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

Season 2003/04


Chichester City United 3 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 1st May 2004

Chichester City celebrated being crowned champions of the Sussex County league with a convincing victory over Sidley United on Saturday.

It was the Blues though who made the early running as perhaps nerves played their part among the home side. Efforts from Kevin Rose and Craig Ottley were well saved by the home goalkeeper. Owen Ball also got into a promising position while Wiley in the Sidley goal was largely redundant.

But at half time the home contingent learned of Rye & Iden United's 2 - 1 defeat at Pagham which kicked off an hour earlier, ensuring they would be crowned champions regardless of the score and that news appeared to calm them in the second half.

They broke the deadlock on 60 minutes when the ball dropped to Rob Thomas who let fly from 25 yards out with a stinging volley which arrowed into the corner of Wiley's net giving the Blues' stopper no chance.

Lewis Fennermore then slotted home a well worked second goal five minutes later and the party atmosphere was in full swing. Chichester were awarded a penalty when Lee Wood fouled Matt Smith and their goalkeeper Lee Preston stepped up to tuck the ball away.

A rather disappointing end to the season for the Blues who will have to work next season on taking chances when on top in matches.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden (Dadswell), Ottley, White, Wood, Copley, Barham, Ball, Tate (Tarrant), Rose, Morris. 

Hastings United 0 - 0 Sidley United (Sidley United win 4 - 3 on penalties) - Hastings Senior Cup - Wednesday 28th April 2004

Sidley United ended the hosts hold on the Hastings Senior Cup with a penalty shootout win at The Pilot Field.

The final proved to be something of a non event as both sides cancelled each other out in normal and extra time. Hastings stopper Chris May was marginally the busier of the two goalkeepers as he saved well to deny Chris Copley and Dave Ward but Hastings had good chances themselves.

Simon Stickney had four great openings for Hastings but he failed to take any of them - the pick of the bunch being an extra time miss from four yards as the game moved to a penalty shoot out.

Steve Ringwood and Peter Taylor converted Hastings' opening two efforts while Graham Morris missed the target and Craig Ottley's spot kick was saved to hand Hastings the initiative. 

But Hastings missed their next two and Wes Tate and Ben White scored to draw Blues level before May and Rose both converted to send it to sudden death. Stickney then produced the worst penalty kick ever witnessed at The Pilot Field - as described by Hastings' own website - a one step run up before a feeble effort to allow Wiley to save easily and Owen Ball stepped up next to score and clinch the cup for Sidley. 

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ottley, White, Wood (Morris), Copley, Barham (Tarrant), Ball, Tate, Rose, Ward (Dadswell).

Arundel 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 24th April 2004

Sidley United came away from the long journey to Arundel with a point, despite having little to play for.

The Blues dominated the opening 45 minutes. Kevin Rose was denied a fifth minute opener when the linesman deemed the ball had crossed the byline before Wes Tate had managed to deliver his cross although Sidley were aggrieved by the fact the flag wasn't raised until the ball was in the net.

Despite being second best, Arundel took the lead in the 20th minute as Elliot Capel challenged Graham Morris for the ball which ended up looping over the despairing Rob Wiley and into Sidley's goal.

Lee Wood had a great chance to level but volleyed a cross from Craig Ottley over from 6 yards out. However, he made amends soon afterward, rifling the ball home from close range after 37 minutes.

Arundel had the better of the territory in the second half but a soilitary effort which came back off the post was all they created while Dave Ward went close to pinching the points right at the death for Sidley.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ottley, Wood, Morris, Copley, Barham, Ball, Rose (Tarrant), Tate, Ward. 

Sidley United 0 - 2 Chichester City United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 17th April 2004

Chichester moved ever closer to the SCFL title with a clinical display as they won at Gullivers on Saturday.

The Blues fell behind on 15 minutes as a ball was whipped in from the right and Lewis Fennermore was on hand to apply the finishing touch.

That seemed to galvanise Sidley though and they enjoyed a 15 minute spell of being on top but Kevin Rose and Wes Tate both failed to work the goalkeeper when presented with good sights of goal.

In the opening period of the second half the two same players both went close. But predictably, it was Chichester who converted their chance when Fennermore added a second in almost identical fashion to his opening goal.

Dave Ward then had almost exactly the same chance as Fennermore but he placed his effort just wide of the post. Substitute Shae Spreafico's direct running caused consternation among the visiting defenders but they always managed to do enough to prevent him, only once requiring their goalkeeper to make a save from him.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Morris (Maplesden), Ottley, Wood, White, Copley, Ball, Watson, Rose, Tate (Spreafico), Ward.

Sidley United 3 - 0 Bexhill United - Bexhill Observer Charity Shield - Wednesday 14th April 2004

Sidley United retained the Bexhill Observer Charity Shield with a brace from Kevin Rose and a strike by Shae Spreafico.

Almost 200 spectators witnessed the match, which was a little disappointing after the success of last season. However perhaps the cancellation of the firework display and both sides' recent poor form was a contributary factor.

Rose gave the Blues the lead with a looping effort from wide on the left before scoring a 'Mendieta' style penalty. Spreafico, a half time substitute, struck the third. Bexhill came closest through Kris Kayne who struck the crossbar with a header.

The second half became something of a non event though as the Blues fielded practically a reserve side and still had complete control of the encounter.

Again money was raised for charity while both sides made a small amount which will contribute towards the running costs for the clubs.

Sidley United 1 - 3 Ringmer - SCFL Division One - Monday 12th April 2004

Sidley United were punished for not taking their first half chances as Ringmer came away with the points on Easter Monday.

Sidley had chances through Graham Morris, Chris Copley, Kevin Rose and Karl Tarrant but all failed to take the chances that came their way. And they were made to pay as the Blues fell behind on 40 minutes as Dominic Shepherd swept the ball past Rob Wiley on the half volley.

Tarrant, on as a substitute for the injured Dave Carey, did take another opportunity though, twisting his way past two men before beating the goalkeeper five minutes into the second half.

At that point Sidley looked the more likely to go on and get the win but Ringmer showed them how to be clinical when Jon Donoghue lifted the ball over the advancing Wiley after Sidley twice failed to clear their lines.

That knocked the stuffing out of Sidley who perhaps sensed this was not going to be their night and Donoghue got a third before Ringmer won a penalty which Wiley did well to get down to keep out.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Morris, Ottley (Maplesden), Ball, Poole, Copley, White (Tate), Watson, Rose, Carey (Tarrant). 

Sidley United 1 - 3 Three Bridges - SCFL Division One - Saturday 10th April 2004

Sidley United continued to suffer from disappointment at Gullivers as they again failed to replicate the two promising away performances at home against Three Bridges, suffering their 10th home defeat of the league campaign.

