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Blues crushed by champions on opening day

(September 02, 2017)

Sidley United 0 - 6 Hollington United - ESFL Premier Division 

It was not the start the Blues 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, 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 expecting the free kick but the referee overruled the linesman and allowed play to continue as Danny Woodley eventually found 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 half 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 through some tiring Sidley legs as Sam White struck from the right of the are before Dovla added a particularly galling sixth goal as walked the ball over the line.

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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