on Monday.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Freeman, Jack, K.Atkin, Thompson, S.Atkin, T.Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin. Subs: R.Mote.

Sidley United 1 - 1 Bexhill A.A.C - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 16th March 2024

A rare out of sorts performance from Sidley United saw them have to settle for a point at home to cross town rivals Bexhill A.A.C. 

The Blues have been in good form recently and began positively with Ben Eldridge turning the ball home from close range on 10 minutes to take an early lead.

But they failed to capitalise on that and saw chances to extend that lead go begging in the first half. Athletic always carried a threat and a great save from a free header from Ritchie Gray on 43 minutes preserved Sidley's lead at the break.

Into the second half and Sidley surrendered the midfield area with Athletic looking the more likely and it was no surprise when they levelled on 68 minutes after a ball forward saw Ben Ferguson chop inside and finish at Gray's near post.

Both teams battled hard with Athletic looking more likely to nick a winner but in the end it was a point apiece which probably was a fair result overall. 

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Mote, Jack, Carey, Burgon, Eldridge, S.Atkin, T.Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin. Subs: Copley, Freeman, K.Atkin, Van Wyk.

Rye Town 3 - 2 Sidley United - Macron Hastings Challenge Cup Semi Final - Saturday 9th March 2024

Sidley United produced a valiant effort against the champions and league leaders but fell short to exit the Cup at the semi final stage.

In a game switched to Hooe Rec after Rye's match proved to be unfit, the league leaders started strongly and flew into a two goal lead with goals from Daniel Kearley after 4 minutes and Charlie Stevens on 11 minutes putting them firmly in command.

But Sidley rallied and won a penalty on 33 minutes when Tony Atkin was clipped in the box and he picked himself up to slot home the spot kick. That goal could have had Sidley right back in the tie but on 43 minutes Sam Hesmer struck to restore Rye's two goal lead at the break.

Undeterred though, a bare Sidley eleven kept going and pulled a goal back on 68 minutes when a ffree kick into the box was headed home by Andy Atkin. Sidley pushed the leaders hard and could perhaps have forced extra time with a good late chance but in the end Rye held on to book their place in the final.

Sidley should be proud though of just how much they have progressed this season to push the unbeaten league leaders so close with no subsitutes available.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Jack, Carey, Eldridge, Freeman, S.Atkin, T.Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin.

Sidley United A - A Westfield II - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 24th February 2024

Sidley United's best performance at the season proved to be in vein as their match with Westfield II was abandonded due to the weather on 60 minutes with the Blues 5 - 0 up on the team third in the table.

In difficult but playable conditions, Sidley tore into the Westies taking the lead through Archie Ball on 11 minutes before Logan Copley capitalised on a mistake by the Westfield goalkeeper to double the lead on 18 minutes.

Copley then grabbed a third goal with a left foot finish from the edge of the area on 30 minutes and wrapped up his hat-trick in the final minute of the first half by slotting home from close range.

Sidley did their best to ensure the second half could kick off and the referee started the second period which saw Sidley grab a fifth when Copley struck from a cut-back on 50 minutes to make it 5 - 0.

The rain was stop start but the pitch was cutting up and on 60 minutes, to the frustration of both sides with Westfield also wanting the game to end, the referee deemed the pitch to no longer be playable and called the game off.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Carey, Jack, Eldridge, S.Atkin, T.Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin, Copley. Subs: Freeman, K.Atkin.

Westfield II 2 - 2 Sidley United (Sidley United win 4 - 2 on penalties) - Macron Hastings Challenge Cup Quarter Final - Saturday 3rd Februray 2024 

Sidley United emerged victorious on penalties after an entertaining draw with Westfield to book their place in the semi final of the Macron Hastings Challenge Cup.

The Westies opened the scoring after 17 minutes but Sidley levelled on 23 minutes when a free kick was struck towards goal by Andy Atkin and although Milo Stafford parried the shot, Tony Atkin followed up to bring the Blues level.

