Reports from Sidley United's seasons in the Sussex County Football League

Season 2000/01


Three Bridges 0 - 3 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 15th May 2001

The champions of the Sussex County League finished with a flourish at Three Bridges on Tuesday. 

The Blues made the running from the start and took the lead through a well struck volley from Paul Balch which the home goalkeeper may feel he should have done better with.

Sidley then doubled their lead soon after when Tim Bolton scored from close range at the second attempt before Brad Poole made it 3 before half time, heading home a corner.

Sidley continued to dictate the play in the second half and should have added more goals but Adam Day was just too high with a bullet header and Corke and Dave Ward also went close. Crowther was only required to make one genuine save as the Blues finished the campaign with a comfortable victory.

After the final whistle Sidley United were presented with the Sussex League trophy for the first time in their history.

Sidley Team: Crowther, Ball, Sully (Finch), Poole, Farrier, Copley, Ward, Day, Balch, Bolton (Dadswell), Corke.

Sidley United 2 - 1 Selsey - SCFL Division One - Saturday 12th May 2001

CHAMPIONS!! Sidley United clinched the Sussex County League championship title in the most dramatic fashion on Saturday.

In a game switched to Selsey due to cricket at the Gullivers, the Blues began well and should have had a penalty when Owen Ball was sent sprawling in the box by a clumsy challenge from Selsey goalkeeper Steve Judd but the referee waved away a chorus of appeals.

Paul Balch was proving to be a real handful and he was unlucky not to open the scoring twice as first he unleashed a dipping 35 yard half volley which bounced back off the underside of the crossbar before he then hit the post with a spectacular overhead kick.

But into the second half Sidley opened the scoring when Dave Ward's corner was headed back across goal by Brad Poole and the ball was bundled in by a combination of Balch and captain Wayne Farrier with Farrier credited with getting the last touch.

And on 79 minutes Sidley were in dreamland as a long ball over the Selsey defence saw Simon Corke shake off the attentions of a defender and finish with a sublime strike into the far corner of the net.

Knowing they were close to glory, Sidley began to sit back and allowed Selsey a route back into the game with three minutes to go when Alun Morey scored with a shot which deflected past Crowther in the Sidley goal.

With Sidley hanging on, a rash challenge by Crowther upended Paul Lee in the box and Selsey had a stoppage time penalty to deny the Blues the title. Lee stepped up himself and although Crowther guessed the right way, he wasn't needed as the ball cannoned back off the post. As soon as the ball was back in play the referee blew for full time and Sidley had clinched an astonishing but thoroughly deserved triumph.

An incredible achievement from a group of players and a team that has created a real family atmosphere and one that will forever live in the annals of history.

Sidley Team: Crowther, Ball, Sully, Poole, Farrier, Copley, Ward, Ball, Balch, Corke, Day.

Sidlesham 4 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Monday 5th May 2001i

Sidley United squandered their first chance to lift the SCFL title as their unbeaten run finally came to an end at Sidlesham. 

Maybe it was nerves or their punishing recent schedule but for some reason Sidley weren't at it here, despite Owen Ball having an early shot blocked. 

Towering centre half Billy Gill headed the home side in front when he met a corner in the 25th minute.

Ball did bring Sidley level when he fired home after a one-two with Mark Ralley but Blues conceded almost a carbon copy of the first goal on the stroke of half time as Adam Camfield touched home Gill's goalbound header. 

Another header in the second half from Andy Campbell put the home side further ahead and as Sidley pushed up late on, Lee Mould broke free to beat both Wayne Farrier and goalkeeper Paul Crowther to wrap up the win on 85 minutes. 

Paul Sully had a volley which went straight at the goalkeeper as Sidley's 26 game unbeaten run came to a crashing end. 

Sidley Team: Crowther, O Ball, Sully, Farrier, Copley, Poole, Ward, Finch (M Ball), Balch, Heritage (Bolton), Ralley. 

Pagham 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 5th May 2001

Sidley United picked up an unexpected but thoroughly deserved victory to remain firmly on course in the SCFL title race. 

Despite missing a number of first team players, Sidley created the better chances in the first half with the lively Simon Corke having a couple of shots saved and Owen Ball going close with two rasping drives. 

Pagham may have had more of the ball but were often guilty of over playing as they failed to penetrate the Blues defence. 

After the break Peter Heritage missed a glorious chance to score when he headed straight at the home goalkeeper with the goal at his mercy. However that was forgotten about when a cross from the left was headed home at the back post by Mark Ralley on 69 minutes. 

Pagham were by no means finished though and Paul Crowther made two fantastic saves late on to preserve Sidley's advantage and help push them ever closer to Championship glory. 

Sidley Team: Crowther, Ralley, Farrier, Copley, Poole, Ball, Bennett, Finch, Watson (Dadswell), Corke, Heritage.  

Hassocks 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Thursday 3rd May 2001

Tonight could prove to be a pivotal night in the County League title race as Sidley United came from behind to defeat Hassocks with two late goals, just as news filtered through that title rivals Burgess Hill Town had lost at Three Bridges.

Late strikes from Peter Heritage, on as a second half substitute, and Paul Balch swung the game in Sidley's favour.

The Blues threatened throughout as Balch, Owen Ball and Simon Corke all went close in the first half but they couldn't find a breakthrough. 

And 5 minutes after the break a rare mistake by Wayne Farrier let in James Laing to score for the home side. Despite this Blues kept coming forward and substitute Peter Heritage headed Ball's cross into the top corner on 70 minutes to grab a vital equaliser. 

The Blues wanted the winner and it came with a little bit of luck with 2 minutes to go as Balch got to the byline and he sliced his attempted cross which went straight in at the near post. 

And as Dickie Day's Sidley side celebrated at the final whistle they were cheered even further when news of Burgess Hill's defeat was confirmed. 

Sidley Team: Crowther, Ball, Sully, Poole, Farrier, Copley, Day (Whybourne), Finch, Ward, Corke (Heritage), Balch. 

Chichester City United 0 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 1st May 2001

Sidley United may consider this a point earned rather than two points dropped as they were forced to play this match without a recognised goalkeeper.

Young stopper Paul Crowther had to pull out of the game late on leaving full back Paul Sully to take the gloves for this game. Whilst relatively comfortable playing in goal, this did mean that the defence took some time to adjust to a different way of working before they managed to squeeze the life out of Chichester.

The home side started well and the Blues goal was under constant attack early on but a change of shape enabled Sidley to weather the storm. After half an hour Gerard Moyse had to be taken off after picking up an injury with the lively Simon Corke coming on to take his place and it was Corke who came closest to breaking the stalemate as he met Adam Day's cross with a thunderous header which was well saved by home goalkeeper Jason Johnson.

Other than that Sidley were restricted to long range efforts while Paul Balch passed up the chance of a clear run on goal when he layed the ball off to Day who was flagged offside. Chichester's best effort eas also a header with Tim Brown clipping the top of the crossbar from 8 yards when he really should have scored.

Chichester did get the ball into the net but Paul Thomas' effort was ruled out for a foul much to the relief of the Sidley contingent as they nudged ever closer to the title.

Sidley Team: Sully, Ball, Farrier, Copley, Poole, Ward, Finch, Balch, Moyse (Corke), Bolton, Day. 

