Bexhill AAC 2 - 4 Sidley United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 11th April 2015

Sidley United signed off their season with a 5th straight win as they came from behind to beat title hopefuls Bexhill AAC.

Sidley went behind in the 11th minute as Lee Roberts was allowed to turn and shoot and his low shot was too powerful for Skelton in the Sidley goal. However Sidley levelled on 26 minutes as James Bailey was played through on goal and his shot across goal found the corner of the net.

There was then a controversial moment which would have a big impact on the rest of the match in the 32nd minute. After a decision went against him the Bexhill AAC striker made a comment to the linesman, who brought it to the attention of the referee. The outcome was a straight red card with the referee deeming the comment to be foul and abusive language and Sidley suddenly had a man advantage.

They made that advantage count right at the start of the second half as a flowing move down the right saw Ian May's cross find the head of George Carroll who powerfully headed high into the net to give Sidley the lead. They had most of the play and went close from a couple of free kicks before Bexhill equalised in the 69th minute with a quick break and a cross turned in at the back post to restore parity.

But Sidley quickly restored their lead as an Aaron Cochrane corner was glanced into the net by Mark Funnell on 73 minutes.

Bexhill, sensing they needed a result to maintain their title charge, came forward bravely, sometimes leaving themselves exposed and the game was in the balance until the 88th minute when Cochrane beat the offside trap with a well timed run before emphatically volleying past the Bexhill goalkeeper to seal the win.

Sidley have now completed their season and will hope that this late season form will carry over into the next campaign, when hopefully with this year's experience and some quality additions can help the club compete at the top end of the table. 

Sidley Team: Skelton, May, Walker, Foord, Funnell, Bailey, Sanderson, Day, Carroll (Briscoe), Cochrane (Holland), Miles.

Ticehurst 1 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 4th April 2015

A second half strike from Keith Miles made it 4 wins in a row as Sidley moved up to fourth place in the table.

Ticehurst began the game stronger but without creating too many clear opportunities to test Sidley goalkeeper Adam Skelton. In fact their best chance came from a Sidley mix up but Skelton made a strong one handed save to keep the scores level.

Sidley grew into the game and were rewarded for their more positive approach. On 20 minutes some neat play down the left saw the ball played in to Aaron Cochrane inside the penalty area and his lobbed finish gave Sidley the lead.

Sidley shaded the rest of the first half but neither side created a clear opportunity and Blues went in 1 - 0 up at the break

Ticehurst came out positively at the start of the second half but again struggled to test Skelton until bringing the scores level out of the blue. A long ball forward was left by a Sidley defender for Skelton to pick up but just as he was about to the ball bounced oddly causing Skelton to lose his grip on the ball and Ticehurst forward Robbie Guyle was on hand to roll the ball into the net.

That knocked Sidley back and at that stage Ticehurst were on top. They almost went in front with a curling shot from just inside the area but luckily for Sidley the ball hit the post and was cleared.

However, Sidley gathered themselves and kept playing a positive game. They retook the lead on 77 minutes as a ball over the top put James Bailey in one on one with the goalkeeper and while the goalkeeper parried his shot, Miles was on hand to slot the ball home.

Naturally with little time remaining, Sidley dropped deeper to protect the lead but despite Ticehurst coming forward, they were unable to put enough pressure on the Sidley goal and the Blues saw out the game for a 4th consecutive win. 

Sidley Team: Skelton, May (Holland), Foord, Funnell, Walker, Day, Briscoe, Bailey, Cochrane, Carroll, Miles

Hollington United 3 - 4 Sidley United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 7th March 2015

A patched up Sidley United came out on top of this extremely lively encounter to take the points and strenghten their grip on fourth place.

Blues started strongly and took the lead on 6 minutes after a defensive mix up allowed James Bailey to take the ball past the goalkeeper and slot home. One became two on 16 minutes as two Hollington defenders went to head the ball and allowed Keith Miles a one on one and he lobbed the goalkeeper nicely to put Sidley 2 up.

Hollington responded with an excellent goal from Mark Larkin, who turned and fired an excellent shot into the far corner off the post. With that the tide turned somewhat and Hollington had more of the ball. Sidley did have a penalty shout though as Rose beat the onrushing goalkeeper to the ball. The goalkeeper made contact with Rose, who stayed on his feet and eventually won a corner.

However, Sidley were losing some of the middle ground and Hollington brought the scores level right at the end of the half. A corner from the right was headed goalward and Skelton tipped the ball onto the bar but the rebound was smashed home with Adam Skelton given no chance.