That pattern was replicated towards the end of the half as Westfield went back in front on 41 minutes before Sidley again levelled on the 45 minute mark as another free kick was pushed out by Stafford and Archie Ball headed home.

Into the second half both teams pushed to get the all important goal but neither could break through and after another thirty minute period, the match remained deadlocked and went to penalties to decide a winner.

Westfield began the shootout but saw two of their spot kicks saved by Blues goalkeeper Ritchie Gray and with Sidley scoring all four of their efforts, it was the Blues who booked their place in the final four and a tie against league leaders Rye Town. 

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, S.Mote, Jack, Eldridge, Burgon, Carey, T.Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin. Subs: S.Atkin, R.Mote, Freeman.

Sidley United 1 - 2 Punnetts Town - ESFL Challenge Cup Quarter Final - Saturday 27th January 2024

Two quickfire goals turned the game around as Punnetts Town came from behind to inflict a first defeat in 8 games on Sidley and take their place in the semi finals of the cup.

The first half was a battle of attrition with both sides tentatively feeling each other out. Unfortunately this didn't result in any goalmouth action with neither goalkeeper tested as the half ended.

The start of the second half though exploded into life just 40 seconds in as Andy Atkin muscled through two challenges and the ball came through invitingly for Archie Ball who curled home his effort into the corner to put Sidley in front.

Punnetts hadn't forced Ritchie Gray into any serious trouble before they found the leveller. From a free kick in their own half, Punnetts moved the ball quickly to get in on the left hand side and their striker finished low to draw Punnetts level on 76 minutes. 

And just two minutes later, the visitors took the lead as a free kick into the box was swept home from 12 yards.

Sidley had a glorious late chance to force extra time as the ball came through to Tony Atkin but his header was scrambled clear for a corner.

A valiant effort from the Blues against a top three side. Next week they travel to Westfield II in another cup quarter final - this time the Macron Hastings Challenge Cup.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Mote, Jack, Eldridge, Burgon (Freeman), S.Atkin (van Wyk), Carey, Ball (T.Atkin), A.Atkin.

Punnetts Town 3 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 13th January 2024

A last minute Steve Mote header maintained Sidley United's recent good form as they made it 7 matches unbeaten, coming from behind three times to claim a battling draw at Punnetts Town. 

The Blues fell behind within the first minute as a corner into the box wasn't cleared and Punnetts found the back of the net. However Sidley levelled on 12 minutes when they won a penalty and although Tony Atkin's spot kick came back off the crossbar, brother Andy was on hand to knock home the rebound.

New signing Jude Van Wyk came on for the Blues at the start of the second half but the home side struck on 57 minutes to restore their lead. However Sidley were undeterred and levelled again on 79 minutes through Atkin's second of the game only for Punnetts to restore their lead just moments afterwards.

However, a battling Sidley kept going and in the final minute a free kick into the area saw Mote head home to ensure the Blues claimed a point and kept their good form going. 

Sidley's attention now turns to the cups with two quarter finals coming up; first up against Westfield in the Macron Challenge Cup before they face Punnetts again in the ESFL Challenge Cup the weekend after.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Mote, Jack, Carey, Burgon, Eldridge, Ball, T.Atkin, A.Atkin. Subs: Freeman, Van Wyk, S.Atkin.

Sidley United 2 - 0 Hollington United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 6th January 2024

Sidley United continued their fine recent form, making it 6 games unbeaten by defeating local rivals Hollington United.

Hollington were the last team to defeat the Blues back in October but since then Blues have found a consistency and a rhythm to their play. In the first half though both sides had chances as a free kick into the box saw Hollington hit the crossbar before Logan Copley struck the post with a low left foot effort for Sidley.

Right on the stroke of half time the deadlock was broken as Andy Atkin flicked the ball into Copley's path and this time he made no mistake finishing low past Lions' goalkeeper Logan Woodhurst to give the Blues the lead.