The Blues, as they often do, had the better of the opening quarter of the game and took the lead when Dave Ward drilled the ball low past Bridges' goalkeeper Alan Mansfield on 13 minutes.

Wes Tate volleyed over at the end of a sweeping move and Karl Tarrant also had a good sight of goal. Yet it was a familiar feeling among the home support as Pat Massaro strode through the centre of the Sidley defence and dinked the ball neatly over goalkeeper Rob Wiley to bring the visitors level on 25 minutes.

Simon Funnell had a free kick brilliantly kept out by Wiley but the same player then planted a marvellous header from a cross back past Wiley to put Bridges in front five minutes before half time.

Massaro failed to capitalise on a rare mistake by Ben White but he tucked away the vistiors third goal on 55 minutes to put the seal on the result. Although White and Kevin Rose went close for Sidley, a late comeback never appeared likely.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Ball, Ottley, White, Poole, Copley, Morris, Watson, Tarrant (Rose), Ward, Tate.

Horsham YMCA 2 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 3rd April 2004

Sidley United were denied an impressive victory at Horsham YMCA with the last kick of the game.

The Blues began at a high tempo but both teams rather cancelled each other out in the first half as the defences were largely on top.

The home side struck first though three minutes into the second period as Mat Duffield converted after an initial effort had struck the Sidley crossbar.

The Blues responded well though and levelled when Wes Tate hit an effort from wide on the flank which flew into the top corner. Sidley could have taken the lead but Kevin Rose couldn't capitalise on being released by Tate.

The visitors took the lead with just 3 minutes remaining as a cross was headed past his own goalkeeper by a Horsham defender under great pressure from Karl Tarrant.

But just as Sidley thought they had done enough to win the game, Phil Churchill scrambled home after it had bounced down off the crossbar with the very last kick of the game and Sidley had to settle for 1 point instead of 3.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Ward, Ottley, Wood, White, Copley, Barham (Morris), Watson, Rose, Tate, Dadswell (Tarrant). 

Hailsham Town 0 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 30th March 2004

The difference between Sidley United's home and away form was again evident as two second half goals ensured they came away from The Beaconsfield with all three points. 

Sidley controlled the first half and created some good opportunities, notably Kevin Rose's bullet header from a corner which came back off the underside of the crossbar just before half time.

The game was level though until the 74th minute when Wes Tate opened the scoring after springing the offside trap to slot Craig Ottley's through ball beyond Hailsham stopper Russell Tanner.

In the 86th minute Ottley was brought down in the area and Ben White converted the resulting penalty. 

Hailsham had a penalty of their own a couple of minutes later given against Morris for handball but Nick Barden's soft attempt was easily saved by Sidley goalkeeper Rob Wiley before Morris then headed off his line from a corner as Hailsham appeared to wake up late on but it was too late to deny the Blues.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Morris, Ottley, L Wood, White, Copley, Barham, Watson, Rose, Ward, Tate.

Sidley United 0 - 5 East Preston - SCFL Division One - Saturday 27th March 2004

East Preston ran riot at The Gullivers on Saturday as Sidley's winless run continued.

The visitors took the lead after 9 minutes as a corner was headed back across goal and Josh Biggs stabbed home from two yards out.

They then doubled their lead on 19 minutes as Matt Huckett played a through ball for Dave Walker whose shot was parried by Sidley goalkeeper Rob Wiley but the rebound fell straight to Huckett who tapped home from close range. And the third came from a Brad Poole own goal as he headed Huckett's free kick past Wiley under pressure on 38 minutes.

The half time break allowed Sidley to change tactic and push another man forward but there was no respite as East Preston grabbed a fourth on 72 minutes as Walker headed in another corner before Lee Farrell completed the rout with 10 mintues to go, cutting in from the left and firing low past Wiley.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Fletcher (Carey), Ottley, L Wood, Poole, Copley, Barham (J Wood), Watson, White, Ward, Day.

Sidley United 2 - 4 Redhill - SCFL Division One - Saturday 20th March 2004

Sidley United suffered another home defeat on Saturday but as has happened all too often, circumstances seemed to conspire against them.

The visitors took the lead on 6 minutes as Michael Morgan's hanging cross from the right got caught in the wind, bamboozling Blues' keeper Rob Wiley and sailing straight into the net.

Bad fortune enough but Sidley then lost Jimmy Watson to a straight red card for a seemingly innocuous challenge five minutes before half time.

Redhill scored two goals in the space of 60 seconds as Morgan finished off a cross which came all the way across the box before Bronek Dabrowa capitalised on the ball rolling under Craig Ottley's foot.

Sidley then responded and scored through Dave Ward and Ben White both forcing defensive mistakes and Blues seemed to be in the ascendancy.

However after Ottley had a fierce shot headed off the line, Morgan settled the contest with another goal five minutes from time.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Morris, Ottley, Ball (Maplesden), Poole (Barham), Wood, Ward, Watson, Day, White, Rose (Tarrant).

Sidley United 3 - 2 Sidlesham - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 17th March 2004

Sidley United finally managed to record a home win in the calendar year with a dogged win over Sidlesham.

The midfield three of Adam Day, Dave Ward and Jimmy Watson particularly impressed with their understanding of each other's game and they were the catalyst for this win.

Ward was narrowly off target within the first 30 seconds but United took the lead on 23 minutes when Owen Ball's deep free kick slipped through the goalkeeper's fingers and into the net.

Kevin Rose, Craig Ottley and Ben White all went close to doubling Sidley's lead but the visitors levelled through Tim Lester in first half stoppage time after Lee Wood's slip allowed him in.

White restored the Blues' lead with a terrific header from Ottley's cross in the second half but again they were pegged back when two minutes later Richie Davies equalised.

Sidley weren't going to be denied though and they won it when Ward teed up Kevin Rose for a sublime finish to cap an excellent move.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ottley, Ball (Poole), L Wood, Copley, Day, Watson, Ward, White, Rose (Tarrant).

Sidley United 0 - 0 Pagham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 6th March 2004

This drab affair wont live long in the memory as Sidley United played out a goalless draw with Pagham. 

The highlight of the match was the return to Sidley colours for Ben White and he showed some neat touches, setting up strike partner Karl Tarrant just before half time for an effort well fielded by Wes Hallett in the Pagham goal.

Blues started the better with Dave Ward and Owen Ball both driving over from the edge of the area as Pagham appeared content to just clear their lines in the first period.

But after the interval, the visitors came out believing they could get something and Chris Copley was forced to hack away a drive from Martin Hope off the line.

Despite some late half chances a draw was about right in a game rather low on quality. 

Sidley Team: Wiley, Ball (Maplesden), Ottley, Wood, Dadswell, Copley, Barham, Watson, Ward, White (Tate), Tarrant (Rose).

