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10 man Blues progress in cup

(November 25, 2023)

Bexhill Town 1 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Challenge Cup First Round

Sidley United overcame a delay owing to floodlight failure and a red card for Gary Hempe to see off Bexhill Town and progress into the Second Round of the ESFL Challenge Cup. 

The match at Bexhill College was at risk of not starting as a floodlight failure saw kick off delayed by 35 minutes. But when the game did get going, Sidley didn't hang around as Andy Atkin struck to give them the lead on 15 minutes.

The Blues then doubled their lead through Tony Atkin on 31 minutes in a first half that saw some good football being played.

But half time brought a change in the match, with a lot of stop-start passages punctuated by some fussy refereeing. One of these moments was too much for Hempe who saw what was to be an initial sin-bin on 63 minutes upgraded to a straight red card for something he said to the referee.

Sidley then felt further frustration on 68 minutes as a ball into the box was deemed to strike the arm of a Blues defender stretching to block the ball and a penalty was awarded. Jake Hemsley stepped forward and although Ritchie Gray saved his initial spot kick, Hemsley tucked the rebound home to set up a tense end to the match.

That tension was relieved though on 86 minutes as a defensive mix up from Town allowed Dan Goergen in on goal. He unselfishly squared to Cam Burgon who saw his shot saved but only for Goergen to slam home the rebound and secure Sidley's place in the next round.

Sidley will hope to keep the winning run going as they welcome Hawkhurst United to Hooe Rec in league action next week.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Carey, Jack, Dann, Burgon, Thompson, Ball, T.Atkin, A.Atkin. Subs: Dangerfield, Goergen, Wade.

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