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Bizarre penalties as Blues claim draw

(February 18, 2017)

Gary Hempe

Sedlescombe Rangers 1 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division

Sidley United continued their unbeaten run in 2017 as they drew with Sedlescombe Rangers in a match punctuated with 2 bizarre penalty awards.

Blues began the same starting line up that so brilliantly saw off Battle Baptists last week and they started well with some early pressure on the Sedlescombe goal although neither side really created a clear opportunity in the opening quarter.

However Sidley were given a golden chance to take the lead on 29 minutes. As a Sidley corner was played in, referee Jessica Storrie blew the whistle. With both sets of players looking confused, she signalled for a penalty for an apparent shirt pull. Reliable Gary Hempe cooly converted to give Blues the lead.

The rest of the half was an even battle as both sides looked to try and get the next goal but the Blues went in 1 - 0 up at the interval.

The second half continued much in the same vein with a number of half chances for both sides but no clear cut opportunities.

However on 58 minutes it was Sedlescombe's time to be awarded a soft penalty in an almost carbon copy of the one given in the first half, this time for an apparent push in the back although no one appealed. But unlike Hempe, Rangers' Pete Matthews dragged a poor effort horribly wide of Rogers' right hand post.

The game became somewhat scrappy for the next 15 minutes and a couple of yellow cards were shown to each side. Rangers had a good chance to level as a ball in from the left was miscued by the striker from 6 yards out while Sidley tried to carry on coming forward.

Sedlescombe equalised with a goal on 80 minutes as an initial ball into the box wasn't cleared completely by the Sidley defence and Kevin Clifford struck a shot high into the net to even the scores.

Both sides had late chances to win it as Rogers made a vital save to deny a Sedlescombe player who had broken through the defence while, at the other end, stoppage time efforts by John Carey and Hempe almost won it for the Blues.

In the end a draw was probably about right but Blues will be disappointed not to have taken all three points. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, Elphick, Hempe, Copley, Eldridge, Cole, Day, O'Callaghan (Carey), Scrace, Bailey (Agutter), Baldwin (Shelton).


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