Early in the second half, that lead was doubled as a deep free kick saw Atkin rise highest to head into the net on 53 minutes. Blues could have made it three but Cam Burgon's effort hit the crossbar instead of the back of the net.

Hollington continued pushing but couldn't force Blues' goalkeeper Ritchie Gray into a serious save and Sidley claimed the win with a rare clean sheet as an added bonus. These three points move Sidley further away from the bottom of the table.

The Blues will look to continue their good form away to Punnets Town next week.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Jack, Mote, Carey, Eldridge, Burgon, T.Atkin (Freeman), Copley, A.Atkin (S.Atkin).

Sandhurst 1 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 16th December 2023

Sidley United went into the Christmas break with a well earned point away to Kent based Sandhurst.

The Blues came into the game on the back of 4 straight wins in all competitions and they were on course to make it 5 when they won a penalty on 25 minutes. Tony Atkin stepped up to score from the spot and give Sidley the lead.

The hosts looked for an immediate response and hit the crossbar shortly afterwards but they were unable to find a way past a well organised Sidley defence and the Blues went in ahead at the break.

Sandhurst pushed for the equaliser in the second half and it took until the 83rd minute for them to find it. When the sides met on the opening day of the season, a late Sidley collapse saw Sandhurst take all three points but this time there was a different feel about the match.

Indeed Sidey were back in the ascendancy on 87 minutes as Joe Walsh was sent off to reduce the hosts to 10 men and Sidley felt a late winner may come their way.

However it wasn't to be and the sides had to settle for a point apiece. This result is the Blues first draw of the season and sees them move further clear of the bottom two.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Mote, Eldridge, O'Callaghan, Jack, Carey, Copley, Ball,  T.Atkin, A.Atkin. Sub: Freeman.

Sidley United 3 - 1 Hawkhurst United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 2nd December 2023

For the third match in a row Sidley United won by a 3 - 1 scoreline as they gave themselves breathing space from the bottom two.

Lewis Wade got the ball rolling with an early strike after 5 minutes and the Blues doubled the lead with a lovely goal from Andy Atkin on 25 minutes as Sidley controlled the first half.

Hawkhurst threatened to get back into the game when they pulled a goal back on 67 minutes but their charge stalled when two quick yellow cards in succession saw them go down to 10 men on 86 minutes. 

And just a minute later Sidley sealed the win as Archie Ball struck to ensure of all three points. With that result Sidley move three points clear of the bottom two and above St Leonards Social into ninth place.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Mote, Eldridge, Dangerfield, Carey, Jack, Corke, Wade, Ball, A.Atkin. Subs: S.Atkin, O'Callaghan.

Bexhill Town 1 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Challenge Cup First Round - Saturday 25th November 2023

Sidley United overcame a delay owing to floodlight failure and a red card for Gary Hempe to see off Bexhill Town and progress into the Second Round of the ESFL Challenge Cup. 

The match at Bexhill College was at risk of not starting as a floodlight failure saw kick off delayed by 35 minutes. But when the game did get going, Sidley didn't hang around as Andy Atkin struck to give them the lead on 15 minutes.

The Blues then doubled their lead through Tony Atkin on 31 minutes in a first half that saw some good football being played.

But half time brought a change in the match, with a lot of stop-start passages punctuated by some fussy refereeing. One of these moments was too much for Hempe who saw what was to be an initial sin-bin on 63 minutes upgraded to a straight red card for something he said to the referee.

Sidley then felt further frustration on 68 minutes as a ball into the box was deemed to strike the arm of a Blues defender stretching to block the ball and a penalty was awarded. Jake Hemsley stepped forward and although Ritchie Gray saved his initial spot kick, Hemsley tucked the rebound home to set up a tense end to the match.

That tension was relieved though on 86 minutes as a defensive mix up from Town allowed Dan Goergen in on goal. He unselfishly squared to Cam Burgon who saw his shot saved but only for Goergen to slam home the rebound and secure Sidley's place in the next round.

