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Cup exit as Sidley lose at AFC Hastings

(September 24, 2015)

AFC Hastings 3 - 1 Sidley United - Birchwood Group Challenge Cup

Sidley United once again seemed to endure struggles in cup competition as they bowed out of the Birchwood Group Challenge Cup by losing 3 - 1 to AFC Hastings.

Previously unbeaten, Sidley made a slow start to this game which allowed AFC to take the initiative, forcing the Blues into uncharacteristic errors. The goal they had been threatening since kick-off arrived in the 30th minute, to be followed just 4 minutes later by a second as Sidley defender Gary Hempe headed a ball into his own box, where a grateful AFC player knocked it home.
Sidley started to get a foothold in the game thereafter withJames Bailey hitting the bar and they  finally scored on the stroke of half-time when a strong run and cross by Ian May was met with a firm finish from Aaron Cochrane to make the score AFC Hastings 2 - 1 Sidley at the end of the first half. 
With a goal back, Sidley started the second half strongly, pinning the home side back and forcing a succession of corners. Pressing hard for an equaliser, Sidley left themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack, and on 53 minutes that's exactly what happened as AFC made good use of their pacey forwards to capitalise on a quick break and score a third goal. 
Sidley pressed on though, again hitting the bar before being awarded a penalty which was taken by substitute Keith Miles who had just come on. However the prospect of getting back into the game was dashed as Miles's penalty was saved and the game drifted to the final whistle. 
A below par showing from Sidley means progress to the next round of the Cup for AFC Hastings who were well worth the win and, as generally agreed by the spectators, simply "wanted it more".

Sidley Team: Rogers, Godden, Hempe, Funnell, Copley, Carey, Sanderson, Cochrane (Miles), Bailey (Corke), Elphick (Scrace), May. 

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