Sidley had to make a change at the start of the second half as Ryan Foord replaced Mark Chandler who suffered an injury. Hollington remained in the ascendency and scored a third goal on 60 minutes as a low shot was spilled by Skelton and the Hollington forward beat him to the loose ball to turn it home.

At that point, Sidley appeared to be struggling to contain the home side but they showed great character and turned the match around. First an excellent strike from Aaron Cochrane from outside the area thundered into the net on 67 minutes to make the scores 3 - 3.

And Sidley went ahead again on 72 minutes as a ball over the top found Kevin Rose and his first time lobbed finish beat the goalkeeper to make it 4 - 3. The ball over the top to Bailey was always on and Sidley always looked threatening coming forward.

Sidley had to dig deep to hold onto this result as both sides had chances but they did hold on to take the three points. Aside from a 30 minute spell in the middle of the match, Sidley played very well and scored some excellent goals. Special mention to Ryan Foord who did very well in the second half when coming on as a sub. 

Sidley Team: Skelton, McGuigan, Spice, Chandler (Foord), Carroll, Walker, Bailey, Briscoe, Cochrane, Miles, Rose.

Sidley United 3 - 2 Hawkhurst United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 28th February 2015

Sidley United dug deep to survive a late Hawkhurst onslaught as they battled to a well earned 3 - 2 win to move up to fourth in the table.

With strong wind behind them in the first half Sidley took control of this match and were rewarded when goalkeeper Adam Skelton's long kick upfield found Dave Carey and he unleashed a great strike over the Hawkhurst goalkeeper to give Sidley the lead on 17 minutes.

Skelton then went one better on 33 minutes. His long kick upfield bounced once and the wind carried it over his opposite number and into the net to give Sidley a 2 - 0 lead. The Blues maintained control of this game in the first half with Hawkhurst not registering a shot at Sidley's goal and they were visibly frustrated at the referee and their own players.

From similar positions though Sidley have often conceded at the start of a second half but it was they who extended their lead on 50 minutes as good work from Lewis McGuigan on the left was rewarded when James Bailey's cross back into the box saw Keith Miles finish with a crisp strike to put Sidley 3 up.

The inevitable wind-assisted onslaught arrived shortly afterwards and Hawkhurst pulled a goal back on 70 minutes as a free kick from the left was headed home by the unmarked Daniel Mcgahan.

There was then a flashpoint as a bad foul on Dave Carey went unpunished and Carey reacted by pushing out at the Hawkhurst player. The visiting side wanted Carey sent off for raising his hands but the referee chose not to take action against either player, although he could have chosen to punish both players.

The visitors further reduced the arrears on 85 minutes as the goalscorer cut inside and curled the ball home with his right foot from the edge of the penalty area. Sidley dropped deep to try and hold on as Hawkhurst used the wind to their advantage but they could not find an equaliser and Sidley held on for the win.

Another good team performance in difficult conditions and a pleasing way to sign off at home for the season.

Sidley Team: Skelton, Carroll (T Funnell), McGuigan, Chandler, Eldridge, Day, Bailey, Sanderson, Cochrane (Briscoe), Carey (Holland), Miles.

Sidley United 4 - 1 Icklesham Casuals - ESFL Division One - Saturday 14th April 2015

Sidley United returned to winning ways with a comprehensive victory against relegation threatened Icklesham. 

Blues began well and were on top early on. They took the lead on 12 minutes as Aaron Cochrane's shot went in off the underside of the bar. Kevin Rose then managed to hit the same bar 3 times all within seconds of each other, but the ball stayed out.

Sidley got the second goal on 35 minutes as a ball over the top saw James Bailey through on goal and he slotted past the Icklesham goalkeeper. There was some temporary uncertainty as the linesman flagged for offside but the referee overruled him, stating the ball came off a defender's head in any case and the goal stood.

However at the start of the second half a familiar feeling crept in as Icklesham got a goal back. An attempted cross from wide on the left looped over Skelton and into the net just a minute after the restart and they had a glorious chance to equalise moments later but the forward at the back post put his shot wide.

In other games Sidley have collapsed from winning positions but today they responded and got back on their game and got the third goal on 65 minutes as a Kevin Rose cross found Mark Funnell who headed into the net to calm Sidley nerves.

Sidley then grabbed a fourth as an Adam Day corner was touched into the net by an Icklesham defender with 15 minutes to go. Sidley old boy Dave Carey came on for Miles and went close with a couple of efforts as the game ran towards the final whistle. Also making a debut was left back Lewis McGuigan who played well.

