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Crabb sends Sidley back to the top

(September 11, 2021)

Balcombe 0 - 1 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division

Nathan Crabb's second half goal was enough to see off plucky Balcombe and send Sidley back to the top of the MSFL.

The Blues returned to a pitch where they suffered a heavy loss after the Covid break last season determined to put on a better showing this time around. They began well although the biggest talking point in the first 15 minutes was the huge tree overhanging a good part of the pitch.

Gradually Sidley got on top and looked threatening at corners particularly with Zac McEniry and Steve Hickman going close and another good ball in from Lee Carey going begging. Balcombe's best moment came when Phil Hawkins picked up a backpass and an indirect free kick was given inside the area but Sidley defended it well.

Into the second half, the game was an even affair with neither goalkeeper overly tested until Crabb broke the deadlock on 57 minutes when he reacted quickest to a lofted clearance to get in on goal on the right and despite getting a foot to his low strike, the Balcombe goalkeeper could only help the ball into the roof of the net.

Balcombe came further forward after this with Sidley resolved to defend well and try to wrap up the game on the break. Man of the Match Crabb almost clinched it when he was played in on goal by Paul Rogers but this time his low strike just passed the far post.

The home side applied late pressure with some long throws into the Sidley area but the defence held firm for a welcome clean sheet to go along with the three points. They return to the top of the table and are without a match next weekend.

Sidley Team: Hawkins, Walker, McEniry, Featherstone, Hickman, Ellis, Baldwin, Carey, Cumming-Bart, N Crabb, Rogers. Subs: Trickett, Elphick, Elliott-Noye, McCue. 

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