Sidley United 1 - 2 Whitehawk - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 2nd March 2004

Sidley United slipped to another home defeat against Whitehawk on Tuesday night despite a promising performance.

The Blues played some neat and tidy passing football in the defensive and middle thirds of the pitch but all too often they were disappointing in the attacking areas.

Wes Tate went close with an effort when he really should perhaps have tested Whitehawk goalkeeper Tom Rand after latching on to Owen Ball's majestic pass.

But the best player on the pitch on the night was the visitors Simon Rowland and he put them in front on 30 minutes holding off Liam Barham to slot underneath Rob Wiley in the Sidley goal.

Sidley managed to equalise in first half stoppage time as Karl Tarrant bagged his first goal for the Blues with a far post header.

Second half opportunities were more limited for both sides but it was Whitehawk who won it in the 70th minute as Rowland converted a cross from the left after it was missed by teammate Ryan McBride.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ball, L Wood, Copley, Poole (Hole), Barham, Watson, Tate (J Wood), Tarrant, Ward.

Sidley United 0 - 3 Arundel - SCFL Division One - Saturday 28th February 2004

It was an unhappy return to Gullivers for Sidley United as they went down to Arundel with a poor performance.

Sidley suffered a nightmare start as Arundel were awarded a soft penalty in the fifth minute when Jimmy Watson collided with an opposing player in the box. Miles Scerri made no mistake from 12 yards.

Kevin Rose missed the target when clean through on goal before the visitors doubled their lead when Chris Copley's slip allowed Jason Wimbledon to convert a cross.

Sidley were then reduced to 10 men as Rose was shown a straight red card for an apparent elbow during an altercation. Rose's sense of indignation was supported by Mullett's boss Steve Johnson who indicated he would be prepared to write a letter of support for Rose if the referee reported any alleged elbow. 

Sidley had a brighter second half but up against it and with neither performance or decisions on their side, the Blues conceded a third with 10 minutes remaining as Elliott Capel put the cap on the win for Arundel. 

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden (J Wood), Ottley (Day), Ball, Poole, Copley, Barham, Watson, Ward, Rose, Tate.

East Grinstead Town 2 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 21st February 2004

Sidley United ended with 10 men as they lost to East Grinstead Town in controversial circumstances.

Blues began the better and Matt Dadswell and Kevin Rose had both tested home goalkeeper Dave Tidy before the game changed in the 24th minute.

Rose's header was clawed off the line by covering defender Lee Hanson and Sidley players strongly appealed to the officials that the ball had crossed the line. When the referee disagreed, Adam Day's protestations went too far and he was shown a red card for something he said.

A man down, Sidley found themselves a goal down less than 5 minutes later. Neat play involving Hanson saw Adam Dart find the net from the edge of the area with a side foot finish.

From that moment the home side never looked in too much trouble and 7 minutes into the second half Dart's cross was headed home by Kris Trevor.

Wes Tate had a presentable chance for Sidley which he screwed wide before Tidy saved well from Craig Ottley with 5 minutes remaining.

However Sidley were unable to create enough pressure to play themselves back into the game and slipped to defeat.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ottley, Ball, Dadswell, Copley, Barham, Day, Ward, Tate (Tarrant), Rose (Watson).

Sidlesham 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 14th February 2004

Sidley United continued their unbeaten league run in the calendar year with a polished performance at Sidlesham. 

Liam Barham made his long awaited debut for the Blues and he played a starring role from central midfield. Sidley also seemed to have cut out the defensive mistakes which plagued them early on in the campaign.

Wes Tate had four first half efforts saved while Adam Day went close from distance and Dave Ward rolled a shot just past the post as Sidley dominated.

The quality of the Blues' passing football only improved after the break as Barham saw a delicate lob tipped over before Chris Copley, Karl Tarrant and Tate all had efforts hacked off the line from the resulting corner.

Something had to give and finally the Blues made the breakthrough as Brad Poole rose highest to head home a corner from Day on 75 minutes.

A confortable win despite the scoreline for the Blues, whose only complaint will be that they didn't score more goals.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ottley, Ball, Poole, Copley, Barham (Watson), Day, Tate (Dadswell), Tarrant (Rose), Ward.

Pagham 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 7th February 2004

Sidley United stole a point with virtually the last kick of the game thanks to Kevin Rose's injury time volley.

Blues started well and Brad Poole, returning to the side for the first time since the second game of the season, had an effort hacked off the line before debutant Craig Ottley saw a free kick well saved.

But the game appeared to be drifting to a draw until the final few minutes. Pagham took the lead with 5 minutes to go as a corner was headed back into the area and Woodhouse headed past Rob Wiley.

But Sidley rallied and when Was Tate's cutback found Jordan Wood, his sliced effort went straight onto Rose's chest and the forward found the top corner from the edge of the area to seal a point for the Blues.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ottley, Ball, Poole, Copley, Day, Funnell (J Wood), Dadswell, Tate, Tarrant (Rose).

Hassocks 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Friday 16th January 2004

Sidley United came from behind to win at fourth placed Hassocks thanks to second half strikes from Neil Maplesden and Mark Funnell. 

Sidley began promisingly with Wes Tate looking menacing and linking up well with new signing Karl Tarrant. They created a couple of good chances but ended up falling behind after 7 minutes in controversial fashion.

Lee Wood won a challenge in his own area but in the process clattered into teammate Maplesden. Fearing he might have suffered a serious injury, Sidley players called for the game to be stopped but the referee waved play on and James Laing took full advantage to fire the loose ball into the net.

Wood was eventually substituted at half time and while Sidley may have felt aggrieved at the manner they fell behind, they focused on playing good football and both Tate and Maplesden were denied by smart saves.

The equaliser finally arrived midway through the second half as Adam Day whipped in a cross from the left and Maplesden scored at the second attempt after his initial effort was parried by the home goalkeeper. 

Sidley were in the ascendancy and they grabbed the winner 8 minutes from time. A neat passing move involving Day, Dave Ward and Jimmy Watson ended with Funnell side footing home from just inside the box to clinch a deserved victory.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Copley, L Wood (Dadswell), Ball, Ward, Maplesden, Watson, Day, Funnell, Tarrant (J Wood), Tate.

Oakwood 6 - 2 Sidley United - SCFA RUR CUP Quarter Final - Saturday 10th January 2004

Sidley United's hopes of repeating last season's run to the final of this cup competition were comprehensively ended on Saturday by Division Two outfit Oakwood.

United suffered their heaviest defeat of the season and were 4 goals down at the interval. They went behind after 11 minutes when Gary Bidwell's attempted cross drifted into the net before the unmarked Gerald Manville headed home 7 minutes later.

The third goal arrived on 38 minutes as Mark Holmes nodded home after Wiley came for a cross and missed it while Manville got the fourth after Wiley's fumble just before half time.

