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

Season 2012/13


Westfield 0 - 2 Sidley United - Hastings Senior Cup Final - Saturday 11th May 2013

Sidley United clinched the Hastings & District FA Senior Cup for the third time in four years.

The Sussex County Football League Division One outfit ran out winners over Division Two neighbours Westfield at a breezy Parish Field with both goals coming during the second half.

Kenny Pogue, who scored a hat-trick in Sidley’s 5-1 semi-final victory against Bexhill United on Tuesday evening, opened the scoring in the 52nd minute with a low first time shot after the Westfield defence allowed a long ball to bounce.

Gregg Berry added a killer second goal in the 71st minute - just three minutes after coming off the substitutes’ bench - with a scrambled effort having initially appeared to over-run the ball.

The first half had been a fairly even and scrappy affair littered with free kicks. Westfield came the closest to scoring when Tom Archer’s glancing header from a Lawrence Brand free kick struck the far post.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Rea, Cooper (A Darby), Munday, Agutter (Berry), Boyd (Brown), M Darby, Hales, Pogue, Martin.

Rye United 6 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Friday 3rd May 2013

Dominic Clarke bagged a hat-trick against the club where he began the season as Rye United hammered Sidley United 6-0.

Sam Crabb volleyed the opener after a long throw was flicked on a couple of times and two minutes later Clarke opened his account when the ball dropped to him in the box from Olly Lockyer’s right wing free kick.
The rest of the first half was fairly even and the only genuine chance fell to Sidley, but Kevin Rose failed to beat Yarney Camara when one-on-one inside the box following a misjudgement by Ryan Alexander.

Andy Atkin saw a shot from outside the area pushed aside by Sidley goalkeeper Greg Nessling in the first minute after the break and Clarke headed onto the top of the crossbar from Anthony Storey’s resulting corner.

Rye effectively killed the game off in the 51st minute when Matt Maclean slipped the ball through for Clarke to shoot past Nessling. Sidley did have a decent five-minute spell after that, but they were over-run in the closing quarter.

Clarke completed his treble in the 68th minute with a free header from Lockyer’s right wing corner and Lockyer made it 5-0 just seven minutes later, latching onto Alexander’s long ball over the top from a quickly taken free kick before driving into the top corner at the near post.

Crabb saw a low shot well saved after beating two defenders on the right and Rye added a sixth in the 85th minute. Kasey Smith grabbed his first senior goal with a deflected effort that dribbled over the line after good work from Atkin and Crabb but not so good defending. Rye had a glorious chance to add a seventh right at the end. Nessling dived in on Smith at the byline and conceded a penalty, but redeemed himself by saving Atkin’s spot-kick with his legs only for the referee to order a re-take. Nessling also kept out the second attempt and Atkin hit the post with the rebound before the final whistle blew.

Rye have now lost just one of their last 18 games, while 15th-placed Sidley have been beaten in their last four and scored just once.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Hales (Brown), Munday, Cooper, Agutter, Boyd (A. Darby), M. Darby, Rose, Payne, Martin.  

Crowborough Athletic 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Sidley United slipped to defeat in a game they came away from thinking they really could have won. 

On a bobbly pitch the Blues bossed the first half but squandered a number of good chances. Andy Hales had a shot blocked on the line while Matt Darby miskicked to shoot tamely straight at the goalkeeper when clean through on goal. 

As the half wore on Chris Agutter hit the post with a low curling effort while Hales was whiskers away at the far post from getting a touch on Dean Boyd's cross. 

But all that good work was undone in the second half as Jack Cooper missed a header and Kevin Rose brought down his man for a penalty which Scott Taylor converted. 

One became two shortly before the hour mark as Sam Carrington managed to get a free run to nod home a near post corner. 

Sidley almost responded immediately when a Crowborough player headed against his own crossbar before Sam Willett did strike after running from his own half and playing a couple of one-twos before slotting home. 

Despite a renewed sense of belief the latter stages of the match rather petered out and Crows held on for the victory. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Cooper, Cruikshank (Payne), Rea, Boyd, Agutter, Martin, Hales, Darby, Rose. 