Sidley United 2 - 1 Sidlesham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 28th April 2001

Sidley United ended their home campaign with a priceless win over Sidlesham as title rivals Burgess Hill crashed to defeat at Selsey.

A strong wind blowing from one end of the pitch to the other made it difficult for either side to get the ball down and neither goalkeeper was really tested for the opening 20 minutes. However Sidley opened the scoring on 28 minutes when a corner came through to Chris Copley. His initial header was blocked on the line but Copley kept his wits to convert the rebound.

Sidley then doubled their lead five minutes after half time. Gerard Moyse did well to hold the ball on the edge of the area and lay it off to Jason Finch who lashed a shot into the far corner of the net.

The Blues should have made the game safe when they were awarded a dubious looking penalty for a foul on Tim Bolton. Sidlesham strongly disagreed with the decision and Simon Elley was sent off for dissent. However Wayne Farrier scuffed his shot wide of the target having waited approximately 4 minutes to take it.

Sidley still had opportunities to kill off the game but Bolton shot over when the goal was gaping from 8 yards. And the visitors got a consolation in the dying seconds when Wayne Eastman converted a penalty which was awarded for a foul but Sidley kept their cool to see out the rest of the game without many worries.

Sidley Team: Crowther, Ball, Sully, Farrier, Copley, Poole, Ward, Finch, Moyse, Bolton, Day.

Sidley United 0 - 0 Littlehampton Town - SCFL Division One - Thursday 26th April 2001

A makeshift Sidley United side were held to a goal-less draw by Littlehampton Town on Thursday night as the crazy fixture backlog seemed to catch up with them.

Paul Sully took over in goal after Danny Poole's broken collarbone sustained earlier in the week and although he did well on the few occasions he was tested, the change did leave the home side somewhat unbalanced.

The Blues were already missing Jimmy Watson and Peter Baker and their problems increased when Peter Heritage had to be taken off in a dour first half with a hamstring injury. The closest to a goal were the visitors when Russell Hardwell volleyed wide while Paul Balch did likewise for Sidley.

A crucial block at the start of the second half denied Derek Chester putting Littlehampton in front before Adam Day started and finished Sidley's best move of the night but his shot drifted wide. The Blues were almost caught out late in the game but Balch's excellently timed tackle denied Chester a chance to strike.

The cheers from the visitors at the end showed that they considered this a point gained while Sidley were left having to pick themselves up for another big game on Saturday.

Sidley Team: Sully, Ball, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Ward (Corke), Finch, Balch, Day, Heritage (Bolton), Moyse. 

Redhill 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 24th April 2001

Goals from Dave Ward and Gerard Moyse ground out a vital win as Sidley United boosted their late championship charge on Tuesday night.

Only five minutes into the game Sidley lost goalkeeper Danny Poole when he injured his shoulder, suffering ligament damage which appears certain to rule him out of the rest of the season. Reserve team goalkeeper Paul Crowther seems set to step up to replace him for the remaining games.

Owen Ball and Gerard Moyse both went close for Sidley but fired shots across the face of goal while Sully made a good save to keep the first half goalless.

The match sprang to life after the break as Ward struck in the 63rd minute when he latched onto Adam Day's pass and was left clean through to finish beyond the goalkeeper.

Seven minutes later however Redhill equalised as some sloppy defending allowed Luke Gedling to pounce for the equaliser. From the restart Ball missed a glorious chance when he chose to go for goal instead of passing to the better placed Peter Heritage. But Moyse saved the day by scoring from close range after Jason Finch had won a 50/50 challenge with the home goalkeeper.

Redhill kept pressing but Ward and Heritage both missed opportunities to cap the Blues' win. Sidley are now 5 points behind leaders Burgess Hill Town but have 3 games in hand.

Sidley Team: D Poole (Moyse),Ball, Sully, Farrier, Copley, Day, Finch (Bolton), Balch, Ward, Heritage (Corke).

Horsham YMCA 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 21st April 2001

Brad Poole grabbed his first goal of the season as super Sidley won again to close the gap on Burgess Hill Town who could only draw.

Sidley started slowly but Danny Poole only had one save to make in the first half as the defence in front of him remained solid. Play largely took place in the midfield area and Sidley's only chance fell to Peter Heritage who should have done better with his shot after chesting down Owen Ball's cross.

A slice of luck led to the winning goal 6 minutes after half time. Paul Balch's shot from a corner was going nowhere until it fell to Poole who was retreating from the area and he turned and smacked it home giving the YMCA goalkeeper no chance.

His brother Danny had to make a good save later on and the bar came to his rescue on another occasion but Sidley deserved the win and held on continue their unlikely title charge.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Sully (Finch), Ball, B Poole, Farrier, Copley, Ward, Day, Balch, Heritage (Bolton), Baker (Moyse).

Sidley United 6 - 0 Ringmer - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 18th April 2001

Sidley United recorded thumping win at home as they set their sights firmly on catching league leaders Burgess Hill Town.

The Blues made a lightning fast start to the game as Adam Day struck the first goal inside four minutes after visiting goalkeeper Paul Rogers made a hash of an attempted clearance before Owen Ball, Peter Heritage and Dave Ward all went close.

However despite all the home pressure Ringmer should have levelled the scores when they were awarded a penalty for handball but Kevin Townsend's spot kick smacked against the post.

That reprieve lifted Sidley who scored again midway through the first half after good build up play between Ball and Peter Baker allowed Paul Balch to rifle a shot into the roof of the net. Baker then scored on 34 minutes with a dipping half volley as Sidley had the game put to bed before half time.

Into the second half the Blues added a fourth as Peter Heritage executed a delightful chip and Baker bagged his second after Ward's initial effort had cannoned down off the crossbar.

Heritage completed the scoring on 73 minutes with a free header at a corner as Sidley enjoyed a comfortable evening.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully (Finch), Farrier, Copley (Bolton), B Poole, Ward, Balch, Day, Heritage (Moyse), Baker.

Sidley United 2 - 0 Wick - SCFL Division One - Monday 16th April 2001

Chris Copley and Peter Baker were on the scoresheet as the Blues extended their winning run on Monday night.

After the euphoria of their cup success on Friday the Blues found it tough early on against a Wick side that had clearly come determined not to just roll over. The visitors enjoyed a good amount of possession as Sidley laboured but it was the Blues who had the first real chance when Brad Poole met a corner with a firm header which Wick goalkeeper Dean Fuller tipped over acrobatically.

Wick responded and had a golden chance themselves but Justin Thorpe dragged his shot wide of the target when well placed. Soon after that Sidley captain Wayne Farrier cleared off the goal-line to deny Julian Curnow while Peter Baker's attempted lob was just well saved by Fuller at the other end.

Sidley looked a lot brighter after the restart and only a superb double save by Fuller denied Peter Heritage opening the scoring. But the Blues finally did break the deadlock on 52 minutes when Heritage got up well at a corner and the ball ran loose to Copley who thundered a shot into the roof of the net.

Baker made the points safe 13 minutes later with a well struck free kick from just outside the box which curled round the wall and beyond the dive of Fuller.

Wick had plenty of the ball in the closing stages but another sound defensive display meant the points were safely secured for Dickie Day's side.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Ward (Finch), Balch, Day, Heritage (Moyse), Baker.