A good all round performance from Sidley who were well worthy of the 3 points and move on to Hollington United II's next week. 

Sidley Team: Skelton, May, McGuigan, Chandler, Funnell, Day, Sanderson, Cochrane (Walker), Rose, Bailey (Berwick), Miles (Carey)

Wadhurst United 4 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 7th February 2015

Sidley conceded an early own goal in the 4th minute to put them on the back foot early on in this game, as a long diagonal ball sailed over the Wadhurst forward, only to be steered into the net by defender Ian May.

One became two in the 16th minute as a Wadhurst forward was allowed to get between two Sidley defenders to volley home from 6 yards out. However, Sidley worked their way back into the game, pulling a goal back in the 23rd minute with some neat passing football and a cool finish by James Bailey.

A smart save by 'keeper Adam Skelton in the 44th minute meant that Sidley were still in the game at the break. Playing down the slope in the second half, hopes were high that Sidley could still get a positive result from this game. And, indeed, early pressure forced a series of corners, none of which, however, Sidley were able to take advantage of. Chasing the game, Sidley left themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack, and on 58 minutes Wadhurst scored a third. Another good save by Sidley's keeper just a minute later stopped Wadhurst extending their lead.

A Wadhurst player was then booked for a late challenge on James Bailey, which left the Sidley striker with a nasty gash on the side of the calf. Despite trying to play on, it soon became clear that he was unable to continue and had to be substituted, with Harry Burchette replacing him. In fact, Bailey had been persistently fouled since the start of the game and was entitled to expect better protection from a referee who seemed reluctant to get his cards out. Eventually, he booked another Wadhurst player for a bad tackle, and then Sidley's Adam Day for one complaint too many.

A fourth Wadhurst goal in the 80th minute put the result beyond dispute as Sidley legs tired on the heavy pitch. All in all, a disappointing game from a Sidley point of view, with a slow start putting us on the back foot early on and a lack of energy in the second half meaning little in the way of goal threat. The absence of key players such as Mark Funnell, Lee Short and Kevin Rose was clearly noticed, though credit must be given to those players who were on show and worked hard for the team.

Sidley Team: Skelton, May, Cochrane, Chandler (Le Beau), Holland, Day, Briscoe, Sanderson, Miles, Bailey (Burchette), Walker.

Sidley United 2 - 3 Sandhurst - ESFL Division One - Saturday 31st January 2015

A late Sidley fightback was not enough to undo the damage of a poor display as bottom of the table Sandhurst won.

Sidley started well enough and had some good pressure early on. The referee made life difficult for himself with some poor decisions aggrieving both sides and a reluctance to book anyone for some firm challenges led to some angry exchanges among players.

Somewhat against the run of play Sandhurst took the lead on 36 minutes as they picked their way through the Sidley defence with accurate passing and the forward calmly slotted home. One became two on 43 minutes later as Skelton came out to clear a ball over the top but the forward blocked his clearance and he walked the ball into the net. It could have been 3 before half time but for a wonder save from Skelton with 3 forwards waiting to pounce.

Arguments with opposition and teammates seemed more at the forefront of some minds than playing as Sidley were required to make a half time substitution with Nathan Le Beau replacing Ryan Foord. 

Sandhurst's third goal was well taken on 63 minutes as the impressive forward beat a Sidley defender and as Skelton came out the ball was chipped over him and in for 3 - 0. With Will Dunstall picking up an injury to his knee that forced him off, Sidley could have been embarrassed but instead responded.

On 80 minutes Aaron Cochrane turned the ball in from close range after an initial shot was parried as Sandhurst dropped deeper. Kevin Rose, who had moved up front then hit the post just minutes later and that proved a big moment.

Sidley piled on the pressure and on 92 minutes an Adam Day corner went straight in to give Blues hope. There was time for one final chance from a free kick but Cochrane's header was wide and Sandhurst held on.

Disappointing for the Blues who really need to avoid quarrelling and losing confidence when things go against them and stick together. 

Sidley Team: Skelton, May, Walker, Foord (Le Beau), Rose, Chandler, Day, Bailey, Dunstall (Kettering), Cochrane, Miles.

Sidley United 1 - 0 Mountfield United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 20th December 2014

Sidley United became the first side this season to inflict defeat on leaders Mountfield United as Will Dunstall's late goal sealed a well earned win for the Blues.