Sidley will hope to keep the winning run going as they welcome Hawkhurst United to Hooe Rec in league action next week.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Carey, Jack, Dann, Burgon, Thompson, Ball, T.Atkin, A.Atkin. Subs: Dangerfield, Goergen, Wade.

Sidley United 3 - 1 Hooe - Macron Hastings Challenge Cup Second Round - Saturday 11th November 2023

Sidley United shook off the enforced break as they saw off ground sharers Hooe to reach the Quarter Finals of the Macron Hastings Challenge Cup. 

Before kick off club chairman Dickie Day was presented with his 50 year service award; marking an incredible contribution that has seen him act as player, manager and chairman in that time. The current Blues cohort were determined to continue the feel good factor on the pitch.

Sidley began well and took the lead through Tony Atkin's first goal for the club but former player Charlie Cornford levelled the scores before the break.

Cam Burgon restored Sidley's lead in the second half and a late goal from Archie Ball sealed the win as Sidley made it back to back wins.

The Blues will play either Westfield II or Little Common II in the Quarter Finals.

Sidley Team: Jack, May, Mote, Dangerfield, Hempe, Carey, Thompson, Burgon, Ball, T. Atkin, A.Atkin. Subs: O'Callaghan, Bradbury, Geogen, Shaw.

Sidley United 3 - 2 Bexhill Town - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 21st October 2033

Archie Ball was the hero as Sidley United struck a late winner to claim a huge three points and move up a place in the ESFL Premier Division. 

The bottom two sides came into this game knowing this was a huge match for both but it was Sidley who looked the stronger with Town strikers all too often unable to stay onside. It was a moment of fortune though that put Sidley in front as Simon Corke attempted a cross from the left hand side, mis-hit it and it looped rightover the Town goalkeeper and into the net on 25 minutes.

town were then further shocked as Sidley doubled the lead a minute later. A ball in from the right was deflected into the air by a defender for Ball to head home his first of the afternoon. Sidley were in the ascendancy but their bad habits of conceding penalties emerged again as Gary Hempe brought down a striker in the box and Jake Hemsley squeezed the spot kick under stand-in goalkeeper Harvey Jack on 35 minutes. 

The game was still there for both sides at half time but Town drew level with another penalty on 54 minutes when Callum Sheriff brought down former Blue Will Witham and again Hemsley converted to bring the sides level. 

Neither team was prepared to settle for the draw though, both pushing forward but it was Sidley who struck on 75 minutes as Ball played a neat one-two to get in on goal and poke the ball underneath the onrushing goalkeeper to restore Sidley's lead. 

And this time they managed to hold onto it as they defended resiliently to claim the points and move above Hawkhurst United ahead of the game against them next week where the Blues will be targeting three more points.

Sidley Team: Jack, May, Hempe, C Sherriff, Eldridge, Burgon, J Sherriff, Croucher, Wade, Corke, Ball. Subs: O'Callaghan, Mote. 

Hollington United 2 - 0 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division  - Saturday 14th October 2023

Two former Mid Sussex champions met at The Gibbons and it was Hollington United who came out on top. 

It was a former Sidley legend who put the home side in front as Dan Spice headed home a free kick on 25 minutes. Sidley struggled to create chances of note but managed to get to the break with the scoreline as it was.

But in the second half a penalty conceded by Ash Carey saw him sent off on 55 minutes and Casey Ham tucked home the spot kick to put the game to bed with Sidley unable to find a way back into the contest.

A disappointing day for the Blues who will look to bounce back next week in a crunch match against bottom side Bexhill Town.

Sidley Team: Jack, May, Hempe, C Sherriff, Geogen, Carey, Croucher, O'Callaghan, Wade, Ball, T Atkin. Sub: Dangerfield. 

Westfield 2 - 0 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 7th October 2023

Sidley United suffered that sinking feeling on Saturday as two penalties - plus a red card for goalkeeper Ritchie Gray - saw them beaten at second placed Westfield. 