Sidley United 3 - 2 Sidlesham - John O Hara Cup Final - Friday 13th April 2001

Sidley United completed the first part of a potential league and cup double as they defeated a spirited Sidlesham to lift the John O Hara cup. 

It was however a nightmare start for the Blues as captain Wayne Farrier brought down Steve Warwick in the penalty area with a rash challenge and Wayne Eastman scored to give Sidlesham an early lead. Sidlesham had another good chance to extend their lead before Sidley finally woke up to the challenge ahead of them.

The Blues bounced back though, led by a determined Farrier as they started to take hold of the game. Dave Ward's rising effort cannoned off the crossbar with Ashley Rochester in the Sidlesham goal well beaten.

Sidley's equaliser had more than a touch of good fortune about it. Paul Balch clearly fouled a Sidlesham player who then fell on the ball and the referee awarded Blues a free kick for handball. The quickly taken free kick came through to Adam Day and his low shot struck the inside of the post before finding the back of the net.

Blues then went in front on 40 minutes as Balch was brought down on the edge of the area. Peter Baker's free kick was parried by Rochester but Day was on hand to bundle the ball home and at half time Sidley were cruising.

Sidlesham began the second half well and levelled through Warwick on 57 minutes as Sidley failed to deal with Jimmy Brown's run into the box. But that setback spurred the Blues on and they won a penalty for a handball in the box by Billy Gill but Rochester kept out Baker's weak penalty. 

Baker then hit the bar with a stunning first time volley before Sidley got back in front when a nice move involving Day and Balch ended with Jimmy Watson clipping his effort over the advancing goalkeeper. Danny Poole then had to make an excellent late save to keep Sidlesham from grabbing a stoppage time equaliser.

The final whistle brought great scenes as Sidley lifted a County cup trophy but an even greater prize is now on the horizon for them as they focus on the Sussex County League title.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Ward, Watson, Balch, Day, Baker.

Sidley United 2 - 1 Horsham YMCA - SCFL Division One - Saturday 7th April 2001

"A massive win" was how manager Dickie Day described this win as Sidley United saw off title rivals Horsham YMCA to all but end the visitors challenge.

In the only game in the league to beat the weather Horsham almost struck early on as Sidley goalkeeper Danny Poole spilled a corner and the ball bounced towards the net but Paul Sully did brilliantly to hack the ball clear from almost on the goal-line.

Sidley stormed back and they opened the scoring after 9 minutes as Dave Ward struck from close range following an Adam Day corner. Phil Churchill had a great chance to level for Horsham almost immediately afterwards but he completely fluffed his lobbed attempt.

Paul Balch went close for Sidley on a couple of occasions as goalmouth action proved to be a rarity as both sides struggled to get to grips with the heavy conditions. 

In the second half the Blues doubled their lead on 60 minutes as Owen Ball's centre to the back post was missed by Barrie Westgate and Ward chested the ball dwown before finishing into the far corner.

Horsham kept battling and 12 minutes from time James Bird converted a penalty awarded for handball by Tim Bolton to bring the visitors right back into the contest.

Peter Heritage should have eased the home nerves within a minute of coming on as a substitute but he missed from 6 yards. However, that miss didn't prove costly as Sidley held on for three vital points.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Farrier, Bolton, B Poole, Ward, Watson, Balch, Day, Baker (Heritage).

Lancing 0 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 4th April 2001

Sidley United are 5 points off top spot with a game in hand on leaders Burgess Hill Town after a precious win at Lancing on Wednesday.

Dickie Day's Blues were not at the races for the opening 20 minutes and Lancing twice broke through the usually solid defensive back line but they failed to find the net with just goalkeeper Danny Poole to beat.

Gradually Sidley got back to their true form and Owen Ball headed narrowly wide at the far post while Paul Balch was denied on a couple of occasions.

A few choice words at half time seemed to galvanise Sidley who came out much better in the second half. Adam Day cracked a drive against the upright and both Peter Baker and Balch fired over with overhead kicks.

But another Balch effort came back off the crossbar and Day put the rebound away to give Sidley the lead. A goal behind, Lancing increased the pressure but Poole was rarely tested and Balch sealed the win 5 minutes from time when he converted Baker's cross to secure the points.

Sidley Team: D Poole. Ball, B Poole, Farrier, Bolton, Sully, Ward, Watson, Day, Balch, Baker.

Sidley United 4 - 1 Saltdean United - John O Hara Cup Semi Final - Monday 2nd April 2001

Sidley United booked their place in the John O Hara cup final after a top drawer performance to knock out Saltdean United on Monday at Ringmer's Caburn ground.

Paul Balch had already had a good chance go begging before Sidley opened the scoring after 4 minutes when Brad Poole met Baker's cross to glance home and settle the early nerves.

On 13 minutes the roles were reversed as Poole's header back across the six yard box was met by Baker who volleyed home from close range. Sidley's high tempo meant that Saltdean were never allowed to settle and Balch should have made it 3 - 0 on 16 minutes but he blazed over the bar.

Saltdean did respond as John King's free kick cannoned back off the crossbar but Sidley always looked like scoring when they came forward and they seemed heavy favourites to get the next goal.

After the break Baker put another good chance just wide while Owen Ball saw his effort palmed away before Poole crashed home a header from a corner to put Sidley three goals clear. 

Saltdean didn't let their heads drop and they pulled a goal back through Ian Costello's close range finish. However at the other end Paul Balch dragged an effort wide before Paul Sully's cross was met by Jimmy Watson who volleyed home to put the seal on the win.

Peter Heritage almost added a late fifth but his first time effort curled just wide. The Blues will face either Sidlesham or Broadbridge Heath in the final to be played at Lancing on Good Friday.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Farrier, Bolton, B Poole, Ward, Watson (Finch), Day, Balch (Ralley), Baker (Heritage).

Sidley United 0 - 0 Pagham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 31st March 2001

Sidley United and Pagham both lost ground on leaders Burgess Hill Town as they played out a goal-less draw at Gullivers.

The pitch was probably the biggest influence on the game as both side struggled to deal with the uneven surface and few clear chances were created. Sidley goalkeeper Danny Poole was called upon to block a shot from Lee Stevens but otherwise the Blues goalkeeper was largely a spectator.

For their part Sidley didn't trouble visiting stopper Wes Hallett much either with Gerard Moyse scooping a half chance over the bar. In the second half Mark Freeman skimmed a header across the face of goal following a clever run by Chris Copley.

The Blues did have claims for a penalty when there was a bout of shirt tugging at a corner but Freeman went down rather too easily and the referee wasn't convinced enough to award a spot kick. The Blues winning streak came to an end but a point does still keep them in contention for County league glory come the end of the season.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ralley, Sully, Farrier, Copley, Bolton, Ward, Watson, Day, Heritage, Moyse (Freeman).

Whitehawk 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 6th March 2001

Ten man Sidley United came from behind with two late goals to seal a vital win in their title challenge.

The Blues were denied an early lead when the Whitehawk goalkeeper punched a corner into his own net under pressure but the referee deemed that he had been fouled and awarded the home side a free kick.

Whitehawk worked hard but they didn't trouble Sidley in the first half but early in the second period they broke upfield and although Danny Poole kept out Levy's first attempt, he could do nothing about the second.

Chris Copley was then shown a second yellow card on 60 minutes following a scuffle with the opposition centre forward and at that stage Sidley looked to be heading for their first league defeat since October. However they dug in and equalised when Adam Day played a lovely ball over the top and Peter Baker nipped in between two defenders and lifted the ball over the goalkeeper from 25 yards.

