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Blues claim Cuckfield win; Reserves see off Peche Hill

(December 18, 2021)

Cuckfield Rangers 2 - 5 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division 

Sidley United claimed a comprehensive victory in their final match of 2021 to leave them still unbeaten and top of the Mid Sussex Premier Division at the turn of the year.

The Blues got off to a flying start as after just 3 minutes a long kick by goalkeeper Dan Hutchins was headed on by Nathan Crabb into the path of striker Paul Rogers who coolly slotted home.

Sidley were dominant early on and only an excellent save by the Cuckfield goalkeeper denied Sam Crabb a goal on 20 minutes. However, Sidley did score their second goal of the game on 40 minutes when a corner saw Josh Elliott-Noye force the ball over the line after a goal-mouth scramble.

And Sidley went in at the break 3 goals to the good as Zac McEniry headed in another corner in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Sidley maintained their tempo in the second half with Chris Cumming-Bart getting his name on the score sheet just 6 minutes into the half. It wasn’t all one-way traffic however, as Cuckfield rallied to get one back with substitute Jack Bilbruck getting the goal for Rangers.

Sidley restored their lead on 62 minutes when Nathan Crabb’s throw-in was flicked on for Rogers to control and tap in for his second and Sidley’s fifth of the game.

With the game effectively won, Blues defender Peter Featherstone was needlessly sent to the sin-bin with less than 15 minutes to go and Rangers took advantage of Sidley’s lack of manpower with Bilbruck getting his second on 81 minutes.

Sidley dug in though to see out the game, meaning that they top the Premier Division by 3 points as the league goes into the Christmas break.

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

Sidley United II 4 - 1 Peche Hill Select - ESFL Division One 

Sidley United II's moved into joint second in the table and only 3 points from top spot after a strong win at home to Peche Hill Select. 
After 6 successive away games the Blues welcomed a young Peche side managed by former Blues player Craig Willard to Hooe Rec and they began brightly with Alex Williams going close on a couple of occasions from some amazing deliveries by Ashley Elphick, but it was Peche who took the lead, springing the offside trap to get in behind.
The lead was short lived as some brilliant work down the left side from Joe Vincent and Simon Corke found Elphick in the box who found the bottom left corner to bring the Blues level within minutes. And Sidley then took the lead as Williams forced the Peche goalkeeper into a super save but Elphick was on hand to tuck home the rebound.
The Blues bombardment continued as a dangerous run from Sean Baldwin saw him unselfishly square the ball to Williams to slide into an empty net for 3 - 1. Williams found himself in the referees firing line as he was sin binned just before the end of the first half.
The second half resumed in the same fashion as the first. Despite being a man down, Blues got another goal as Elphick spotted a run from the returning Harley Ransom with a clever through ball and Ransom left the keeper standing as he calmly and cleverly lobbed the ball over him into the back of the net.
The game began to fizzle out towards the end and the whistle soon blew as Sidley secured their fourth win in a row leaving it all to play for in the new year.  
The Dynamic Scaffolding Man of the Match was Ashley Elphick with his 2 clinical finishes and superb deliveries.
Sidley Team: Gray, Opaye-Tetteh, Davies, Corke, Vincent, Tomlinson, H Ransom, Wells, Elphick, Baldwin, Williams. Subs: Dangerfield, Mabb, M Ransom.

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