Sidley started the brighter and hit the post through Mark Funnell's shot on the turn. Mountfield grew into the game and had some good play without causing too many problems during the first half. Indeed Sidley's problems were caused by injury as Mark Chandler had to be withdrawn and within 2 minutes of taking his place, Owen Ball suffered a heavy injury to his knee and also had to be replaced by Keith Miles with Mark Funnell moving back into defence.

Sidley again started well in the second half but Mountfield had a couple of chances of their own. James Bailey was played through and rounded the goalkeeper but the covering defender cleared off the line. However on 77 minutes a similar story this time saw Will Dunstall take the ball past the goalkeeper and slot home.

There was still time for Miles to strike the bar with a smart volley and Mountfield had a shot sail just past the post but the Blues were worthy winners of this one and held on for an impressive victory. The spirit and togetherness of the team was key today and if Sidley can maintain this, then the rest of the season bodes well.

Sidley Team: Skelton, May, Chandler (Ball, Miles), Walker, Short, Cochrane, Sanderson, Bailey, Briscoe, M Funnell, Dunstall

Sidley United 1 - 3 Bexhill AAC - ESFL Division One - Saturday 6th December 2014

Despite the scoreline, Bexhill AAC were made to work hard for this win. Unbeaten to date and widely tipped to win the Division, Bexhill found themselves struggling to get a foot on the ball in the opening 30 minutes, as Sidley started strongly with ex-captain Dan Spice making his second 'debut' for the team.

Will Dunstall hit the post and Sidley had the ball in the net from an Adam Day free kick, but the referee disallowed the goal for a foul on the Bexhill goalkeeper. Against the run of play, Bexhill opened the scoring in the 31st minute from a Billy Trickett free kick which the Sidley keeper failed to read the flight of. At 1-0 down though, Sidley still shaded the first half.

One became two, however, at the start of the second half, as a Sidley defender fell over as he stood on the ball trying to control it, allowing Bexhill striker Lee Roberts to pick up the loose ball, run into the empty space and stroke the ball past the exposed Sidley keeper. Bexhill added a third in the 53rd minute following a swift break, again a from ball carelessly given away. Sidley pulled a goal back from an Adam Day free kick on 80 minutes, as the Bexhill keeper fumbled the shot, allowing the ball to trickle over the line.

Sidley pressed hard in the final 10 minutes, but Bexhill soaked up the pressure to hold on for the win. Not for the first time this season, Sidley were left to rue their failure to convert chances into goals and eliminate individual errors which always seem to be punished. However, their hard work and team spirit are there for all to see and bode well for the rest of the season, and no doubt every remaining game will be fiercely contested.

Sidley Team: Skelton, May, Chandler, Spice, Rose (Miles), Day, Bailey (Walker), Short, M Funnell, T Funnell, Dunstall

Sandhurst 3 - 5 Sidley United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 29th November 2014

Despite fielding a side hit by injuries, Sidley came out on the right side of this 8 goal encounter and were good value for the win as they moved up the table. Sandhurst, however, opened the scoring in the 14th minute when, from a Sidley free-kick poorly given away, the ball was put in for the Sandhurst lone striker to slot home.

Sidley were back on terms from a Will Dunstall goal in the 25th minute and took the the lead on 33 minutes following a good run and smart finish from James Bailey.

Indeed, Sidley could have had another couple following good pressure on the Sandhurst goal. However, another ball over the top brought Sandhurst level in the 39th minute as lone striker Jason Baldock shrugged off 3 defenders to claim his second of the match.

Right on the stroke of half time Sidley were awarded a penalty, which was cooly despatched by the ever-reliable Adam Day. Both sides visibly tired on a heavy pitch as the second half progressed, but Sidley started to dominate and were rewarded with another goal from Will Dunstall on 70 minutes. Sandhurst gave themselves a chance to get something from the game however, as poor defending from Sidley gave them a third goal in the 88th minutes. They pushed hard for the equaliser but Sidley defended resolutely; James Bailey heading off the line at one point.

The Referee added on 8 minutes for stoppages, following lengthy delays for injuries and a bit of pushing and shoving after a clash; the referee wisely letting the dust settle but keeping his cards in his pocket.

Sidley made the points secure with a goal in the 96th minute from Keith Miles following good work from Will Dunstall. A good performance from a patched up Sidley, with Ian May and Will Dunstall particularly impressive. Hopefully, key players will be fit again for the local derby with an impressive looking Bexhill AAC next Saturday.

