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Blues blow Balcome away, Reserves draw

(October 16, 2021)

Sidley United 8 - 0 Balcombe - MSFL Premier Division

Sidley United crushed Balcombe to cement their place at the top of the Mid Sussex Premier Division.

With Little Common still unavailable, the Blues returned to Hooe Rec for this match, sponsored by Hastings Direct, and began at a terrific tempo. A neat one-two with Paul Rogers sprang Nathan Crabb away down the right and he finished powerfully at the near post to put the Blues in front on 13 minutes.

Sidley would double the lead when Zac McEniry headed home a corner on 22 minutes before Lee Carey finished with a low drive from the edge of the area on 33 minutes to leave Balcombe stunned.

The Blues went in at the break 5 goals to the good as the impressive Danny Ellis beat the offside trap with a run from deep, cut inside his man and finished on 41 minutes before Crabb almost replicated that 2 minutes later, cutting in from the right hand side to round the goalkeeper and slot home.

The challenge in the second half was maintaining the same intensity but Sidley showed no sign of slowing up as they won a penalty when Chris Cumming-Bart was brought down on 50 minutes and Paul Rogers calmly slotted the ball home low to the goalkeepers' left from the resulting spot kick.

Crabb completed his hat-trick when Ellis brilliantly beat a final defender and sat the goalkeeper down before rolling the ball across the line for Crabb to tap home on 67 minutes and Rogers completed the scoring when he was bundled over to win another penalty, picking himself up to convert in the same corner as the first to make it 8 - 0 on 71 minutes.

Balcombe created one chance late on which goalkeeper Dan Hutchins did well to repel but they could never really lay a glove on the Blues who put in probably their most complete performance of the season to remain top of the Mid Sussex table. The Man of the Match was hat-trick hero Nathan Crabb.

Next week the Blues face Cuckfield Rangers.

Sidley Team: Hutchins, Featherstone, McEniry, Walker, Elliott-Noye, Ellis, Carey, McCue, Cumming-Bart, N Crabb, Rogers. Subs: Cornford, Foster, Thompson. 

The J.C Tackleway 1 - 1 Sidley United II - ESFL Division One

Sidley United were held to a draw by The J.C Tackleway as their winning start to the season came to an end.

In surprisingly calm conditions at Barley Lane the hosts took control of the game from the off with some good passing movement to cut through the Sidley lines. They took the lead when a clever quick free kick found the busy Toby Payne who slotted the ball past Paul Crittenden to put the hosts ahead.
It took a while for the Blues to wake up but when they did they looked dangerous as they searched for an equaliser. Alex Williams came close to finding it but his header hit the inside of the post before being cleared off the line by the Tackleway defence. 
A half time reality check for the Blues seemed to give them the kickstart they needed as they began the second half by pinning their hosts in their own half with a barrage of efforts with the home side throwing bodies in the way to deny the Blues. However a Sidley equaliser came in similar fashion to the goal they conceded as a clever quick long throw from Ash Elphick found Williams in behind the back line to pull Sidley level with a clever finish.
Simon Tomlinson hit the bar and another effort was cleared off the line as Sidley went after a winner. Tackleway looked dangerous on the counter attack with Payne forcing Crittenden into a smart low save to ensure Sidley came away with a point at the end of the game. 
Whilst Sidley may feel this was two points lost, they know they need to be on their game as they face top of the table Bexhill A.A.C next week who will want to avenge their loss to the Blues on the opening day of the season.
The Dynamic Scaffolding Man of the Match was 18 year old goalkeeper Paul Crittenden for some smart saves.

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