But just before the interval Shae Spreafico grabbed a goal with a header before Adam Day then dragged a penalty wide of the post. 

Seven minutes into the second half Sidley won another penalty which this time Day converted after Lee Wood had been hauled to the ground.

Jordan Wood then had a chance to bring the Blues right back into the tie but he failed to make the most of his chance after Owen Ball hit the post.

But as Sidley pushed forward they were caught on the counter as Zak Newman got the fifth on 63 minutes and Phil Marsh rounded off the scoring six minutes later.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Ward (Fletcher), Day, Ball, L Wood, Copley, Funnell, Watson (J Wood), Finch, Carey (Maplesden), Spreafico.

Rye & Iden United 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 3rd January 2004

Sidley United pulled off a tremendous result away to high flying Rye and Iden United but very nearly managed to come away with all three points.

The Blues' plan to pack the midfield and stifle their opponents proved highly effective even if the two man central defence came under increasing late pressure.

The lack of time on the ball meant Rye were forced into a direct approach in the first half which was dealt with comfortably by the Blues with Lee Wood particularly impressive.

Sidley also enjoyed a lot of the ball but often lone striker Dave Carey was isolated against three defenders while at the other end Rob Wiley foiled Paul Tuppeney, Micky O'Callaghan and Duncan McArthur.

In the second period Wiley went from zero to hero after giving away a penalty for a mistimed challenge on ex Sidley man Peter Baker. However Wiley brilliantly saved both Scott Price's penalty and O'Callaghan's follow up to keep the scores level.

Mark Funnell and Owen Ball both cleared off the line before Sidley broke away to open the scoring. After Spreafico wriggled away from two defenders, Adam Day drove unerringly into the net from 20 yards with just 10 minutes remaining.

The visitors looked like securing a massive upset but with 2 minutes to go Wiley was adjudged to have brought down Rye's Kym Monroe and Shaun Loft dispatched the penalty to claim a draw.

Despite the late disappointment Sidley should be pleased with an improved performance which brought an end to a 4 game losing streak. 

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ward, Ball, Wood, Ward, Dadswell, Funnell, Finch, Day, Spreafico (Thompson), Carey (Tate).

Ringmer 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Friday 26th December 2003

The return of Shae Spreafico couldn't inspire Sidley to a result as they lost on Boxing Day for the fourth consecutive season.

The livewire youngster looked his usual self and was bright and lively but a lack of protection from the referee certainly didn't help him.

Ringmer grabbed the only goal after 7 minutes as Paul Stokes turned Lee Wood on the edge of the area and fired low past stand in goalkeeper Danny Poole.

Sidley had two penalty appeals either side of half time as Wood appeared to be pulled down in the box before Dave Carey was shoved off the ball but both times the Blues' appeals fell on deaf ears.

Despite the energy of Spreafico, Sidley struggled to break through the robust Ringmer defence while at the other end Poole was only called upon to deal with one save.

Sidley Team: Poole, Maplesden, Ward, Ball, Copley (Fletcher), L Wood, Day, Dadswell, Carey, Tate (J Wood), Spreafico.

Sidley United 2 - 3 Hassocks - SCFL Division One - Saturday 20th December 2003

Sidley United rather shot themselves in the foot and although they mounted a spirited late comeback, it wasn't enough to stop Hassocks walking away with all 3 points.

Hassocks seemed rather reluctant to press ahead with the fixture ahead of kick off but it was Sidley who started slowest as barely a minute had elapsed when Owen Ball and Lee Wood were caught out of position at a throw in and Graham Beveridge was released into the space to score.

The visitors doubled the lead on 13 minutes when Pat Harding drove forward to grab the second. The Blues rolled their sleeves up at this point and started to produce some decent football with Neil Maplesden and Jimmy Watson both going close.

They finally got a deserved goal on 42 minutes as a lovely move involving Ball, Watson, Jason Finch and Dave Ward ended with Wes Tate finishing smartly. Sidley poured forward and the half time whistle couldn't come fast enough for Hassocks.

And all Sidley's good work seemed to be undone as Hewitt caught Rob Wiley out of position with a 53rd minute free kick to extend the visitors lead. Back came Sidley though and Matt Dadswell three times came close to getting on the end of balls into the box.

Jordan Wood pulled another goal back for Sidley with two minutes remaining after he charged down the goalkeeper's clearance and Wood almost salvaged a point at the death but his effort was brilliantly touched round the post.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ward, Ball, Copley, L Wood, Watson, Day, Tate, Carey (J Wood), Finch (Dadswell). 

Eastbourne Town 2 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 17th December 2003

Individual errors again cost Sidley United as they were beaten at last season's Division Two champions Eastbourne Town on Wednesday night.

Wes Tate almost touched Sidley into an early lead and the Blues were matching the home side well until Owen Ball failed to deal with a hopeful ball forward and Yemi Odubade gleefully tucked home 10 minutes into the second half.

The setback forced Sidley to chase the game and this played into Eastbourne's hands as they hit Sidley on the break but Odubade had something of an off night, missing a couple of sitters to put Sidley out of sight.

The Blues rarely looked like scoring but Tate and Dave Carey proved quite a handful up front. Adam Day was denied by Eastbourne stopper Mark Oldroyd as he bore down on goal before Carey failed to get on the end of a move involving Matt Dadswell and Adam Day.

Odubade finally did get the second goal in stoppage time as he slotted underneath Rob Wiley to confirm the result as Town moved into second place in the table.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Ward (Dadswell), O Ball, Wood, Copley, Watson, Day, Finch, Carey, Tate.

Redhill 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 9th December 2003

A listless performance compounded a wretched night for Sidley United as they were beaten at Redhill and then didn't arrive back home until gone midnight due to the thick fog.

The Blues fell behind when Graves headed in a corner for Redhill on 22 minutes. Sidley responded almost immediately as Kevin Rose lobbed the ball home from 25 yards after Dave Carey had been denied by the home goalkeeper.

But the game continued in the same scrappy vein and Redhill resumed control five minutes after the break as Chris Copley competed for the ball with two home players and Dean emerged in possession to slot beyond Rob Wiley in the Blues goal.

Jordan Wood missed a sitter in the last five minutes and Iain Smith was then sent off for dissent when he twice asked the referee to clarify his position when awarding Redhill free kicks having originally pointed in favour of Sidley.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Ball, Freeman (Fletcher), Smith, Maplesden, Copley, Ward, Watson, Rose (J Wood), Carey (Tate), Finch. 

Sidley United 2 - 1 St Leonards - SCFL Division One - Saturday 6th December 2003

Sidley United completed a double over local rivals and former Dr Martens League side St Leonards on Saturday.