Sidley Team: Skelton, May, Chandler (Rankin), Ball (Cochrane), Holland, Day, Bailey, Short, Miles, Funnell (Briscoe), Dunstall

Sidley United 4 - 3 Little Chelsea - ESFL Division One - Saturday 22nd November 2014

Sidley United picked up their first home win of the season in a game they had won, threw away and then won again.

The visitors kicked off with 10 men due to one of their number running late and Sidley almost immediately made them pay as after 30 seconds James Bailey had a great chance to score but dragged his shot wide. With the numerical advantage evened up shortly into the half, Sidley grew in dominance and were rewarded soon after.

A good ball in on 27 minutes from Bailey found Anthony Briscoe and his low shot couldn't be kept out by the goalkeeper. Sidley's second goal came on 35 minutes after Adam Day played a neat one-two and his shot deflected off a defender and looped into the net before his lay off to Mark Funnell saw the striker finish smartly and allowed Sidley to go 3 - 0 ahead on 40 minutes.

But a familiar story looked like unfolding as the second half began. On 46 minutes a Little Chelsea forward ran through and rounded Adam Skelton to bring the visitors back into the game. And they pulled a second goal back with a fine strike on 49 minutes as Sidley visibly grew nervous of yet again surrendering a lead.

The comeback was completed on 71 minutes as Little Chelsea won and converted a penalty and at that point the game could have gone either way. As it was it was Sidley who grabbed the winner on 75 minutes as George Carroll rode a last ditch challenge, stayed on his feet and slotted into the far corner.

Both sides had chances after that and Little Chelsea felt aggrieved that they had a goal chalked off for offside at a free-kick but Sidley held on for a victory that lifted them up to 7th in the table.

Having lost such a comprehensive half time lead, it would have been easy to cave in completely once parity was restored but Sidley showed real desire to go on and win the game and hopefully that will breed confidence ahead of the trip to Sandhurst next Saturday.

Sidley Team: Skelton, May, Chandler (Miles), T Funnell (Carroll), Walker, Bailey (Rankin), Day, Short, Dunstall, Briscoe, M Funnell

Peche Hill Select II 2 - 0 Sidley United (AET) - Hastings FA Junior Cup - Saturday 15th November 2014

No report available

Mountfield United 3 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 8th November 2014

Sidley United must be up for contention for the title of 'world's unluckiest team' after succumbing to defeat in an extraordinary final minute.

Blues started the better of the two sides against their table topping opponents on an awful pitch and twice hit the woodwork. First a cross from the right which George Carroll got on the end of saw the goalkeeper parry the ball onto the bar and from the resulting corner Mark Funnell headed against the post before it was cleared.

However, kicking downhill Mountfield took the lead on 27 minutes as a ball across evaded the defenders and from the wide right position the Mountfield forward finished smartly. The second Mountfield goal was embarrassingly easy as the goalkeeper kicked the ball forward and too many Sidley players watched the ball travel through to the Mountfield striker who slotted past Skelton simply.

Despite being 2 - 0 down at the break, Sidley had played the better football and continued to press after the break. Anthony Briscoe did well on the right and his cross towards Carroll was diverted into his own net by a Mountfield defender on 69 minutes to give Sidley fresh hope.

And the bulk of the drama occurred in the dying seconds. Sidley were awarded a penalty in the 91st minute when Will Dunstall was brought down by the goalkeeper and Adam Day calmly converted to bring the scores deservedly level.

But incredibly, in the final 30 seconds of the match a long ball forward saw Skelton come out to catch but the ball took a bizarre bounce and looped over him, presenting the home forward a tap in to steal victory.

Sidley's performance deserved more today, who for the bulk of the match were the better side on a truly tough pitch and if they can keep that level of performance going forward, surely the tide will turn soon.

Sidley Team: Skelton, Walker (Foord), May, Rose (Ball), T Funnell, Day, Sanderson, Rankin (Briscoe), Dunstall, Carroll, M Funnell.

Ticehurst 4 - 2 Sidley United - Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup Second Round - Saturday 25th October 2014

Sidley United put in an improved performance against familiar opponents Ticehurst, but ultimately came easy from this Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup match with a 4 - 2 defeat.

On a heavy pitch, Sidley played the better football but found there was a lack of cutting edge up front early on. It was the opposite story for Ticeurst, who's long ball tactic paid off as one such ball put the Ticehurst forward in on goal after 7 minutes and he finished smartly past debutant goalkeeper Adam Skelton.

Ticehurst's second goal owed to a miscommunication at the back as Owen Ball attempted to let a ball go to the goalkeeper but a Ticehurst forward nipped in and poked the ball home on 31 minutes.

