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Battling Blues bow out in semis

(March 09, 2024)

Rye Town 3 - 2 Sidley United - Macron Hastings Challenge Cup Semi Final 

Sidley United produced a valiant effort against the champions and league leaders but fell short to exit the Cup at the semi final stage.

In a game switched to Hooe Rec after Rye's match proved to be unfit, the league leaders started strongly and flew into a two goal lead with goals from Daniel Kearley after 4 minutes and Charlie Stevens on 11 minutes putting them firmly in command.

But Sidley rallied and won a penalty on 33 minutes when Tony Atkin was clipped in the box and he picked himself up to slot home the spot kick. That goal could have had Sidley right back in the tie but on 43 minutes Sam Hesmer struck to restore Rye's two goal lead at the break.

Undeterred though, a bare Sidley eleven kept going and pulled a goal back on 68 minutes when a ffree kick into the box was headed home by Andy Atkin. Sidley pushed the leaders hard and could perhaps have forced extra time with a good late chance but in the end Rye held on to book their place in the final.

Sidley should be proud though of just how much they have progressed this season to push the unbeaten league leaders so close with no subsitutes available.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Jack, Carey, Eldridge, Freeman, S.Atkin, T.Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin.

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