East Preston 3 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 20th April 2013

Sidley United suffered a 3 - 0 defeat at East Preston on Saturday although all 3 goals had a hint of controversy about them. 

Blues fell behind after 27 minutes when Jamie Atterwell struck although Sidley felt he should have been flagged offside.

Joe Shelley netted on 59 minutes as Sidley appeals for handball fell on deaf ears and Rob Boddy scored the third on 74 minutes. Matt Darby screwed his shot wide in Sidley's best moment but the home team took the spoils and left Sidley to rue playing twice within 72 hours.

It was always going to be a tough ask against title chasing opponents but next up is a trip to Crowborough Athletic as Sidley aim to continue to finish as high up the table as possible.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Cooper, Cruikshank, Brown (Heritage), Boyd, Agutter, Martin, Hales, Darby, Payne. 

Sidley United 2 - 1 Shoreham - SCFL Division One - Thursday 18th April 2013

Sidley United all but ensured Division One football next season with 3 points on Thursday night as they saw off relegation threatened Shoreham 2 - 1.

Bright and lively from the start, led by the excellent Matt Darby, Sidley were on the front foot from the off and were unlucky not to be 2 up within a few minutes but efforts from Darby and Pogue were both wide of the mark.

Sidley took the lead in comical fashion as a long ball forward from Cruikshank was left by Pogue and Payne, both in offside positions as well as the entire Shoreham defence. Matt Darby was alert and chased it down and as the goalkeeper came out to the edge of his area to clear, he missed his kick allowing Darby to walk the ball into the net.

Sidley doubled their lead on 27 minutes when another ball over the top saw both Pogue and Payne away down the left and Payne unselfishly squared for Pogue to tap home. However in typical Sidley fashion, they gave away a soft goal on 44 minutes, a free header from a corner which was Shoreham's first effort on goal.

It was a totally different game in the second half as Sidley suddenly lost their rhythm, not playing with the same tempo and dropping deep. Shoreham had the majority of the play, and even had the ball in the net direct from a corner but the referee adjuged that Nessling was fouled as the ball came in.

Despite the pressure. Sidley had their moments and Kenny Pogue almost scored a Van Basten style volley but the goalkeeper parried it over. Sidley held on though to secure 3 big points and Division One safety.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Hales, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin, Boyd (Rea), M Darby, Pogue, Payne (Rose).

Sidley United 0 - 2 East Grinstead Town - SCFL Division One - Saturday 13th April 2013 

Sidley United went down 2 - 0 to East Grinstead Town in a match that was switched to East Court due to the Gullivers pitch being unfit for play.

Blues began brightly enough and Matt Darby was denied by a fine save from Grinstead goalkeeper Mark Fox. Jack Cooper went close with a header as Sidley went in at the interval unlucky not to be in front.

After half time it was East Grinstead who looked the more likely and they eventually took the lead on 78 minutes when a good move down the left saw a pull back tucked neatly away from 12 yards by Hiller-Jones.

One became two as East Grinstead hit Sidley on the break. The pace of Ben Chick doing the damage and at the back post a tremendous volley from Dave Gellatly gave Nessling no chance.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Cooper, Willett, Cruikshank, Hales, Agutter, Boyd (Rose), Martin, M Darby, Pogue, Berry (Payne).

Sidley United 4 - 2 Arundel - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 10th April 2013

Sidley United continued their excellent recent form, making it 5 wins from the last 6 matches as they beat Arundel 4 - 2.

Blues started at an excellent tempo and were soon in front. Matt Darby with an assist of the season contender as he laid off a ball fired in to him expertly at the feet of Ricky Martin, whose finish was equally as excellent.

Sidley were rampant during the opening half hour and Greg Berry made it 2 - 0 after an excellent tackle from captain Chris Agutter set Sidley on the attack again. Against the run of play Arundel pulled a goal back 5 minutes before half time when Sidley failed to block a cross from the left and at the far post Lewis Jenkins turned home.

Sidley got a big let off early in the second half as Arundel hit the post with Nessling losing his angles but they weathered the storm and the two goal cushion was restored when a free kick was turned into the goal by an Arundel defender under pressure from the excellent Berry.