Sidley continued to pour forward and two minutes from time Dave Ward reached the byline and and crossed to the far post where Gerard Moyse bundled home the winning goal.

With this kind of character and determination Sidley must be considered genuine contenders for the title.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Copley, B Poole, Farrier (Bolton), Sully (Ward), Watson, Day, Balch, Heritage (Moyse), Baker.

Sidley United 4 - 2 Arundel - SCFL Division One - Saturday 3rd March 2001

A Paul Balch hat trick helped Sidley United to a terrific win over Arundel.

Sidley opened the scoring within 3 minutes as Peter Baker claimed his first goal for the club since his move from Westfield when he was put clear on goal by Peter Heritage and he calmly slid the ball beyond Arundel stopper Andy McCarthy and inside the post.

Balch then doubled the lead on 16 minutes with a controlled finish after Baker's initial shot had been parried out by McCarthy. Sidley were rampant and had further chances through Jimmy Watson and Baker but both failed to finish and they were punished on 33 minutes as Mark Price rounded off a good move to strike for Arundel.

Owen Ball was denied with only the goalkeeper to beat while Balch somehow scuffed an effort wide from just 6 yards out. And in the second half Arundel pulled themselves level on 53 minutes as Miles Scerri took full advantage of Brad Poole's hashed clearance.

But within four minutes Sidley were back in front as Ball cut open the Arundel defence and Balch gave McCarthy no chance with the finish. Sidley then won a penalty on 75 minutes which Balch took and although McCarthy kept out his spot kick, the rebound fell straight to Balch to complete his hat-trick and secure Sidley's sixth straight win. The day was even better for the Blues as title rivals Hassocks lost at home by Eastbourne Town and Horsham YMCA were edged out by Littlehampton Town.

Sidley Team: D Poole. Ball, Sully, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Watson, Balch, Day, Heritage (Ward), Baker.

Sidley United 4 - 0 Three Bridges - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 27th February 2001

Sidley United romped to their biggest home win of the season as they sent a message out that they are now genuine title contenders.

Wayne Farrer grabbed the first on 18 minutes with a sweetly struck free kick from 25 yards which ripped into the top corner of the net.

The second goal arrived on the half hour mark and it was an incisive move which ended with Owen Ball's cross being turned into the net by Peter Heritage with a low angled drive to give Blues a commanding half time lead.

Adam Day made it 3 on 60 minutes with a superb volley from 25 yards which always looked like it would find the back of the net and Dave Ward got in on the act within a minute of coming on as a substitute. A ball across the box found him and he sneaked past a defender before drilling a shot inside the near post.

The Blues had other chances but Alan Mansfield saved well from efforts by Paul Sully, Day and Gerard Moyse. The closest Bridges came was a header from Stuart Bone which was deflected onto the post by Farrier. The Blues now have sight of the league leaders and with their form must feel they are in with a real chance of SCFL glory.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball (Ward), Sully, Farrier, Copley, B Poole (Bolton), Watson, Day, Balch, Heritage (Moyse), Baker.

Wick 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 24th February 2001

Sidley United completed a classic smash and grab victory over Wick to maintain their late surge for the County league title.

Wick enjoyed too much possession in the first half and had two good sights of goal but one effort was steered wide and Danny Poole saved well with his feet on the second occasion.

Sidley instead broke the deadlock on 13 minutes when Peter Baker produced a shot from nothing which beat the goalkeeper but came back off the crossbar and Adam Day pounced to head home the rebound.

Wick continued to make the running but several wayward shots were all they had to show for their dominance and again Sidley went close through Chris Copley's header and another Copley effort which was hacked off the line.

In the second period Wick equalised on 60 minutes as Ben Milford volleyed home from the edge of the area. Manager Dickie Day brought made a couple of changes and one of them came up trumps as Tim Bolton provided the cross from which Paul Balch scored the winner.

The Blues may have added further goals in the final 15 minutes but Mark Freeman failed to make the best of two good opportunities.

Sidley Team: D Poole. Ball (Freeman), Sully, Copley, B Poole, Farrier, Day, Watson, Balch, Baker, Heritage (Bolton).

Sidley United 4 - 3 Pagham (AET) - John O Hara Cup Quarter Final - Tuesday 20th February 2001

Sidley United recorded a breathtaking extra time victory against Pagham to earn a place in the Semi Finals of the John O Hara cup.

Both goalkeepers were tested in the first half before Peter Heritage put Sidley in front with a far post header in the 15th minute. The lead was short lived though as Lee Pinborne fired past Danny Poole and Pagham then took the lead as Lee Stevens punished a weak clearance.

Peter Baker hit the crossbar for Sidley before the Blues really took the game to Pagham in the second half and eventually levelled with a 25 yard cracker from Heritage won 60 minutes.

However a reckless challenge in the area led to Pagham being awarded a penalty which Steve Boulton scored to put Pagham 3 - 2 up and when Baker squandered a golden chance to bring Sidley level it looked like it could be one of those nights. But Heritage struck his hat-trick goal on 80 minutes to send the tie into extra time.

Owen Ball was shown a red card for dissent but Sidley defied the numerical advantage as they twice hit the woodwork before Gerard Moyse scored a spectacular overhead kick to finally settle the contest and send Sidley through to a semi final against Saltdean United.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Sully, Farrier, B Poole, Copley (Moyse), Ward, Ball, Balch, Day, Heritage (Bolton), Baker.

Sidley United 1 - 0 Chichester City United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 17th February 2001

A wonder strike from full back Paul Sully earned Sidley a narrow home win against Chichester City United as the Blues rose above them.

The Blues paid tribute before kick off to George Gilbert, one of the club's founders who died recently and was remembered before kick off with a minute's silence.

Sidley struck after just 10 minutes as Sully raced onto a through ball by Paul Balch and as it dropped over his shoulder he thumped a dipping volley into the far corner of the net. The Blues then took control of the game and new signing from Westfield Peter Baker almost marked his Sidley debut with a goal when he was played clean through but the goalkeeper saved his low shot with his feet.

Despite dominating possession Sidley didn't fashion too many more clear chances although at the other end Wayne Farrier and Brad Poole quickly snuffed out any danger.

City came more into the game after the break but Blues goalkeeper Danny Poole had only a couple of soft efforts to collect. Sidley created more chances which came to nothing - mainly due to the thick mud at the top end of the pitch as Peter Heritage, Owen Ball and Baker were among those to struggle to get decent efforts away.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, B Poole, Copley, Farrier, Ward, Day, Balch, Baker, Heritage (Bolton).

Sidley United 2 - 1 Eastbourne United - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 24th January 2001

A controversial late penalty earned Sidley United a win against their local rivals as they rose to fourth in the table.

The wet and windy conditions dictated the pattern of much of the play in the first half and played a large part in Sidley taking the lead. Owen Ball's corner sailed over Eastbourne goalkeeper Mark Oldroyd and into the back of the net.

As the half drew to a close the Blues began to create a succession of chances but Oldroyd saved well from Jason Finch and Dave Ward fired over from 8 yards out.

Eastbourne looked more dangerous after the break and just before the hour mark Ian Dickens played in Keiron White for a smart equaliser. The Blues were soon back on the attack though and Oldroyd denied Jimmy Watson and Brad Poole.