But Sidley galvanised themselves and pulled a goal back on 36 minutes, as good initial work from Adam Day was rewarded as the ball came back to him in the area and he steered the ball home. Sidley then levelled the scores on 41 minutes as quick thinking by Day at a free kick set up George Carroll, who thumped the ball home from a wide angle to bring Sidley level at the break.

Sidley hoped to push on in the second half but fell back behind on 51 minutes as the ball pinballed around the Sidley area and eventually bounced into the net. The game was fairly open and Sidley were still in the game until the controversial moment of the match in the 58th minute when Ticehurst were awarded a penalty for a foul in the area by James Walker.

The referee instructed Skelton to stand on the line, feeling that the goalkeeper was standing behind the line. He blew for the penalty to be taken, which Skelton saved well to his right but the referee blew and ordered a retake for Skelton not being on the line. The resulting penalty was scored leaving Sidley aggrieved. If he wasn't happy with Skelton's position, why did he blow for the penalty to be taken?

Sidley kept plugging away and the attitude from the players was certainly an improvement on last week but sadly they couldn't find a reply. The closest they came was a thunderous effort from sub Aaron Cochrane which the Ticehurst goalkeeper tipped over the bar.

An improvement on the previous week but Sidley are still searching for those elusive clean sheets which will bring about positive results. There is no game next week so our next match is on November 8th against Mountfield United in the league.

Sidley Team: Skelton, Rankin, Walker (Cochrane), Ball, May, Day (Burchette) Bailey, Sanderson, Briscoe, Carroll, Dunstall

Sidley United 3 - 5 Ticehurst - ESFL Division One - Saturday 18th October 2014

A second half horror show, strewn with suicidal defending cost Sidley United as a potential three points turned into a humiliation.

Sidley began well and shaded the early play, as both sides presented a threat from set plays. It was Sidley who got the early goals as good pressure from James Walker saw the ball played in to Anthony Briscoe who finished powerfully on 13 minutes. And Sidley continued to press the Ticehurst defenders, again benefiting from winning the ball high up and on 40 minutes George Carroll was the player to turn the ball home. A composed looking Sidley got to half time at 2 - 0 up and on course for three much needed points.

But the second half horror began on 53 minutes as a ball played forward which was heading behind was inexplicably kept alive by a Sidley defender and Ticehurst turned the ball home. 3 minutes later a long throw was nodded back over the goalkeeper by a defender and again allowed an easy far post tap in for the Ticehurst forward to level the score.

Ticehurst then walked the ball through static Sidley defending before rounding home goalkeeper Liam Bryant to take the lead on 60 minutes. More suicidal defensive play, this time from Scott Slater who gave the ball away and then rashly brought down the forward, presented Ticehurst with a penalty on 62 minutes which was calmly converted.

Heads dropped and some Sidley players visibly gave up, which simply wasn't acceptable. A fifth goal soon arrived as Ticehurst simply overran the shell shocked home defence and within 15 minutes a two-goal lead had turned into a 5 - 2 deficit.

The game became rather stretched towards the end and Sidley pulled a goal back on 87 minutes when Ryan Rankin slotted home from a cutback by Will Dunstall, who did well coming on as a sub. Unfortunately the great comeback did not materialise and the referee blew to complete a game of two completely contrasting Sidley performances.

Whilst defeat is never pleasant, certain players need to seriously question their attitude in the second half. The defeat leaves Sidley second bottom of the Divison, and on this showing need a real turnaround to avoid remaining there. There is an early opportunity for revenge as we meet Ticehurst again next week away in Round Two of the Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup.

Sidley Team: Bryant, May, Cochrane (Rains, Foord), Slater, T Funnell, Day, Burchette (Dunstall), Walker, Briscoe, Rankin, Carroll

Sidley United 1 - 3 Wadhurst United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 11th October 2014

In an explosive start to this game both sides could have scored in the first minute. Ten seconds from kick-off, Sidley's  Anthony Briscoe unleashed a fierce drive which struck the underside of the bar, flew down onto the line and bounced out. From the clearance, Wadhurst poured down field where a cross from the right wing was headed over when it seemed impossible to miss.

After this dramatic start, the game became bogged down in midfield with Sidley seming sluggish to react and consequently allowing Wadhurst to win most of the second ball. Eventually, Wadhust got the goal they had been threatening in the 37th minute as they got men forward to support a corner kick, from which they were able to knock the loose ball into the net. Sidley got back on terms early in the second half, when they were awarded a penalty kick after Adam Day was fouled in the box. Taking it himself, Day calmly placed the ball into the corner of the net, to level the score in the 49th minute.

