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Blues cruise to the Sussex FA Cup Final

(March 05, 2016)

Sidley United 4 - 1 Woodingdean Wanderers - Sussex FA Junior Cup Semi Final

A first half goal blitz saw Sidley through to the Sussex FA Junior Cup Final, despite finishing the game with 9 men.
Up against a youthful Woodingdean side, Sidley dominated from from beginning and took just 14 minutes to open the scoring. After a corner was half cleared, Ashley Elphick sent in a cross from the left which evaded everyone and found the top corner to give Blues a deserved lead.
They doubled that lead just a minute later as Ian May took aim from some 25 yards out and his shot went straight through the Woodingdean goalkeeper, who will feel he should have done better.
Sidley's third came on 21 minutes as May played in Arron Scrace who finished low past the goalkeeper to put Sidley firmly in charge.
Scrace had one goal disallowed for offside before getting his second from the penalty spot on 35 minutes as John Carey was brought down in the area and Scrace smashed the penalty home.
Firmly in control, there was a flashpoint right on half time as Carey made a studs up tackle on a Woodingdean player, which despite winning the ball was a reckless tackle. The referee chose to give a yellow card instead of red but that didn't go down well with the Brighton side as ill feeling and frustration began to creep in.
The second half saw little in the way of chances as the rain and wind began but another flashpoint saw several Woodingdean players surround Chris Sanderson as well as their goalkeeper run 70 yards to get involved. In retaliation, captain Mark Funnell pushed one player in the chest and the referee chose to show Funnell a straight red card as a result.
There was then more controversy to follow. Sanderson, who picked up a booking earlier in the game was shown a second yellow for a fairly innocous foul, but the referee had seemingly forgotten his earlier booking and he failed to show the red card. However after some reminding from the Woodingdean players and checking with his linesman, the referee rectified his error a couple of minutes later and belatedly showed Sanderson the red to reduce Sidley down to 9 men.
Despite their numerical advantage, Woodingdean failed to text Rogers and instead Sidley went closest to the next goal as a goal kick was presented straight to Elphick, who went round the goalkeeper but put his shot over the crossbar from a tight angle.
Eventually Woodingdean did make use of the numerical advantage as on 85 minutes a low cross into the box was poked home by their striker but this elicited barely a celebration as the visitors knew it was a mere consolation. 
The referee blew the final whistle shortly afterwards to confirm Sidley's place in the final, to be played at Sussex headquarters in Lancing against either fellow league sides Crowhurst or Wadhurst United.
A thoroughly deserved win for the Blues but also one that came at a cost. Next up is a league encounter against Ticehurst.
Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Aston (Copley), Funnell, Eldridge, Carey (Cochrane), Sanderson, Elphick, Scrace (Bailey), Corke, Roberts.

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