But the controversial moment came in the 87th minute as Stuart Weston had a chance to shoot and Ian Sallis appeared to slide in to take the ball off his toe but the referee pointed to the spot. Peter Heritage made no mistake with the penalty despite Oldroyd getting a hand to the ball as it went in off the inside of the post. Eastbourne were clearly seething and Steve Latuske was sent off for dissent.

There was still time for more late drama as United got the ball in the net but Sidley goalkeeper Paul Crowther had been clearly bundled over the line and the referee quite rightly awarded the Blues a free kick.

Sidley Team: Crowther, Ball, Sully, B Poole, Copley, Balch, Ward, Watson (Weston), Day, Finch, Heritage.

Sidley United 2 - 1 Eastbourne Town - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 16th January 2001

Peter Heritage grabbed a brace as Sidley United came from behind to beat Eastbourne Town and climb to fifth in the league table.

Both sides started the game positively but it was Town who drew first blood when Sidley's defence remained frozen to the spot while Lee Walsh volleyed home. The lead didn't last long though as Dave Ward burst through a couple of challenges, Owen Ball crossed and Peter Heritage produced a textbook header into the bottom corner.

Sidley were largely in control but they were given a warning by Matt Townsend who raced through before firing wide. Adam Day replied with a cross-shot before he instigated the second goal when he chased an apparent lost cause. Town goalkeeper Andy Young tried to beat Day and when the ball ran loose to Heritage sidefooted it into the right hand corner of the net.

Day had a good chance to increase the lead when Ball's pass beat the last defender but he wasted a good first touch with an attemped chip which never got above head height.

Early in the second half the Blues seemed to forget how to pass the ball and they made hard work of seeing out the game. although the defence remained solid against a fairly toothless Eastbourne outfit as Sidley took the 3 points.

Sidley Team: Crowther, Ball, Sully, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Ward, Finch, Day, Ralley, Heritage.

Sidley United 0 - 2 Pagham - Sussex Senior Cup - Saturday 13th January 2001

Sidley United's interest in the Sussex Senior Cup ended at the hands of an impressive Pagham side on Saturday.

The Blues were missing a number of regular players but that cannot be used as an excuse as Pagham looked strong from the start with regular Under 18 goalkeeper Paul Crowther, promoted to the team due to Danny Poole's injury, forced into a couple of early saves while Tony Stephens also hit the top of the crossbar for the visitors.

Sidley's best hope lay with Peter Heritage and his run and cross picked out Gerard Moyse but he mistimed his header and the opportunity drifted wide. Pagham then took the lead on 23 minutes when Stephens got to the by-line and crossed for Lee Stevens to head home from 6 yards out.

Sidley tried to up the tempo in the second half but were chasing shadows for much of the game as Pagham kept the ball with confidence. The excellent Ashley Edwards clinched victory with a speculative shot from 20 yards which flew through a crowd and went underneath Crowther and into the net.

Sidley kept going and only a last ditch challenge prevented Dave Ward from going for goal while Mark Ralley volleyed over from the edge of the box. However the Blues were unable to put any sustained pressure on the Pagham goal and the visitors progressed to the next round.

Sidley Team: Crowther, Ralley, Sully, Farrier, Copley (Bolton), B Poole, Ward, Finch, J Carey, Moyse (D Carey), Heritage. 

Burgess Hill Town 3 - 1 Sidley United - SCFA RUR Cup Quarter Finals - Wednesday 10th January 2001

Sidley United's unbeaten run came to an end as they were knocked out of the SCFA RUR cup by title favourites Burgess Hill Town.

The Blues actually took the lead as Chris Copley headed them into a fifth minute lead from a corner. The home side enjoyed plenty of possession after that but Sidley may have doubled their lead as Adam Day and Peter Heritage both had shots saved.

However the home pressure increased and a header five minutes before half time by Langridge brought Burgess Hill level. A lucky break led to them taking the lead in the second half as John Carey's clearance hit Jason Finch and the ball fell to Lee Isaac who gave Sidley's Under 18 goalkeeper Paul Crowther no chance.

Sidley had to chase the game to try and get back into the tie and as one of their attacks broke down, Burgess Hill broke away and Ian Smith conceded a penalty for a foul which was converted by Ashley Carr as the home side took their place in the semi final.

Sidley Team: Crowther, Sully, B Poole, Copley (Smith), Farrier, Balch, Finch, J Carey, Day, Moyse (Bolton), Heritage (D Carey). 

Wick 0 - 2 Sidley United - John O Hara Cup Third Round - Saturday 6th January 2001

A brace from veteran striker Peter Heritage gave Sidley United an excellent win to put them into the Quarter Finals of the John O Hara cup.

The Blues set their stall out early on, allowing Wick to have the ball in their own half and then squeeze them once they had crossed the halfway line but early on the Blues lacked any real threat themselves. However Wick only threatened on one occasion and Danny Poole safely collected the shot.

As Sidley improved, Heritage broke the deadlock with a classic strike when he headed the ball back across goal from Adam Day's cross.

After the break Sidley were much better as the midfield of Jason Finch, Day and Jimmy Watson took charge and reduced Wick to playing hopeful long balls forward.

Halfway through the half, Poole launched a long kick forward which was missed by Wick's centre half and Heritage outstripped fellow striker Gerard Moyse to tuck the ball away.

He could have completed his hat-trick but Paul Balch chose to shoot rather than pass to Heritage having raced clear on goal.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Sully, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Balch, Day, Watson, Finch, Moyse (Carey), Heritage (Bolton).  

Saltdean United 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 2nd January 2001

Sidley United extended their unbeaten run to nine matches with a useful point at Saltdean United on Tuesday.

Only two minutes into the match Owen Ball pulled up with a recurrance of his hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Ian Smith. Saltdean gained the upper hand and took the lead when Johnson's cross into the box was dummied by a team-mate and bounced beyond unsighted goalkeeper Danny Poole.

Sidley levelled though ten minutes later after good play between Jason Finch and Adam Day set up Paul Balch who took the ball in his stride, rounded the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Peter Heritage also shot wide while Gerard Moyse hit the post before half time. In the second period Saltdean put the Blues under heavy pressure and only a couple of exceptional saves by Poole kept them from taking the lead.

Sidley got on top as the half progressed but never looked like scoring until late on when Balch failed to make the most of a clear run on goal.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball (Smith), Sully, Copley, B Poole, Farrier, Finch (Watson), Day, Balch, Moyse, Heritage (Bolton).

Ringmer 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 26th December 2000

A hastily arranged Sidley United side were denied victory with a late goal by Ringmer on Boxing Day.

After late withdrawals from the injured Dave Ward and John Carey, Sidley were required to name youngsters Matt Dadswell and Aaron Cochrane in their squad. Paul Balch fired the Blues in front on 19 minutes when a late run through the middle saw him collect a pass, advance and shoot past the home goalkeeper.

The Blues enjoyed a great 20 minute spell after that and they could have made the game safe as Ringmer twice cleared off their line, Gerard Moyse forced two good saves and Peter Heritage had a couple of chances which he failed to take.

