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Blues secure first league win at Icklesham

(September 21, 2014)

Icklesham Casuals 2 - 3 Sidley United.

Sidley made a slow start to this game, and debutante 'keeper Liam Bryant was called on to make a smart save inside of 2 minutes of the kick-off. Left back Aaron Tudor was forced to come off after a heavy knock early in the game, which required some shuffling of the pack, with Naycen LeBeau dropping into that position and James Walker coming off the subs bench to fill the hole in midfield.

Having weathered the early storm however, Sidley gradually worked their way into the match, and got their reward with a fine headed goal from Ryan Rankin from an equally fine cross by James Bailey in the 17th. minute. Sidley were dominant for the rest of the first half, with their second goal a virtual repeat of the first. Again an excellent cross by James Bailey was met with a firm header from Ryan Rankin to double the lead in the 41st. minute. Looking comfortable at half time, Sidley failed to match their dominance of the first half as the game re-started; perhaps some complacency creeping in. And 10 minutes into the 2nd. half, Icklesham pulled a goal back, Phil Bedrock shooting the ball home as it fell kindly for him on the edge of the box. Sidley had to work hard to stay in the match as the home side looked for the equaliser, and were rewarded with another headed goal, this time scored by Mark Funnell in the 63rd minute. Despite this, Icklesham kept pressing forward and in the 70th minute scored a second goal when Sean Baker was left unmarked and placed his shot beyond the reach of the Sidley 'keeper. Sidley were hanging on in the latter stages of the game, hampered by the loss of Mark Funnell (hamstring) who had to be replaced by a barely-able-to-run Ryan Foord, who had injured himself in the warm up. Naycen LeBeau also had to come off to be replaced by Owen Ball. Keeper Liam Bryant has to be credited with making a match winning save with his legs late on. The final whistle was greeted with much relief by the Sidley players and fans alike, and the first win of the season was secured. A hard won 3 points and plenty for the management team to think about from this game. Hopefully, the injuries sustained will not prove to be too serious and we can put out a strong team to face Pebsham Sibex at Buxton Drive next saturday (2.30pm kick-off) in the Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup. Come on you Blues!

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