After picking up their first points of the campaign, Sidley came into the game against a high flying Westfield side with some renewed confidence themselves and were in the game, competing well against the hosts. However on 37 minutes Gray conceded a reckless penalty coming out to challenge a Westfield forward and Joe Page tucked away the resulting spot kick as Westfield went in at the break a goal ahead.

Sidley may have felt there was still a chance for them to get back in the game but that chance faded on 59 minutes. Gray felt that he was kicked out at by a Westfield player and retaliated in kind, earning himself a red card from the referee. A goal and a man down, Sidley then conceded another penalty on 68 minutes with the outcome the same as the first one; Page converting from the spot.

Sidley continued to compete but ultimately the damage was done and the home side held on to take the points. Sidley can look ahead to another local derby against Hollington United at The Gibbons Field next week.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Eldridge, Bradbury, Jack, Carey, Burgon, Ball, T.Atkin, A.Atkin. Sub: Croucher.

Sidley United 3 - 2 St Leonards Social - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 30th September 2023

Sidley United finally picked up their first three points of the league campaign as they saw off St Leonards Social at Hooe Rec. 

The Blues began positively and took the lead after just 7 minutes as Andy Atkin headed home for his first goal of the season. And the Blues would double the lead 5 minutes later as Atkin did brilliantly well to cross for Ash Carey to score.

Social though recovered to get a foothold in the game and they reduced the arrears when they were awarded a penalty which was tucked home by Mark Larkin on 42 minutes.

The Blues have developed a concerning habit of letting leads slip and they must have feared history would repeat itself when Social levelled on 62 minutes with a goal from Nour Eid.

But the duck was broken as Archie Ball netted a third Sidley goal on 68 minutes with the Blues holding out to take the points and close the gap on the teams above them.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Mote, Goergen, Carey, Burgon, Wade, T. Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin. Subs: Dangerfield, Jack, Bradbury.

Rye Town 3 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 23rd September 2023

The enforced break failed to halt a worrying pattern as for the third time in four matches, Sidley United gave up a lead to end up with defeat in the ESFL Premier Division. 

The first 20 minutes belonged to Sidley - against the expectation given the two teams' starts - and Archie Ball gave the Blues the lead. 

However Rye proved that last season's excellent form was no fluke as they turned the game around before half time. First Sammy Foulkes equalised on 23 minutes before Will Brown put the home side in front on 35 minutes. 

Worse followed as Charlie Stevens scored a direct free kick from the edge of the penalty area on 40 minutes to put Rye firmly in command. It could have been worse for the Blues as 2 minutes before half time Rye won a penalty but Ritchie Gray guessed correctly to keep out the spot kick.

In the second half Sidley created a couple of half chances and hit the post with one but ultimately were unable to grab a goal that would have possibly frayed the Rye nerves as they came away empty handed.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Carey, Bradbury, Burgon, Eldridge, Wade, Ball, T. Atkin, Copley. Subs: Dangerfield.

Crowhurst vs Sidley Team - Sussex FA Intermediate Cup First Round - Saturday 9th September 2023

Match not played as Sidley United unable to raise a team. Walkover win for Crowhurst. 

Sidley United 0 - 3 Punnetts Town - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 2nd September 2023

Sidley United moved to the foot of the ESFL Premier Division table after a disappointing afternoon at Hooe Rec. 

With the Blues only able to field a bare 11, the visitors controlled the match from start to finish although it took a spectacular strike from Pat Johnson from 25 yards to get the ball rolling on 14 minutes. 

Sidley struggled to create many opportunities but were putting up a valiant effort against free scoring Punnetts. They will be disappointed with the second goal though as a shot cannoned back off the underside of the crossbar and with the Blues slow to react, Craig Norman ran in to head the loose ball into the net on 32 minutes. 