The second half was a very different affair though and only a miraculous save from Danny Poole kept Sidley in front as he kept out an initial shot before getting up to throw himself in the way of the second. However he couldn't do anything to keep out Spencer Slaughter's equaliser four minutes from time as Ringmer claimed a share of the spoils.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Smith (Dadswell), Copley, Bolton, Sully, Balch, Eldridge, Day, Finch, Heritage, Moyse (D Carey).

Sidley United 1 - 0 Lancing - SCFL Division One - Saturday 23rd December 2000

Adam Day's first goal of the season was enough to settle this tight encounter against Lancing and send Sidley United into the Christmas break with a 6th win in a row in all competitions.

Day struck in the 6th minute after he timed his run perfectly from midfield before lifting the ball over the goalkeeper. He should have doubled the lead from the penalty spot when Sidley won a spot kick but his effort was not struck cleanly and the Lancing goalkeeper was able to make the save.

The visitors created a couple of chances in the second half but the Blues defence held firm to record their fourth consecutive clean sheet. Substitute Ben Eldridge had an opportunity to increase the margin of victory late on when he had just the goalkeeper to beat but he was defeated by the mud as much as anything else.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball (Smith), B Poole, Bolton, Copley, Sully, Day, Ward, J Carey (Eldridge), Heritage, D Carey.

St Leonards 0 - 2 Sidley United - Sussex Senior Cup - Wednesday 20th December 2000

Sidley United upset local higher grade rivals as they dumped Dr Marten's side St Leonards out of the Sussex Senior Cup. 

The Blues took the lead after just 4 minutes as Peter Heritage made a nuisance of himself in the box and after he had two attempts blocked the ball fell to Jimmy Watson whose left foot strike beat the dive of St Leonards goalkeeper Graham Bannatyne.

The home side were shell shocked and only a minute later Owen Ball had a good chance but he pulled his effort across the face of goal. Des Boateng was only inches away from Simon Fox's cross but that was a rare chance for St Leonards as Sidley dominated the first half hour.

Ball doubled the lead when he burst into the area and fired home via a deflection as Sidley went to the break with a commanding lead. After the break Boateng struck the woodwork for St Leonards but St Leonards were second best and they were unable to break Sidley down.

Watson had a late chance to put the seal on it with a third after he broke the offside trap but his measured effort curled just wide.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Farrier (Smith), B Poole, Bolton, Ward, Watson, Finch (Day), Heritage, Moyse (Carey).

Sidley United 1 - 0 East Preston - SCFL Division One - Saturday 16th December 2000

Gerard Moyse grabbed the only goal as Sidley United recorded a narrow looking but comfortable enough victory over rock bottom side East Preston.

The visitors posed one or two questions in the early stages of the game and went close when Nick West rose highest to meet a ball in with a looping header which clipped the top of the crossbar.

But that scare woke Sidley up and they started to take charge as first John Carey nearly got on the end of a cross before Gerard Moyse was denied after bursting between two defenders. However they weren't to be denied for long as Moyse cut inside his man and chipped a shot out of the sand and into the top corner on 29 minutes.

The second half was one way traffic as Jimmy Watson had a scorching drive tipped onto the bar and Paul Sully's header from the rebound was blocked on the line. Further efforts from Moyse and Watson were also somehow kept out and while 1 - 0 is always a dangerous scoreline, there was never much concern that Sidley United would fail to win the game.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Farrier, B Poole, Copley, Finch (Day), Moyse (Bolton), Carey, Watson, Heritage.

Sidley United 2 - 0 Redhill - SCFL Division One - Saturday 18th November 2000

Sidley United claimed a stunning home win to make light work of all the comings and goings at Gullivers lately.

Sidley were well on top throughout and could have had many more goals before they scored in the 29th minute when Dave Ward put Gerard Moyse in the clear and he fired low under the visiting goalkeeper.

Craig Willard doubled the advantage five minutes before half time following a short corner routine with Adam Day, playing his first game since returning to the club from St Leonards.

The home defence managed to keep Redhill at bay with ease which allowed Sidley to pepper shots on the visiting goal in the second half but a mixture of luck and good goalkeeping meant there were to be no further additions to the scoreline.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Farrier, B Poole, Copley, Ball, Willard, Ward, Finch, Day, Moyse, Heritage (Carey).

Littlehampton Town 2 - 3 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 11th November 2000

Sidley United saw off a lowly but dogged Littlehampton Town on Saturday as they climbed into the top ten.

Having lost two strikers in the last week - Wes Tate to Ringmer and Andy Atkin to East Sussex league side Hooe Sports - it was a return to action for Peter Heritage up front for the Blues. Heritage infact found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat on a couple of occasions but put his efforts wide of the post.

Jimmy Watson opened the scoring on 7 minutes for Sidley as he beat a defender and rounded the goalkeeper to score after neat build up play involving Craig Willard and Dave Ward.

Littlehampton hit back though and equalised when the lively James Templeman successfully chipped Jon Gardner but Ward restored Sidley's lead when he drove a scorching effort from outside the box into the top corner.

The home side started the second half well and levelled it up again through Templeman's second goal of the game after his first effort had come back off the crossbar and he finally put away the rebound.

But Sidley won it when Owen Ball's low cross-cum-shot found its way past the goalkeeper and into the net to seal the points.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Ball (Smith), Sully, Farrier, Copley, Bolton, Willard, Ward, Watson, Moyse, Heritage (Carey).

Westfield 0 - 4 Sidley United - SCFA RUR Cup Third Round - Saturday 4th November 2000

Sidley United made light work of their local rivals as they coasted into the Quarter Finals of the SCFA RUR Cup on Saturday.

The Blues went after their opponents from the start and in the very first minute some appalling marking at a corner allowed them to win an initial header which led to Owen Ball thundering home an unstoppable strike from close range.

Wes Tate was looking lively and twice went close before Sidley doubled the lead on 18 minutes as Craig Willard played a low ball into Tate whose lay off put Paul Sully in the clear and he fired into the top corner.

It was all Sidley and Brad Poole should have done better with a free header while a mazy run from Dave Ward ended with him shooting straight at Westfield goalkeeper Steve Drinkwater.

The third Sidley goal arrived courtesy of Chris Copley on 69 minutes as he was left unmarked to head home a corner. And Copley bagged his second goal of the game when further poor marking allowed him space to convert a free kick into the box by John Carey.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Farrier (Finch), Copley, B Poole, Ward, Willard, Moyse (Bolton), Watson (Carey), Tate.

Burgess Hill Town 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 1st November 2000

Sidley United may have claimed a valuable point away to high flying Burgess Hill Town but were seconds away from taking all three as the home side struck with a 96th minute equaliser.

The home side were dominant in the opening 25 minutes and spent much of the time camped inside the Sidley half but the Blues defence held firm with Wayne Farrier particularly impressing. Despite the pressure the home side failed to test Danny Poole in the Sidley goal. The closest Sidley came was when Gerard Moyse broke through and went down in the area but the penalty appeals fell on deaf ears.

However Sidley did take the lead, against the run of play, when Craig Willard's corner was met at the far post by Paul Balch who headed Sidley into a half time lead.

The second half took the same pattern as the first though with Burgess Hill dominating the play. One shot skimmed past the far post and Poole had to tip over another effort while Sidley had some chances on the break but Moyse, Balch and Wes Tate all had shots saved.

And deep into injury time the home side levelled when a long throw was flicked on and Ashley Carr smashed the ball high into the net to earn the home side a point that puts them top of the table.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Balch, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Ward, Willard, Watson, Moyse, Tate.