A drab first half gave way to a captivating second which Sidley shaded in terms of possession. But the game was soured when St Leonards' Keith Miles was ridiculously sent off for what the referee deemed to be an intentional elbow on Matt Dadswell when clearly the contact was accidental.

Despite that, the visitors took the lead on 50 minutes as Jody Ricketts struck and Ricketts should really have scored a second when he was clean through on goal. But Sidley levelled when Dadswell swept home an equaliser.

And moments later Sidley took the lead as Jason Finch flew through the air to complete an excellent scissor kick which sent the ball flying into the top corner of the net on 70 minutes.

The game became rather scrappy late on as the referee appeared rather too whistle happy, although this played into Sidley's hands and they were able to see out the game with little trouble.

*This game was scrubbed from the records following St Leonards' withdrawal from the league later in the season*

Sidley Team: Wiley, Ward, Fletcher (Smith), Ball, L Wood, Maplesden, Dadswell, Finch, Carey (Tate), Rose, Day.

Sidley United 1 - 1 Southwick - SCFL Division One - Saturday 29th November 2003

Sidley United were left to rue taking just one point from a very winnable game against Southwick on Saturday.

The heavy conditions made it difficult for either side to really take charge but despite playing against the breeze Sidley had the better of the opening half. However they failed to maintain their impetus at the start of the second and Southwick began to ask more questions of the Blues back line.

Kevin Rose went close with a header from a cross by Lee Fletcher, promoted up from the Reserve side. Southwick struck the opening goal though on 75 minutes when Terry Streeter slammed home Lawrence Edwards' cross.

The Blues responded though and won an 80th minute penalty after a clean through Rose was felled by the goalkeeper and Adam Day slotted home the spot kick. Dave Carey screwed an effort wide as Sidley went in search of the winner and Day missed a great late chance as the winning goal proved elusive for Sidley.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Fletcher, Ball, L Wood (J Wood), Copley, Day, Watson, Rose, Tate (Carey), Finch.

Sidley United 2 - 4 East Grinstead Town - SCFL Division One - Saturday 22nd November 2003

Sidley United's winning run came to an end as East Grinstead Town came from behind to win at The Gullivers.

A confident Blues side began well and had good chances through Kevin Rose and Chris Copley before they took the lead on 24 minutes as Jimmy Watson fizzed a free kick into the box which Lee Wood managed to direct into the net.

But the visitors levelled just 3 minutes later in controversial fashion as Blues goalkeeper Rob Wiley was caught in the face by a boot and rather than halt play to allow treatment, the referee allowed play to continue and the ball fell straight to Phil Thompson who guided the loose ball home. 

East Grinstead then took the lead on 33 minutes through Adam Simpson's emphatic volley but Sidley levelled before the break. Mark Freeman and Wes Tate both had headers saved well by Dave Tidey but Kevin Rose powered home a header from a corner just before half time to level things up.

The next goal was always going to be decisive and it went to East Grinstead as on 52 minutes Dave Gellatly led a breakaway and although Wiley parried his first effort, Gellatly managed to net at the second attempt.

Wood then scored at the wrong end on 66 minutes as he headed a ball into the box past Wiley. Further chances fell to Wes Tate for Sidley as well as Gellatly for the visitors but no further goals were found.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Freeman, Ball, Wood, Copley, Day, Watson, Rose, Tate, Finch (Lynch).

Sidley United 2 - 0 St Leonards - Hastings Senior Cup Semi Final - Wednesday 19th November 2003

Sidley United coninued their recent winning run against depleted rivals St Leonards who put in a poor and petulant display.

Sidley were the better side in all departments, particularly after St Leonards lost key man Sean Ray to a leg injury sustained in a challenge with Blues' goalkeeper Rob Wiley.

Blues didn't respond to the visitors hostile and aggressive antics and they fully deserved to claim the win.

Sidley's opening goal though certainly had more than a slice of luck. Owen Ball's 23rd minute free kick was caught by the wind and sailed over Steve Constable before striking the far post and rebounding into the net via the keeper's back.

The game was made safe three minutes into the second half as Adam Day drove the ball into the far corner of the net from a well worked free kick routine. Blues' opponents in the final will be either Hastings United or Westfield.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden, Freeman, Ball, Wood, Copley, Day, Watson, Rose, Tate (Moyse), Ward.

Sidley United 8 - 0 Broadbridge Heath - SCFA RUR Cup Fourth Round - Saturday 15th November 2003

Sidley United turned on the style as they surged into the Quarter Finals of the SCFA RUR Cup with a hammering of Division Two side Broadbridge Heath.

Wes Tate lit the blue touch paper as he rounded off a flowing move with a crisp finish after 20 minutes. Kevin Rose's back post header 12 minutes later was followed up moments later by Dave Ward turning and thumping home a left footed effort to put Sidley 3 goals up at the break.

Within a minute of the restart Freeman's brave header made it 4. At this point Heath decided to try and play a high defensive line and they were punished as Tate broke through to round the goalkeeper for five before Freeman did likewise for number six.

Gerard Moyse, on as a sub, joined in the fun by scoring goals seven and right, both with headers - the second of which was especially noteworthy as it was from just inside the area.

A tremendous day for the Blues who have hit good form and confidence appears high.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden (Fletcher), Freeman, Ball, Wood, Copley, Watson, Ward, Day, Rose (Finch), Tate (Moyse).

Sidley United 3 - 1 Selsey - SCFL Division One - Saturday 8th November 2003

Sidley United again showed their character in dealing well with recent events as as they picked up a deserved win over Selsey and making it back to back wins since the deaths of James Duffell and Liam Cox.

Blues won a first minute penalty which aided their cause when Mark Freeman's progress into the box was halted by a badly timed challenge and Adam Day picked out the top corner with the spot kick. 

United dominated the next 10 minutes but a stray ball back to Rob Wiley which went unpunished seemed to lift the visitors and they equalised after 34 minutes when Porter's 25 yard drive found the corner of the net.

A half time change of formation saw Matt Dadswell move into midfield and Dave Ward move to wing back and it was Ward who provided the assists for the goals which followed.

His two crosses were both won by Kevin Rose who first headed down to Wes Tate to slot into an empty net before Rose then provided Dadswell with just the goalkeeper to beat to net the third.

A couple of half chances went begging after that for the Blues while Selsey rarely troubled Wiley at the other end.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Ball, Freeman (Fletcher), Dadswell, Maplesden, Copley, Ward, Day, Lynch (Finch), Rose (Moyse), Tate.

Sidley United 4 - 0 Shoreham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 1st November 2003

Football was most certainly of secondary importance tonight as Sidley United returned to action for the first time since the tragic deaths of young players James Duffell and Liam Cox. 

There were fitting tributes before the match as the Sidley players walked out onto the pitch carrying a blue and white carnation flower which they laid at their feet as they stood arm in arm during an impeccably observed two minute silence.

