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Unbeaten run ends as Blues exit cup

(March 14, 2020)

Sidley United 3 - 4 Forest Row - Sussex FA Intermediate Cup Semi Final

Sidley United's long unbeaten run came to an end as Forest Row won a lively encounter to book their place in the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup Final.

The visitors began well and won an 11th minute penalty for a foul by Blues goalkeeper Joe Rogers which was converted by George Holah despite Rogers getting a hand to the spot kick.

Sidley responded and drew level through Sean Baldwin's close range finish on 30 minutes. A flashpoint then erupted when Lee Carey's arm struck a Forest Row player sparking angry confrontations along the touchline with Carey perhaps fortunate to only receive a yellow card.

The visitors went back in front right at the end of the half as a good move saw a cross from the left turned home by Alistair Holden as Sidley went in at the break behind.

In the second half Sidley enjoyed the better of the football with Baldwin again involved as the Blues levelled on 59 minutes. His goalbound shot took a deflection off a Row defender and looped into the net. But on 65 minutes the visitors once again took the lead when Matthew Burroughs turned home a corner. 

Sidley dug in and levelled the scores once again through a terrific free kick by Carey from the edge of the area on 69 minutes. In the final minutes the game could have gone either way with Danny Ellis having a good chance to put the Blues in front. 

But in the final minute Gary Hempe was shown a red card for raising his hands in the face of an opponent and Sidley were up against it. With extra time looming, a corner from the right from Tom Underwood evaded everyone and nestled in the net to snatch victory, ending Sidley's unbeaten home run which stretched back to October 2018. 

Sidley ended the game with 9 men as Dom Bristow was sin-binned for dissent but the damage was done by then and the visitors saw out the final seconds to book their place in the final. 

Sidley will hope to focus on the league and ensuring that they will get their hands on at least one trophy this season. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, Walker, Hempe, McEniry, Saunders, Bristow, Elphick (Elliott-Noye), Ellis, Carey, Cornford, Baldwin. 

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