Sidley then made the game safe on 79 minutes when a great ball over the top found substitute Terry Payne, and he expertly lofted the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 4 - 1. Arundel's David Herbert scored the goal of the night in stoppage time, weaving through at least 3 Sidley defenders before curling his effort into the top corner, which even the Sidley bench applauded. But it was scant consolation as seconds later the whistle sounded to end the match 4 - 2 in Sidley's favour.

Another excellent all round performance and a result that lifts us up to 14th place in the table. Another big game Thursday when we travel to Rye United, but we go there as one of the form sides in the league and playing extremely well.

Sidley team: Nessling, Willett, Rea, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin (Trickett), Boyd, Darby (White), Hales, Berry.(Payne)

Sidley United 4 - 1 Hassocks - SCFL Division One - Saturday 6th April 2013

Sidley United climbed two places and produced possibly the best performance of the season in beating Hassocks 4 - 1.

Bright and lively from the start, Sidley took the game to Hassocks, playing at a high tempo and opening the scoring in the 11th minute when Kenny Pogue played the ball over the top for Greg Berry to lob the Hassocks goalkeeper sweetly. A rare break down the left wing for Hassocks brought a smart save from Greg Nessling, whose kicking was excellent all game.

A problem for Kevin Rose's ankle saw Jack Cooper come on to replace him, and he soon settled in, showing confidence and composure in defence. Playing some neat, one-touch passes, Sidley added a second goal on 30 minutes as Dean Boyd's first time shot found the back of the net after some good work by Chris Agutter.

Despite the one-way traffic however, Hassocks got themselves back on the score sheet in the 39th minute. Frustratingly, the goal came from a Sidley free kick, which broke kindly for the visitors and, with Sidley's defence caught too square, Nathan Miles ran through to shoot past Greg Nessling, who might have been better to stay on his line.

Sidley started the second half as they had the first, pressing the ball and never letting Hassocks, who are generally regarded as being one of the best footballing sides in the Division, time or space to get their game going. The pressure told, as Matt Darby scored Sidley's third goal on 64 minutes. Totally in charge now, the 2 goal cushion allowed Sidley to replace Greg Berry with Ben Barton. Kenny Pogue cracked a fierce drive against the bar as Sidley continued to boss the game. And it was Pogue who got the goal he deserved in the 81st minute finishing off another nice passage of play.

A terrific performance from the Blues, with every player contributing to a splendid and fully deserved result. Kenny Pogue made a big difference up front, but it would be unfair to single any one player out as they all deserve high praise for the work-rate and quality they showed today. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Rea, Rose (Cooper), Cruikshank, Agutter, Boyd (Packer), Darby, Pogue, Berry (Barton), Martin.

Sidley United 1 - 2 Rye United - SCFL Division One - Monday 1st April 2013

Sidley United produced a valiant effort after going 2 goals behind early on but it wasn't enough as they went down 2 - 1 at home to Rye United.

Sidley had the first good chance as Ashley Darby fed cousin Matt but he steered his effort just wide of the far post. Blues fell behind after just 7 minutes as Cooper attempted to head back home to Nessling but didn't get enough on his header. Former Sidley man Matt McClean nipped in and Nessling bundled him to the floor, resulting in a penalty. Andy Atkin converted low into the corner 

That shook Sidley out of their rhythm and Rye got on top in the first half and a second goal was added as Dom Clarke turned home a low right wing cross on 19 minutes. We could have caved at that point but responded magnificently as Greg Berry scored on 28 minutes with a low shot past the Rye goalkeeper after good work by Andy Hales.

In the second period Rye always looked threatening but found chances harder to come by as Sidley came forward and created openings of their own. the best of those fell to Cruikshank, after a corner was parried by the goalkeeper and Cruikshank's first time effort went over the bar.

A good effort in the end from Sidley against a strong Rye team, but the damage was done early on. If we compete like this though until the end of the season we should be confident of picking up more wins.

Sidley team: Nessling, Cooper, Hales, Rose, Cruikshank, Agutter (Shelton), Martin, Willett, A Darby, M Darby, Berry.