Credit must also go to Shoreham who played their part on a tough night, bringing with them a three figure cheque to help contribute to the new stand to be dedicated to the players.

For the record Sidley did well to get the ball down and play good football and they took the lead on 20 minutes as Mark Freeman unleashed a dazzling volley from 15 yards which flew into the roof of the net. Freeman's celebration was to kneel down and point to the sky, a graphic illustration of how much James and Liam were on everyone's minds.

The impressive Matt Dadswell doubled the lead on 37 minutes when he slammed home a loose ball.

Kevin Rose notched the third just 18 seconds into the second half before he grabbed the fourth in the 8th minute of stoppage time after being freed by Gerard Moyse. But tonight was not really about what happened on the pitch. Tonight was all about James and Liam.

Sidley Team: Wiley, Maplesden (Fletcher), Ball, Dadswell, Wood, Copley, Day, Lynch (Finch), Freeman, Rose, Tate (Moyse).

Sidley United 1 - 3 Eastbourne Town - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 21st October 2003

Sidley United let an early lead slip as they went down to local rivals Eastbourne Town.

Jimmy Watson almost handed Sidley the lead when he latched onto a suicidal backpass by a Town player but he saw his effort tipped round the post by goalkeeper Mark Oldroyd.

However Sidley didn't have to wait long to open the scoring. Lee Fletcher's long throw fell to Wes Tate who cannoned a shot off the crossbar and Kevin Rose reached quickest to slot the ball home.

But three minutes later the Blues shot themselves in the foot as Owen Ball's backheader to James Duffell was too weak and the grateful Gary Brockwell took full advantage.

Although chances were then at a premium, Town took the lead 6 minutes before half time as Bobby Godfrey toe-poked home from close range.

Sidley stepped up the energy levels after the interval and Kevin Rose and Liam Cox both went close through headers.

But on 68 minutes a driven ball in skimmed off the head of Town's Graham Holman and just beyond the despairing dive of Duffell.

Blues had one more guilt edged chance but Wes Tate skied his effort after Mark Freeman's cut back.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Fletcher, Freeman, Ball, Maplesden, Copley, Watson (Cox), Lynch, Day, Rose, Tate (J Wood).

East Preston 1 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 18th October 2003

Sidley United were beaten by a piece of quite baffling refereeing on Saturday. 

Kevin Rose forced the home goalkeeper into a super save with a header from Mark Freeman's superb ball while at the other end James Duffell got down well to keep out a fierce drive from just outside the area.

But the match turned completely on 32 minutes. East Preston's deaf and dumb striker Lee Farrell bore down on the Sidley goal and defied the slightest of tugs from Owen Ball, which failed to impede his progress, before seeing Duffell scramble his shot away for a throw in.

But just as the hosts were going to take the throw the referee pulled them back and pointed to the spot for the pull. Even East Preston were surprised but they gratefully tucked away the penalty.

In general after that the Blues didn't really create enough opportunities going forward to get the equaliser and the home side also failed to make many chances to add to the score.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ward, Freeman, Ball, Maplesden, Copley, Watson, Lynch (Dadswell), Rose, Tate, Fletcher (Cox).

Sidley United 3 - 4 Sidlesham (AET) - John O Hara Cup Third Round - Saturday 11th October 2003

Sidley United somehow contrived to throw away this cup match as Sidlesham snatched a win in extra time.

The Blues got the match off to a flying start by scoring within 4 minutes. A corner was partially cleared as far as Jimmy Watson who volleyed low into the corner from the edge of the area.

The Blues had threatened to run riot as Wstson, Kevin Rose and Wes Tate all went close. But Sidlesham were buoyed by those let offs and Scott Tipper almost equalised when his header was kept out on the goal-line by a combination of James Duffell and Chris Copley.

Sidley should have been awarded a penalty when Tate was felled by a trailing defender but the referee ignored the home side's appeals and Sidlesham levelled in the third minute of stoppage time as Joe Leggett's 40 yard free kick deceived Duffell and went into the roof of the net.

Incredibly though there was time for a Mark Freeman corner that saw Wes Tate slam home what seemed a certain winner before Tom Chapman volleyed past Duffell deep into stoppage time to force extra time.

The visitors then went in front through Ashley Martin just before the end of the first extra period and at the start of the second Matt Forrest shot in off the post for 4 - 2.

Watson then won a penalty when he was tugged back in the area but he blazed the spot kick over before Tate reduced the arrears with a fine finish into the top corner but it wasn't enough.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ward, Freeman, Ball, Maplesden, Copley (Heritage), Watson, Lynch (Fletcher), Rose (Roberts), Tate, Funnell.

Shoreham 1 - 4 Sidley United - SCFA RUR Cup Second Round - Saturday 4th October 2003

Three late goals saw Sidley United come through this cup encounter to set up a home tie in the third round against either Eastbourne United Association or Broadbridge Heath.

Some late withdrawals caused havoc to the Blues' preparations and the game started at a slow pace, which probably suited the home side more than Sidley.

Shoreham took the lead after 10 minutes as a strike from McKenzie from the edge of the box flew past James Duffell in the Sidley goal. That was a shock to the system and woke the Blues up who went close twice through Kevin Rose while Mark Freeman and Dave Ward also nearly found the target before the interval.

Some stern words at half time further helped galvanize Sidley and this had the desired effect after just 3 minutes as Wes Tate tapped home after Jimmy Watson's initial shot was parried.

Sidley went close again through Tate and Rose before Ward timed his run perfectly to head home an inviting cross from youngster Lee Fletcher.

Mark Lynch blasted home a stunning third via the crossbar from 30 yards and Ward tapped in an almost identical strike to his previous effort to round off the scoring.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball, Freeman (Roberts), Ward, Maplesden, Copley, Fletcher, Lynch, Watson, Rose (Smith), Tate (Heritage).

Southwick 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 30th September 2003

Sidley United picked up their first league win for a month at Southwick thanks to a late winner from Kevin Rose.

The Blues shuffled the pack in the light of some disappointing recent results with Owen Ball moving to play as a sweeper and Mark Lynch, who hadn't played for a couple of years, playing in the midfield and the moves seemed to pay off. 

Again Sidley started strongly with Jimmy Watson firing fractionally too high early on before Rose and then Lee Roberts shot wide. Mark Funnell also went close with a strike from the edge of the box. 

The second half began in much the same vein with the Blues pulling the strings. The home goalkeeper made a couple of decent saves to deny Funnell's half volley from the edge of the box before keeping out a Mark Freeman shot which appeared destined for the top corner. But eventually the pressure told as Freeman drilled over an inviting corner and Rose sprung highest to head into the net.

