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Brilliant Blues see off Hastonians

(March 28, 2016)

Old Hastonians 1 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Division One 

An excellent first half for Sidley United helped defeat title rivals and close the gap on leaders Eastbourne Rangers to a single point.

In a performance which contracted dramatically from Saturday's defeat at J.C. Tackleway, Sidley began positively and on the front foot with a John Carey effort going just wide in the game's early moments.

Sidley took the lead on 10 minutes when a Gary Hempe free kick seemed to deceive Hastonians goalkeeper Jon Saunders and the ball went through his hands and into the net.

Sidley then doubled their advantage on 17 minutes. Simon Corke's initial shot was parried by Saunders and Corke reacted quickest to steer the ball into the corner and put Sidley firmly in charge.

Hastonians seemed to struggle to get into the game and although they had a couple of free kicks in dangerous positions they failed to seriously test Rogers in the Sidley goal. 

However they reduced the arrears on 30 minutes. A long throw went straight to Andy Garman who steered the ball low past Rogers to give the home side hope.

The sense was that Hastonians had a threat about them and that Sidley needed to be resolute to snuff out any danger. But as it was it was Sidley who got the next goal as a free kick into the area on 35 minutes was turned into his own net by ex Sidley man Dom Clarke with Ashley Elphick in close attendance.

That goal settled Sidley down again and they went close to a fourth as good pressure high up the pitch from the energetic Elphick allowed Roberts a chance but Saunders smothered his shot.

Into the second half and the strong wind blowing across the pitch meant a lot of throw ins for both sides. Hastonians came forward more, searching a way back into the game but a couple of long range efforts went over the bar.

Sidley had chances on the counter as a marauding run by Ian May and a neat one-two with Roberts gave him a shooting opportunity but his effort was wide of the near post.

With Clarke pushed forward from the back, a Hastonians free kick into the box found its way through to him but he headed wide of Rogers' far post before Rogers made a vital save with around 8 minutes to play to deny Hastonians a route back into the match.

Sidley had chances to seal the game as Corke had a header from a corner cleared off the line before Roberts somehow hit the bar from a few yards out after the ball was played across to him by Arron Scrace.

However those misses didn't cost Sidley who held on through 6 stoppage time minutes to seal the win. A fabulous performance against a title rival serves as both a good response to defeat on Saturday and a confidence boost ahead of the Sussex FA Junior Cup Final against Wadhurst United next Wednesday. 

Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Aston, Eldridge, Carey (Day), Sanderson, Corke, Elphick (Bailey), Scrace, Roberts (Cochrane).


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