Sidley United 1 - 2 Saltdean United - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 25th October 2000

Sidley United turned in an abject display as they were beaten at home by ten man Saltdean United on Wednesday.

The Blues started well and things looked to be going their way when they took the lead as Paul Sully's 17th minute free kick was returned by Brad Poole and Gerard Moyse found the net with a header.

And Saltdean were then reduced to 10 men on 25 minutes as one of their players blatently kicked Chris Copley who was lying on the ground and duly shown a straight red card. But rather than really take the game to their opponents, Sidley simply went to pieces.

Agutter nipped between two defenders and beat Jon Gardner, making his first appearance of the season, in the Sidley goal for the equaliser shortly before half time.

And worse was to follow in the second half as Saltdean were streets ahead in every department and on the hour a long throw in led to Longley poking home.

Paul Balch blasted over with only the goalkeeper to beat but apart from that Sidley simply created nothing as manager Dickie Day admitted afterwards that the Blues were simply atrocious today.

Sidley Team: Gardner, Ball, Sully, B Poole, Farrier, Copley, Carey, Willard, Ward, Moyse, Balch (Tate).

Sidley United 2 - 2 Whitehawk - SCFL Division One - Saturday 14th October 2000

A late brace from Gerard Moyse helped Sidley United claim an unlikely share of the spoils. 

However it was a different story in the first half as Paul Balch was denied three times by Whitehawk goalkeeper Ross Standen, including from two one-on-one situations.

But the Blues were instead hit twice in the opening period of the second half as Whitehawk's Gareth Hughes beat Blues goalkeeper Danny Poole with a cracking drive before Hughes notched again when he beat Poole to a cross into the box. 

Sidley gained an advantage when Whitehawk defender Mark Sheriff was sent off for diving on 65 minutes and the Blues drove forward seeking a way back into the game. 

It came with just four minutes to go as Moyse reacted quickest to a loose ball to slam home on 86 minutes.  

Then with time almost up Moyse was on hand to turn the ball home after Scott McDonald's shot was spilled by Standen to snatch a valuable late point. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, B Poole, Copley (Tate), Farrier, Ward (McDonald), Watson, Willard, Balch, Moyse. 

Westfield (Surrey) 1 - 0 Sidley United - FA Vase First Round - Saturday 7th October 2000

Hopes of another memorable FA Vase run were ended on Saturday as Sidley United suffered an early exit at the hands of Woking based Westfield.

The Blues had chances to win the game but failed to make them count. They also had a couple of decent penalty appeals waved away.

Westfield went into the tie having won their last nine matches in all competitions but it was the Blues who made the brighter start. Gerard Moyse got beyond the full back but chose to shoot from an acute angle rather than try to pick out a teammate.

A goal-line clearance from Owen Ball denied Gerano Romano for the home side after Danny Poole had failed to hold a shot. Early in the second half an incisive move put Paul Balch clear on goal but he appeared to lose his footing at the crucial moment and scuffed his effort well wide.

The only goal arrived on 54 minutes when a long cross to the far post was driven back across goal and Ali Finn sidefooted home from close range.

The Blues came desperately close to levelling when a near post corner was flicked on by Wayne Farrier for Balch to head goalwards but a combination of goalkeeper and defender kept the ball from crossing the line.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Farrier, Copley, B Poole (Atkin), Ward, Willard, Moyse, Watson (Carey), Balch (Bolton).

Sidley United 4 - 1 Burgess Hill Town - SCFL Division One - Saturday 30th September 2000

Sidley United stunned the league leaders with a four goal haul to record an excellent win. 

Burgess Hill passed the ball well in the first half and Sidley had to withstand a few goalmouth scrambles with one of them seeing the ball deflect off Paul Sully and come back off the post. 

Sidley got to the break scoreless but it took them just seconds to strike in the second half as Andy Atkin headed home Gerard Moyse's cross and 12 minutes later Sidley were flying when Chris Copley slammed Sully's corner into the roof of the net. 

Burgess Hill had to respond and they pulled a goal back almost immediately as Carter cut inside and bent a superb shot past Danny Poole and into the Sidley net. 

But Wayne Farrier struck an excellent free kick from 25 yards to ease Sidley nerves and late on young substitute Shae Whybourne played a delightful ball over the top for Scott McDonald to run onto and slot home via the post to complete a superb victory. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, B Poole (Bolton), Copley, Farrier, Sully, Willard, Watson, Ward, Moyse (Mcdonald), Atkin (Whybourne). 

Shoreham 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFA RUR Cup - Saturday 23rd September 2000

A superb piece of finishing from Dave Ward was the difference as Sidley United saw off Division Two outfit Shoreham to reach the Third Round of the SCFA RUR Cup.

The Blues should have been out of sight before Ward struck in the 85th minute but Scott McDonald, Gerard Moyse and Dave Ward failed to make the best of some good first half opportunities. 

The home side caudsed few problems for the Blues and when they did Danny Poole was alert to the danger. However, it took until just 5 minutes before the end for Sidley to break through as a cross into the box was partially punched clear by the home goalkeeper and Ward got to the loose ball to unleash a precise volley which crashed into the unguarded net.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball (Balch), B Poole, Farrier, Copley, Sully, Willard, Watson, Ward, Moyse, McDonald (Tate). 

Cray Wanderers 2 - 3 Sidley United - FA Vase Second Qualifying Round - Saturday 16th September 2000

Sidley United produced a season's best performance and three stunning goals as they progressed to the next round of the FA Vase. 

The Blues went on the offensive from the first whistle and ten minutes into the match Andy Atkin's header fell to Dave Ward and from his cross Gerard Moyse smashed home a superb, unstoppable volley. Cray had a few long range shots which were comfortably dealt with by Danny Poole in the Sidley goal and it was only a matter of time before further Blues goals arrived.

Craig Willard and Paul Sully worked a short corner routine which ended with Willard's cross floating over everyone and into the back of the net. And things got even better for Sidley as ten minutes before half time Jimmy Watson added a third goal when a corner was half cleared to him on the edge of the box and he unleashed an wonderful shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Cray were fortunate to pull a goal back when a shot went in via a deflection. Ward should have put the result beyond doubt but missed the target from Wes Tate's flick and Blues conceded another goal, this time from a corner with around 10 minutes to go.

However, despite a late rally, the home side couldn't force an equlaliser and Sidley will play Woking based side Westfield in the next round.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Farrier, Copley, B Poole, Sully, Willard, Watson, Ward, Moyse (Tate), Atkin (McDonald).

Arundel 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 9th September 2000

Despite dominating possession Sidley United ultimately came away with nothing as they were beaten at Arundel on Saturday.

The Blues started well and kept possession with little trouble. Andy Atkin was looking sharp up front while new signing Paul Balch and Craig Willard enjoyed plenty of success down the flanks.

The breakthrough came in the 25th minute when a ball into the box was only half cleared to Willard and he fired home via a deflection.

Sidley were sitting pretty at half time but they began to defend increasingly deeper in the second half and Arundel took full advantage. First they equalised on 75 minutes when a long aimless ball forward dropped between Mark Ralley and Danny Poole which allowed Andy Arnold to head home.

