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Blues begin with a win at Hawkhurst

(September 10, 2016)

Hawkhurst United 2 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division

Sidley United began their ESFL Premier Division campaign with a win thanks to a brace of penalties from Gary Hempe and a late strike from Jordan Cole, despite ending with 10 men.

Blues took the lead after 7 minutes after some quick feet from Dan Hill saw him brought down just inside the area and Hempe converted the penalty comfortably. 

The rest of the half was an even affair with Hawkhurst's direct style of play generally well contained by Sidley's defence while Blues often threatened with pace on the wings.

Sidley won a second penalty after 55 minutes as Ashley Elphick was brought down by a clumsy tackle, allowing Hempe to again convert with ease and Blues looked comfortable at that stage.

However, Hawkhurst got a goal back on 64 minutes as a nice turn on the edge of the area allowed the forward to get a shot away which crept into the corner despite Rogers getting a faint hand on it.

Despite this, Sidley found a lot of space opening up and their pace was causing Hawkhurst problems on numerous occasions.

With around 5 minutes left though Blues were reduced to 10 men as Dan Hill, already on a yellow card was shown a second for speaking out of turn to the referee but Blues defied the man disadvantage to score again.

The third goal came with 3 minutes left when Scrace fed Jordan Cole who finished smartly with a firm strike into the corner of the net.

However the drama wasn't finished as in stopage time the referee awarded Hawkhurst a penalty after Eldridge clashed legs with an opponent and their taker finished powerfully to again reduce the arrears.

That though turned out to be the last kick of the game, meaning the Blues began the campaign with 3 points from their opening tough away game. Next up is another tough encounter away to Battle Baptist.

Sidley Team: Rogers, O'Callaghan (Godden), Hempe, Eldridge, Copley, Carey, Hill, Corke, Scrace, Elphick (Bailey), Cole.


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