Two down at the break, Sidley kept going and the second half was more an even affair. Harry Worsell got the third goal with a looping left foot finish into the top corner on 76 minutes to effectively seal the win.

Louis Walder was shown a late red card for the visitors after saying something to the referee to earn a second yellow card but this mattered little as the visitors saw out the game to claim all three points.

For Sidley a tough start to the season and they will look to regroup and go again in the coming weeks.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Eldridge, Burgon, Carey, Croucher, Witham, Corke, Wade, Ball, Atkin.

Bexhill A.A.C 4 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 26th August 2023

It was almost a repeat performance for Sidley United as they surrendered a lead to come away empty handed, conceding late goals in the second week in a row.

The Blues came into the game smarting from throwing away the opening game against Sandhurst and began positively with Cam Burgon hitting the crossbar and Archie Ball denied what appeared to be a stonewall penalty.

The hosts created a number of half chances but it was the Blues who took the lead on 34 minutes as Ball did well and whipped a great ball in which Lewis Wade got on the end of to flick the ball home. The lead wasn't to last though with Sidley already fortunate not to concede when Athletic somehow contrived to miss an open goal but some lapse defending allowed Harley Ransom levelled on 38 minutes.

The second half saw Sidley struggle to get up the field with fitness perhaps starting to become more of an issue. Despite this, they were defending well and the game was evenly balanced until Athletic struck on 78 minutes. A ball through on the left hand side saw the ball tapped across for the striker to tuck home.

In worringly similar fashion to the previous week, Sidley then conceded further late goals as the third goal saw a ball struck from distance which landed at the feet of Louis Haffendend to slot home on 87 minutes whilst the fourth came when the referee judged Ritchie Gray was not fouled and dropped the ball to a Athletic player to strike home in stoppage time.

Whilst other results in the league actually saw Sidley rise a place, the Blues are going to have to dig deep and look to tackle the issues which have seen late goals become a running theme before they take on a Crowhurst side who have started the season with 2 wins from 2.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Eldridge, Dangerfield, Burgon, Carey, Witham, Bossom, Ball, Wade, Atkin. Subs: Croucher, Corke. 

Sidley United 2 - 5 Sandhurst - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 19th August 2023

It was an opening day defeat for the Blues who blew a lead in a calamitous 10 minute end to the game as Sandhurst came away from Hooe Rec with all 3 points on the opening day.

It was the worst possible start for the Blues as Sandhurst struck after just 38 seconds; flimsy challenges presented the chance for the ball to be crossed in to Rob Briley who struck past Ritchie Gray to give the visitors the lead,

The Blues took some time to warm up but they levelled on 31 minutes as a long ball forward found Andy Atkin who flicked the ball on to Archie Ball to finish well past the Sandhurst goalkeeper. Both teams battled as the sides went in level at the break.

In the second period, Sidley seemed to have a bit more measure of the game and took the lead on 66 minutes. With a Sandhurst defender late coming out, the Blues found themselves in front of goal and Zak Dangerfield beat the goalkeeper to the bouncing ball to head into the net and give the home side the lead.

A goal ahead and with 10 minutes to go, the game was in Sidley's hand. But rather than Sandhurst wrestling it away from them, it was more a case that Sidley threw it away themselves. On 80 minutes Sandhurst levelled when the ball was played across to Harry Morrell on the right hand side with Gray choosing to come out of his goal to meet him; allowing Morrell a simple task to slot the ball past him and into the net.

Worse was to come a few minutes later as Sidley failed to deal with a ball forward and James Found struck low past Gray to give the visitors the lead. And then as the game entered stoppage time, Sidley conceded another 2 poor goals with defensive errors at the heart of the end result.

A disappointing start to the season for the Blues who must now pick themselves up and look to pick up a result next Saturday as they travel to Bexhill A.A.C.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Burgeon, Geoghan, Carey, Witham, Bossom, Wade, Ball, Atkin. Subs: Bradbury, Dangerfield, Eldridge, Corke, Croucher.

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