Then eight minutes later Chris Copley was credited with an unfortunate own goal to compound Sidley misery. Poole made a splendid save to deny Arundel a third goal while Scott McDonald hit the crossbar late on as Sidley sought an equaliser which ultimately never came.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Ralley, Copley, Sully, Willard, Ward (McDonald), Balch, Farrier, Atkin.

Horsham YMCA 3 - 0 Sidley United - SCFA Floodlight Cup First Round - Wednesday 6th September 2000

Sidley United exited this cup competition at the hands of Horsham YMCA at a windswept Gorings Mead thanks to a hat trick from Phil Churchill.

The Blues looked the better side early on and Gerard Moyse should have given them an early lead but he headed into the arms of the home goalkeeper from 6 yards out.

Churchill claimed his first thoal on 38 minutes when he converted during a goalmouth scramble. The same player then notched twice more in the last 10 minutes of the game, first nipping in to convert from a rebound before getting a slice of luck when he charged down Mark Carey's attempted clearance and the ball ricocheted into the back of the net.

The scoreline was slightly harsh on Sidley who didn't play badly but seemed to just experience one of those nights where things didn't quite go their way.

Sidley Team: M Carey, Ball, Sully, Bolton, Copley (Whybourne), Farrier, Willard, J Carey (Atkin), McDonald (D Carey), Moyse.

Bosham 0 - 2 Sidley United - John O Hara Cup Second Round - Saturday 2nd September 2000

Sidley United progressed into the third round of the John O Hara cup as they saw off last season's Division Three champions Bosham.

Dickie Day's Blues put in a mediocre first half performance and created just one chance when Paul Sully's header came back off the post. Bosham competed well but the closest they came was when the ball was headed across the Sidley penalty area but no-one was on hand to apply the finishing touch.

The Blues improved after the break and took the lead on the hour as goalkeeper Danny Poole's long kick cleared the defence, putting Gerard Moyse in to round the goalkeeper and score from an acute angle.

Sidley's superior fitness began to tell and ten minutes later Owen Ball made ground down the right before his cross took a wicked deflection to land in the back of the net.

Dave Ward and Craig Willard went close to a third goal late on but the best chance fell to substitute Scott McDonald who had just the goalkeeper to beat but he chose to attempt a cheeky lob which the goalkeeper saved easily.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Ralley, Copley, Farrier, Sully (Bolton), Willard, Watson (Carey), Ward. Atkin, Moyse (McDonald).

Sidley United 0 - 1 Hassocks - SCFL Division One - Monday 28th August 2000

Sidley United slumped to a disappointing defeat at home to Hassocks on Bank Holiday Monday. 

After an uncertain start they passed the ball about well enough in the defensive and midfield areas but balls towards the forward very rarely found their target. Hassocks meanwhile appeared content to get behind the ball and play on the break. The created the best of the chances and Danny Poole flung himself full length to deny Paul Higham in the 23rd minute.

However just two minutes later the Sidley goalkeeper could do nothing when a loose ball fell to Joe Fernley who fed Rob Kitchen and he slotted beyond Poole to put the visitors in front.

The goal failed to rouse Sidley from their slumber with the game having something of a training ground feel. Andy Atkin had a header which was narrowly wide and Gerard Moyse fired over with a shot on the turn.

The Blues had a golden chance to level in the second half but substitute Lee Roberts lifted his effort over both the onrushing goalkeeper and the crossbar. In injury time Owen Ball swung in a great cross which Adam Day reached first before being flattened by the Hassocks goalkeeper but the referee declined to award a penalty.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Ralley, Copley, Farrier, Carey (Ward), Watson, Day, Atkin (Roberts), Willard, Moyse.

Eastbourne Town 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Friday 25th August 2000

Gerard Moyse scored the only goal of the game as Sidley United picked up their second win of the season in a subdued local derby. 

Although Andy Atkin, Paul Sully and Wayne Farrier went close for Sidley in truth, it was a rather sub standard match as Town appeared to be still coming to terms with the resignation of manager Pete Cherry just two days earlier.

The malaise seemed to be affecting Blues too who thought they had scored when Adam Day struck a free kick straight into the net only for the referee to declare it was an indirect free kick. 

But Sidley did strike through Moyse on 34 minutes when a long ball beat the Town defence and Moyse instinctively lobbed the advancing goalkeeper from the edge of the area. 

Sidley also gave a debut to Craig Willard who joined from Langney Wanderers and he slotted comfortably into midfield. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Ralley, Farrier, Willand, Ward (McDonald), Watson, Day, Moyse, Atkin (Roberts). 

Eastbourne United 2 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 22nd August 2000

It was a case of two points dropped for Sidley United as Eastbourne United came back from 2 - 0 down with 2 goals in the last 10 minutes. 

Both sides struggled to come to terms with the wind and the bouncy pitch leading to a rather dour first half. Eastbourne played some neat football but tricky striker Chris Piper was kept quiet. 

But just four minutes into the second half Sidley won a penalty when Adam Day's cross was handled in the area and Scott McDonald calmly sent Mark Oldroyd the wrong way from the spot. 

The Blues were well on top and from one of a succession of corners Andy Atkin escaped his marker to volley home the second goal on 53 minutes. 

Sidley appeared comfortable but Eastbourne responded on 80 minutes when Piper set up Lawrence Dorman to score. After that the equaliser seemed inevitable and Dorman struck again when he turned Wayne Farrier and skipped through to beat Danny Poole. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Ralley, Farrier, Ward, McDonald (Carey), Watson, Day, Moyse, Atkin (Roberts). 

Selsey 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 19th August 2000

Sidley United slipped to their first defeat of the season despite having dominated for large spells. 

The Blues had good chances in the first half through Scott McDonald, Andy Atkin and Gerard Moyse however the best chance fell to Selsey bit Danny Poole saved well. 

Sidley did have the ball in the net in the second half but Wayne Farrier's header was disallowed for either offside or handball depending on whether you asked the referee or the linesman. 

The only legitimate goal came for the home side via the penalty spot as Ian Ford was brought down by Farrier and Ford stepped up to slot home and seal the win for the home side. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Farrier, Ralley, Sully, McDonald (Carey), Ward, Watson, Day, Moyse (Roberts), Atkin. 

East Preston 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 12th August 2000

Andy Atkin was the goalscorer as Sidley United kick off the campaign with a win at East Preston.

In glorious conditions the Blues almost got off to a dream start as Chris Copley met Adam Day's first minute free kick but his header flashed just wide. 

Both sides fashioned a couple of half chances before the Blues struck in the 37th minute. A long goal kick was headed back by Copley and the ball beat the last defender to put Atkin clear on goal and although his initial lob came back off the inside of the post, he followed up to tap home from virtually on the goal-line. 

Gerard Moyse had an effort ruled out for offside before Sidley were awarded a penalty for a foul on Scott McDonald only for the referee to change his mind after consulting with his linesman and award a free kick which ultimately came to nothing. 

Blues could have added further goals in the second half but Moyse and Atkin failed to make the most of good opportunities while at the other end Danny Poole beat out a well struck free kick to preserve Sidley's win. 

The second goal which would have made the scoreline more realistic proved to be elusive though as Atkin's stoppage time header crashed off the woodwork but it mattered not in the end for Sidley. 

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Sully, Ralley, Copley, McDonald, Watson, Ward, Day, Moyse (Roberts), Atkin.


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