Although Sidley pressed for a killer second it didn't materialise but they were relatively untroubled at the other end.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball, Thompson (Fletcher), Lynch, Maplesden, Copley, Watson, Funnell, Rose, Roberts (Moyse), Freeman.

East Grinstead Town 4 - 0 Sidley United - Sussex Senior Cup First Round - Saturday 27th September 2003

When you're luck is out nothing goes your way as Sidley United found out in a defeat that was grossly flattering to the home side.

Even East Grinstead manager Bobby Smith went on record to say Blues were the better side but it was the home side who went through to the next round.

Sidley dominated the first half as Mark Funnell's cross-shot went just wide of the far post, a deflection denied Kevin Rose and Jimmy Watson planted a header straight at the home goalkeeper. New signing from Rye & Iden United Lee Roberts showed promise on his debut, forging a promising partnership with Rose up front.

But goals change games and it was the hosts who scored a controversial opener in the final minute of the first half. A shot from the edge of the area hit the arm of Chris Copley and the referee pointed from to the spot despite Copley only being yards from the shot. James Horner converted and then added an audacious second after 62 minutes with another controversial moment.

Danny Poole was about to clear upfield and was holding the ball with one hand but Horner cheekily nodded the ball out of his hand and tapped into the net and again the referee saw fit to award the goal. 

Dave Gellatly made it three with 20 minutes remaining as Sidley were caught out having pushed men forward. And in-keeping with the Blues' misfortunes the fourth goal was diverted into the net past Poole by one of three covering defenders.

Sidley Team: D Poole, Ball, Thompson, Smith (Dadswell), Maplesden, Copley, Watson, Funnell, Rose, Roberts (Heritage), Freeman.

Ramsgate 3 - 1 Sidley United - FA Vase Qualifying Round - Tuesday 23rd September 2003

Sidley United put in a valiant display but found the challenges in front of them too much as they missed out on progressing to the FA Vase first round.

A number of players took time off work to ensure they could make the team coach which departed at 4.30 but the inevitable problems began when Kevin Rose and Sam Thompson became stuck in traffic and missed the coach.

Despite these difficulties Sidley began in surprisingly positive fashion. Mark Funnell placed one header wide and another straight at the goalkeeper in the opening 10 minutes.

But Ramsgate took the lead on 25 minutes as a smart move was finished off with a neat shot on the turn fron the edge of the area and Sidley were all at sea for the next few minutes.

Injuries to Adam Day, Dave Carey and Matt Ball further hampered Sidley's cause and the home side doubled the lead with a 25 yard rocket into Danny Poole's top corner in the second half.

A third goal followed, an almost carbon copy of the first, but Sidley kept going and won a penalty for a foul on Gerard Moyse which Peter Heritage slotted home, but it was mere consolation.

Sidley Team: D Poole, O Ball, Day (Heritage), Smith, Maplesden, Copley, Funnell, M Ball (Dadswell), Freeman, Carey, Moyse (Watson).

Sidley United 2 - 2 Ramsgate (AET) - FA Vase Qualifying Round - Saturday 20th September 2003

Only a freak goal direct from kick off denied Sidley United a passage into the first round proper of the FA Vase.

The home team deserve great credit for their performance against higher league opponents and they had the better of the first half before breaking the deadlock 10 minutes into the second period. 

An Adam Day free kick into the box was met with a remarkable back header by Shae Spreafico on the edge of the box which went over the goalkeeper and into the net.

Ramsgate levelled 10 minutes later as Day's back pass didn't reach Duffell and Mo Takalogibashi nipped in. Although Duffell managed to keep out the first effort, he couldn't keep out the rebound and extra time was called for.

Sidley retook the lead when Dave Carey turned in Day's cross-shot five minutes into the extra 30 minutes but then came a moment of magic from Ramsgate's James Gregory. Getting the 2nd half of extra time underway, Gregory hit a 55 yard effort which sailed over Duffell and into the roof of the net and with no further goals a replay at Ramsgate on Tuesday night will settle the tie. 

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball (Thompson), Day, Smith, Maplesden, Copley, Watson, Funnell, Freeman (Rose), Carey, Spreafico.

Sidley United 1 - 3 Hailsham Town - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 16th September 2003

Sidley United's poor home form continued on Tuesday as they slumped to a defeat against local rivals Hailsham Town.

The first half hour was fairly even and Sidley had chances to open the scoring. Shae Spreafico wriggled clear of the Hailsham defence but shot straight at the goalkeeper while Dave Carey and Matt Dadswell both went close with snapshots.

But the tone of the contest changed in a seven minute spell as Hailsham scored twice. First Mark Freeman was caught out of position and Hailsham's Jarvis made no mistake at the far post. Then minutes later Sidley gave the ball away in midfield and Stevens executed an exquisite chip over home goalkeeper James Duffell.

A free header allowed Paul Richardson to make it 3 - 0 before Kevin Rose grabbed a consolation goal with a couple of minutes to go, following up after Jimmy Watson had hit the bar from 25 yards.

Sidley Team: Duffell, M Ball, Maplesden, Copley, Freeman (Rose), Watson, Dadswelll, Funnell, Ward, Carey, Spreafico.

Sidley United 2 - 2 Horsham YMCA - SCFL Division One - Saturday 13th September 2003

Sidley United played out a lively draw with Horsham YMCA on Saturday with 2 goals from Dave Carey.

Blues were on the back foot early on as YMCA started strongly but they took the lead on 14 minutes through a defensive mix up as a long ball forward from Danny Poole was left by both YMCA centre backs, allowing Carey to nip in between them and head the ball over the goalkeeper and into the empty net.

YMCA levelled just 4 minutes later as a cross from the left was headed low past Poole by Andy Price. But Sidley came again and retook the lead in the 20th minute with another gift. In similar circumstances to the first, Carey pounced on some defensive hesitation to sweep home a shot on the turn from 5 yards.

Another equaliser quickly followed with another cross from the byline being crossed for Joel O'Hara to head home. The visitors should have gone in at the break in front but somehow Danny Poole managed to tip Phil Churchill's thunderous effort onto the underside of the bar before it was cleared to safety.

The second half lacked the drama of the first but both sides had chances with Mark Freeman heading a YMCA effort off the line and Poole making a couple of excellent saves to keep Blues level while at the other end Shae Spreafico and Carey both had chances they were unable to convert.

Sidley Team: Poole, Ward (Wood), Day, Smith, Maplesden, Copley, Watson, Funnell, Carey, Freeman, Spreafico.

Haywards Heath Town 0 - 6 Sidley United - John O Hara Cup - Saturday 6th September 2003

Sidley United waltzed into the third round of the John O Hara cup with a comfortable win at Second Division strugglers Haywards Heath Town. 

Brimming with self belief, Sidley stamped their authority on the game from the word go. Chris Copley went close with a header even before Mark Freeman opened the scoring in the 8th minute when he headed home Dave Ward's corner.