However, this failed to ignite the Sidley players into life, rather it being Wadhurst who upped their game and passed the ball better and to more purpose than the home side. Despite having possibly the biggest pitch in the Division, Sidley failed to make use of the width, attempting to force their way through a congested midfield; much to the frustration of George Carroll who worked hard upfront to make something happenn, despite receiving precious little support. As Sidley ran out of ideas, Wadhurst scored a 2nd goal on 67 mins and killed off the match with a 3rd in the 75th minute; this being a clever lob over the Sidley 'keeper from at least 25 yards out.

Well beaten in the end, Sidley must hope that, if they can get key players back in their proper positions, they will be able to respond to this defeat with a more positive display against their next opponents, Ticehurst, at Hooe this coming Saturday.

Sidley Team: Bryant, Cochrane, Walker (Rankin), May, Funnell (Foord), Day, Bailey, H.Burchette, Carroll, Briscoe, Dunstall.

Framfield & Blackboys United 3 - 3 Sidley United - AET (2 - 2 FT) Framfield & Blackboys United win 4 - 1 on pens - Sussex FA Junior Cup - Saturday 4th October 2014

Sidley United were made to pay the penalty on Saturday as they crashed out of the Sussex FA Junior Cup on penalties after twice leading in this match.
A patched up Sidley side struggled to get going as the match began with Framfield having most of the play and they had a golden chance to take the lead after 5 minutes. A trip by a Sidley defender resulted in a penalty but Liam Bryant guessed correctly to keep out a softly struck effort.
As the rain worsened, Sidley created very little in the way of chances up until the 35th minute when a corner from the right was headed home by George Carroll. One became two within a minute as a long ball forward found Mark Funnell who cleverly back headed over the onrushing goalkeeper to put Sidley 2 goals ahead.
Framfield responded with a goal just before half time with a well struck curling effort and they maintained this momentum in the second half, equalising after 75 minutes with a fine free kick. Both sides pushed to find a winner and Sidley rode their luck at times defensively as the game went to extra time.
Both sides made chances and Sidley survived a real scare from a corner when twice the ball hit the bar before being cleared. Substitute Ryan Rankin gave Sidley the lead again on 120 minutes with a headed goal following a cross from the left. However this wasn't it, as with just 3 minutes to go Framfield fashioned an equaliser after a slick move down the right.

And so it was to penalties to settle it and while Anthony Briscoe blazed over the bar and Will Dunstall had his effort saved, Framfield scored all 4 to put Sidley out of the cup. 

Sidley Team: Bryant, Rains, Walker, May, Slater, Carroll, Bailey, Burchette, Funnell (Rankin), Briscoe, Dunstall. 

Pebsham Sibex 1 - 3 Sidley United (AET) - Wisdens Sports Challenge Cup First Round - Saturday 27th September 2014

This game began with some confusion - before the kick-off! With the home side playing in grey shirts and shorts and Sidley arriving in their strip of Navy shirts and shorts, the Referee was not happy with what he regarded as a clash of colours. Sidley chairman, Dickie Day, was despatched to fetch Sidlley's away shirts and the match was started in the interim. 

The game itself got off to a shaky start when both sides had a player dismissed in the 6th minute. A clash between Kevin Rose and the Pebsham No.11 escalated needlessly with the Pebsham player headbutting Rose in the face causing a split lip. Kevin somewhat understandably took exception to this and retaliated by throwing a punch at the Pebsham player and the referee had no choice but to show them both the red card. 

Sidley had to alter their shape to adapt to this loss, with Lee Short dropping into the Centre Back position. When the dust had settled and the game resumed, Sidley tried to get their passing game going against a determined Pebsham side who clearly weren't going to let the fact that they play one division below Sidley stop them competing. The away kit arrived after half an hour causing a brief halt in play while the Sidley players changed shirts. The change must have helped, as Sidley did get the breakthrough in the 35th minute when Harry Burchette scored to settle Sidley nerves but despite their pressure, Sidley were unable to add to their tally in the first half. 

The second half began with Anthony Briscoe hitting the post for Sidley but this early promise soon faded as the game became a stalemate of long balls from both sides. Pebsham seemed more "up for it" though, and equalised in the 65th minute with a goal from Lee Smart. Sidley did have chances to score, but were wasteful in front of goal with some poor attempts at finishing.  The game petered out as full-time approached and the inevitability of extra time became apparent. The first period of extra time began where full-time had left off; both sides hitting the ball long and hoping for the best. Eventually the best turned out to be James Bailey for Sidley, slotting the ball home after good work from Will Dunstall.

