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Late equaliser denies Sidley

(March 30, 2024)

Sidley United 3 - 3 The J.C Tackleway - ESFL Premier Division

A patched up Sidley United side were denied all three points by a goal that came 8 minutes into stoppage time.

Sidley came into the game missing a number of players and it showed in the first half as Tackleway shaded the play despite not creating a lot of opportunities. The visitors felt aggrieved when the referee awarded a free kick on the edge of the box instead of a penalty but they soon took the lead on 24 minutes as a defensive mix up allowed Harry Cawkhill to tap home.

Sidley were playing a direct game and thought they found an equaliser as a long ball forward found Andy Atkin who finished smartly into the top corner only to see the offside flag deny him.

In the second half, Sidley came out much more positively and levelled on 56 minutes. A free kick from Ricky Mote cannoned off the crossbar but Sidley kept the ball alive and Andy Atkin was able to turn the ball home from close range.

Sidley soon went in front when a reckless challenge brought down Sam Atkin and Gary Hempe stepped up to slot home on 72 minutes. Well on top, Archie Ball saw a goal debatably ruled out for offside but minutes later on 77 minutes he followed up from close range to make it 3 - 1.

Tackleway's response was immediate as a free kick into the Sidley box was headed home on 79 minutes by Nathan Smith before the visiting manager was sent off by the referee for having too much to say. This, plus a stop-start half, contributed to 8 minutes of stoppage time and with the final kick, a long range shot from distance from Josh Eaton seemed to catch Gray out and ended up in the back of the net as the visitors stole a point.

A tough one to take for a Blues side who should be proud of their efforts missing a number of players. It's a fast turn around as they travel to Crowhurst on Monday.

Sidley Team: Gray, May, Hempe, Freeman, Jack, K.Atkin, Thompson, S.Atkin, T.Atkin, Ball, A.Atkin. Subs: R.Mote.

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