Dave Carey fired wide and Freeman had a one on one effort saved as Sidley were made to wait until just before the interval before adding to their advantage with two goals in quick succession.

Substitute Adam Day doubled the lead on 43 minutes with a calm penalty after Mark Funnell's shot was blatantly handled just inside the area and just seconds later a well worked free kick presented Funnell with a tap in.

Freeman added his second and Sidley's fourth within a minute of the restart, mopping up after Dave Ward's shot was kept out by the home goalkeeper before Carey grabbed the pick of the goals on 52 minutes after Day surged down the left and crossed for the striker to head home from 8 yards.

A trademark Shae Spreafico goal completed the scoring 5 minutes later, the youngster skipping past a number of would be challenged before beating the advancing goalkeeper.

Peter Heritage, on for a rare appearance, could have added a seventh but his header drifted just wide but Sidley still enjoyed themselves on a comfortable afternoon.

Sidley Team: Poole, Ward, Thompson (Day), Smith, Maplesden, Copley, Watson (Dadswell), Funnell, Freeman, Carey, Spreafico (Heritage).

Whitehawk 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 2nd September 2003

Sidley United moved up to second in the table following a creditable draw at Whitehawk.

The Blues took the game to their hosts from the off and Mark Freeman hit the bar with a volley on the turn before Chris Copley also forced the home goalkeeper into a good save with a header.

Sidley got the goal they deserved on the half hour as Shae Spreafico wriggled past his man and squared the ball for Dave Ward to tap home.

Whitehawk responded ten minutes later when Buss beat his man to head home a corner before Blues' goalkeeper James Duffell made a superb double save from a one on one situation.

The hosts nearly won the game at the death with a header but Sidley were worthy of their point.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ward, Thompson, Smith, Maplesden, Copley, Watson, Funnell, Freeman, Carey, Spreafico (Dadswell).

Selsey 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 30th August 2003

Sidley United overcame the sending off of Dave Ward to come away from the long trip to Selsey with three points.

Dave Carey went close before Shae Spreafico won a fifth minute penalty when his run was illegally halted. Adam Day stepped up to convert the spot kick to put Blues in front early on.

Kevin Rose went close before Owen Ball had to be withdrawn after suffering a hamstring injury. Blues looked in control but Ward's dismissal threatened to change the course of the game.

After having a goal disallowed for offside Ward response by making a comment which he claimed was directed at himself but the referee chose to dismiss him for it.

Spreafico, Mark Funnell and Rose almost sealed it but Sidley came through the game with few alarms.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball (Dadswell), Day, Smith, Maplesden, Copley, Watson, Funnell, Rose (Tate), Carey, Spreafico (Fletcher).

Sidley United 0 - 2 Rye & Iden United - SCFL Division One - Monday 25th August 2003

A dogged and determined display was not enough for Sidley United as Rye's extra bit of quality secured a 2 - 0 win.

But for some poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping by James Duffell, Rye could have sewn the game up in the first 25 minutes.

Sidley mustered only 1 shot on target in the entire match and were always up against it. Former Sidley striker Peter Baker was twice denied in the first half by Duffell before Neil Maplesden scrambled the ball off the line.

However Baker did open the scoring in the 52nd minute when Paul Tuppeney's effort fell invitingly to him to strike the ball home from the edge of the area.

Sidley battled hard and played their way into the game but were killed off in the second minute of stoppage time when Phil Rhodes' mishit through ball went straight to Shaun Loft and he made no mistake from 15 yards.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ball, Day, Smith (Thompson), Maplesden, Copley, Funnell, Watson, Spreafico, Carey (Rose), Ward.

Three Bridges 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 23rd August 2003

A patched up Sidley United recorded an excellent win to upset the form book at Three Bridges on Saturday.

Bridges are expected to be serious title contenders come the end of season but Sidley's performance was full of character and they fully merited the three points. Young goalkeeper James Duffell, who seems to keep getting better and better, made a couple of agile saves early on but was finally beaten on 35 minutes by Simmons' far post header.

Simon Funnell squandered a couple of chances to put Bridges two goals up and Sidley made him pay as Dave Ward levelled things up in the 65th minute following a splendid through ball by Sam Thompson. And Sidley hit the winner 10 minutes later as Dave Carey got on the end of Mark Funnell's pass to score.

The Blues held on well in the remaining minutes to record another impressive away win.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Maplesden, Thompson, Smith, Wood, Copley, Dadswell, Funnell, Tate (Rose), Carey, Ward.

St Leonards 2 - 0 Sidley United - Wednesday 20th August 2003

Sidley United were undone by two quality finishes on Wednesday night at rivals St Leonards.

The Saints opened the scoring in the 42nd minute after Chris Copley brought down Dave Flemming on the edge of the area. Ross Southwood's free kick cannoned back off the wall only to Andy Cyrus who volleyed home.

Brad Poole headed just over and Mark Funnell was denied by a brilliantly timed challenge from Sean Ray but the visitors felt they should have had a penalty instead of a free kick when Paul Henty hauled down Owen Ball.

Cyrus shrugged off Ian Smith and unleashed a classy curling shot which James Duffell did well to claw out but Flemming was on hand to mop up the scraps on the hour.

Sidley never really looked like responding but long range efforts from Sam Thompson and Chris Scott forced smart saves out of home goalkeeper Greg Nessling.

*This game was scrubbed from the records following St Leonards withdrawal from the league later in the season*

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ward, O Ball, Smith (Maplesden), Poole, Copley, Thompson (Freeman), Funnell (Scott), Rose, Carey, Watson.

Shoreham 1 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 16th August 2003

Sidley United kicked off the 2003/04 campaign with a well deserved victory at Shoreham.

The Brighton based side are tipped to struggle this season but that shouldn't detract from a dominant Sidley performance. The Blues success was built around the central defensive trio of Brad Poole, Chris Copley and Ian Smith, given his chance to shine in the absence of Mat Ball while debutant Sam Thompson provided a creative link between midfield and attack.

Sidley began brightly and Dave Carey gave them a 23rd minute lead as goalkeeper James Duffell's long kick was flicked on by Kevin Rose and Carey saw off two defenders and rounded the goalkeeper to score. 

Several other chances went begging and Sidley were punished when a cross was deflected and looped over the stranded Duffell allowing Kelly to nod in at the far post. But Sidley regained the lead less than 2 minutes later as substitute Mark Freeman timed his run to perfection and he drove home from the edge of the box.

Joint manager Andy Laskey will be pleased to get off to a winning start but Sidley know that tougher tests lay ahead.

Sidley Team: Duffell, Ward, O Ball, Poole, Copley, Smith, Watson, Funnell (Scott), Thompson, Carey, Rose (Freeman).



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