With the home side fading as cramp set in, it started to look like Sidley had finally got on top. The best goal of the game came right at the death, when Scott Slater picked up the ball in his own half before dribbling through the opposition and calmly placing his shot beyond the Pebsham goalkeeper. We got there in the end but it wasn't pretty! Next up for the Blues is Framfield & Blackboys United in the 1st round of the Sussex FA Junior Cup.

Sidley Team: Payne, May, Walker (Dunstall), Rose, Slater, Carroll (Sanderson), Bailey, Short, Briscoe, Burchette, Rankin (T Funnell). 

Icklesham Casuals 2 - 3 Sidley United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 20th September 2014

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.

Sidley United 0 - 0 Hollington United II - ESFL Division One - Saturday 13th September 2014

Sidley United notched their first point of the season as they drew 0 - 0 with Hollington United.

Against a tough looking Hollington United II side, Sidley struggled to get their game going and were second best in the first 20 minutes as Hollington pressed and Sidley were spared by the offside flag as Hollington thought they had pierced the back line.

But Sidley grew into the game and were unlucky not to score themselves as both Anthony Briscoe and James Bailey saw chances just fly wide as the hosts got on to just before the interval.

In the second half, both sides pushed hard and had good chances with the returning Harry Killick in the Sidley goal making a good stop from 18 yards out. Hollington came close to opening the scoring with 10 minutes remaining as a scramble in the box ended up with the ball hitting the post and Sidley scrambling the ball clear.

However it was Sidley who were the stronger side as the game drew to a close and they had a golden chance to pinch the match. In the final minute, a Sidley free kick was tipped straight onto the bar and the rebound fell to Mark Funnell who was only 3 yards out but with bodies on the line he blazed his effort wildly over the bar.

And so it was that the game ended goalless, but both sides put in a good performance and no doubt both will be looking to turn those chances into goals in future matches.

Sidley team: Killick, T Funnell, Cochrane, Short, Slater, Carroll, Rankin, Day, M Funnell, Bailey, Briscoe. Subs: Le Beaux, Burchette

Little Chelsea 4 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Division One - Saturday 6th September 2014

Sidley United returned to competitve action but saw two players sent off as a half time lead turned into a 4 - 1 defeat at the hands of Little Chelsea.

On an incredibly narrow pitch, Sidley began lively and looked assured for the first 5 minutes but the hosts gradually found their feet and began to threaten. However the Blues looked strong going forward and it was they who opened the scoring when a nice move down the right saw the ball cut back and James Bailey steered the ball low past the goalkeeper on 23 minutes.

The game began to get a bit niggly and both sides felt that the referee allowed a lot of 'afters' to go unpunished and tempers began to rise. On 31 minutes joint manager Adam Day was shown a straight red card for an apparent kick out in an off the ball incident. The rest of the half was played predominantly in the Sidley half, but they held firm to half time.

It was always going to be a difficult task with 10 men in the second half but Little Chelsea's equaliser came via a very harsh penalty decision. As Lee Short came to block a cross, the referee adjudged the ball to hit his arm, despite only a half hearted appeal from a few Little Chelsea players. The resulting spot kick was despatched high into the net, giving goalkeeper Kevin Rose no chance.

From that point on, Sidley discipline was a problem with too many arguments between the referee, rival players and their supporters further irritating the boys with some guilty of not playing to the whistle and switching off. A second goal came shortly after as Sidley appealed for an offside which never was, the Little Chelsea forward not stopping to check as he slammed the ball in low.

Clearly angered by some of the winding up from the opposition, some poor challenges resulted in yellow cards for a few more Sidley players, with Anthony Briscoe collecting a second yellow for a firm challenge having earlier been booked for foolishly kicking the ball away.

Further goals followed late on as Sidley were simply overran with the two man deficit and couldn't cope with covering the spaces and in the end the final whistle was something of a relief. A harsh lesson for the Blues who must learn to deal better with questionable refereeing decisions and the winding up from the opposition, as that will surely happen throughout the season.

Next up is a home match against Hollington United II next Saturday, where Sidley will hope to pick themselves up and get our season up and running.

Sidley Team: Rose, Cochrane, Tudor, Short, Foord, Day, Walker, Bailey, Carroll, Briscoe, Funnell. Sub: Rankin.

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