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Blues beaten in Cup; Reserves back to winning ways

(November 13, 2021)

Sidley United 0 - 3 Balcombe - Montgomery Cup Quarter Final

Sidley United saw one chance at silverware slip through their fingers as they suffered a first defeat of the season with Balcombe progressing to the Semi Finals of the Montgomery Cup.

The two sides met last month where Sidley ran out 8 - 0 winners but this match, played at Hailsham Town FC, never looked like being a repeat. A much changed Sidley side, suffering from suspensions and injuries, found it tough to get going with the visitors shading the early stages of the first half possession while Sidley's best moment came when Danny Ellis flashed a shot wide of the far post after a twisting run.

Just two minutes before half time, Balcombe took the lead as a shot from the edge of the area beat Blues goalkeeper Ricardo Teixeira. There was still time for a glorious chance to equalise as Chris Cumming-Bart got through one-on-one but he got too much on his attempted lob over the goalkeeper and it cleared the crossbar.

In the second period, the game became increasingly fractrious and it threatened to spoil over. From one example of dissent, Balcombe's Ryan Davidson was sin-binned for dissent. Sidley thought they had equalised as Ellis' resulting free kick evaded everyone to nestle in the net but the goal was disallowed as the free kick was indirect.

Shortly afterwards, Alan Foster was also sin-binned for dissent and Balcombe took advantage to double the lead. As Sidley wasted their own throw in, the ball came through to Jamie Weston whose low strike from the edge of the area found the net on 73 minutes.

The game was put to bed when a third goal was scored. A Balcombe corner finding its way to one of their players to head home inside the six yard box on 84 minutes.

Then almost inevitably, the game finally boiled over as Balcombe's Chris Clarke and Sidley's Danny Ellis were shown straight red cards for an incident which led to a mass melee involving nearly everyone from both sides. A disappointing end to the match as the referee blew for full time immediately after the two dismissals.

A day to forget for the Blues but Balcombe were worthy winners on the day. Next week the Blues will return to league action as they take on Rotherfield.

Sidley Team: Teixeira, Walker, McEniry, Featherstone, McCue, Clifford, Agutter Ellis, Foster, Carey, Cumming-Bart. Subs: Trickett, Rogers, S Crabb.

Sandhurst 1 - 4 Sidley United II - Hastings FA Cup

Sidley United II's put their recent poor form behind them as they avoided a cup upset at Division Two side Sandhurst and progress in the Hastings FA Junior Cup.
Playing on a sticky pitch the Blues started brightly with Alex Williams and Ash Elphick both hitting the woodwork before Elphick broke the deadlock when a Sandhurst goal kick could only find Rosh Wells, who directed the ball back towards Elphick who had beaten to offside trap and superbly finishing past the keeper with a low drive into the bottom left corner.
Sandhurst managed to level the game though against the run of play when a long ball over the top found the striker who beat blues keeper Paul Crittenden to the ball only to see his goal bound effort bounce off the post. Unfortunately for the Blues, his strike partner reacted the quickest to slot into an empty net.
Blues made a few adjustments at half-time and goalkeeper Ritchie Gray made a welcome return after being out for 10 weeks from an injury picked up on the opening day of the season. The changes seemed to have a positive effect as some quick attacking football down the left side allowed Sam Gilbert to pick out Graham Stovell in the box who fired past the keeper to restore the lead for Sidley.
Two soon became three as Gilbert once again cut inside to find Sean Baldwin for his first goal of the season. The Blues continued to camp in the oppositions half as they continued to carve out chances. With the game all but finished some good work in the middle by Baldwin saw him slip Williams in leaving him with just the keeper to beat and he slotted it into the bottom left corner to completely wrap up the tie.
A much improved all round performance this week with every player putting in a solid performance. The Dynamic Scaffolding Man of the match was Sean Baldwin who dictated and dominated the midfield capping his display with a well deserved goal.
Sidley Team: Crittenden, Opaye-Tetteh, Hempe, Davies, Ransom, Wells, Gilbert, Stovell, Elphick, Williams, Baldwin. Subs: Hardy, Carey, Gray.

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