Sidley United 3 - 0 AFC Uckfield - SCFL Division One - Saturday 30th March 2013

Sidley United made it 3 home wins in a row as they saw off second-bottom AFC Uckfield by a 3 - 0 scoreline.

Despite never reaching the quality level we know Sidley can play to, Sidley were still comfortable enough against poor opposition. Blues initially struggled to get going though and took until the 23rd minute to take the lead.

A good throw out by Nessling found Sam Willett, who's lovely ball through to the returning Kenny Pogue saw his lofted effort beautifully find the back of the net. Sidley doubled the lead right on half time as Terry Payne's cross into the box was headed past his own goalkeeper with no Sidley forward nearby. A calamitous mistake which saw Blues go in at the break 2 up.

The second half saw very little in the way of chances, but AFC Uckfield got more into the game as Sidley became rather sloppy. However, the game was killed off on 77 minutes as Ricky Martin scored after having his first shot blocked.

The remaining minutes descended into farce as the linesman continually called the referee over to talk to the Sidley bench about having '2 standing.' In the end Peter Heritage was removed from the dug-out by a very pedantic official. One of the more comical requests from the referee was for "instructions from one person". Perhaps a new law that we all missed?

The action on the pitch petered out as Sidley ran out comfortable winners and moved 9 points clear of Chichester City, who occupy the final relegation spot. Next up is a spicy local derby against Rye United on Monday. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Brown, Cooper, Cruikshank, Martin, Boyd, M Darby (Berry), Hales (Shelton), Payne (Barden), Pogue.

Sidley United 6 - 1 Worthing United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 26th March 2013

Sidley United produced an emphatic 6 - 1 victory over basement side Worthing United to move 7 points clear of the relegation zone.

After hitting the post in the first minute, Sidley opened the scoring in the 14th minute when a corner was bundled over the line, although there was some dispute as to who got the final touch. Dan Cruikshank and Matt Darby both claimed it, though Cruikshank seemed to have the better claim.

Not to be denied, Matt Darby got his name on the score sheet in the 35th minute as Sidley took hold of the game, using the space and time allowed them to good effect. Jason Taylor took a heavy knock a few minutes before half time and, although he came out after the break, it was soon obvious that he couldn't continue and Dean Boyd was brought on in his place. The referee issued several warnings for persistent fouling by Worthing but decided to keep his cards in his pocket. 

Passing the ball more confidently now, Sidley scored again in the 51st minute; Andy Hales finishing smartly. Soon it was Terry Payne's turn to open his account with a goal on 59mins, converting a nice cutback from Dean Boyd who was enjoying taking on and beating his defender. 

Against the run of play, Worthing got a goal back on 75 minutes when a long ball through the middle beat Sidley's defence and Aaron Farrier latched onto it, shooting coolly past Greg Nessling for the visitors. Sidley responded with a goal of their own just 4 minutes later; Andy Hales getting his second of the night. Another 4 minutes and another goal; this time Terry Payne getting his second on 83 mins to make the final score 6 - 1 to the Blues.

A valuable 3 points and a good result helping us to maintain our place in the top division of County League football. Matt Darby in particular was impressive tonight and Dean Boyd made the most of his substitute role, showing some real flair and confidence.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Cooper (Barton), Rea (Brown), Rose, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin, M Darby, Hales, Taylor (Boyd), Payne. 

Sidley United 2 - 1 Lancing - SCFL Division One - Thursday 21st March 2013

A brace from defender-cum-forward Kevin Rose overturned a 1 - 0 deficit to give Sidley United a vital 2 - 1 win over Lancing on Thursday night.

Blues started well and had a few half opportunities but Rose saw a header parried and Matt Darby elected to try and pass across goal rather than shoot after latching onto a good through ball from Sean Ray, making a one-off Sidley appearance.

Against the run of play, Lancing took the lead in the 44th minute as a good move down the left saw the ball swept in low by Will Berry. That was cruel on Sidley who probably shaded the first half but went in at the break behind.

Kicking down the slope in the second half, Sidley made a good start and seemed certain to equalise but chance after chance went begging. First a Payne header from a few yards out was incredibly blocked on the goalline and another deflected effort soon after also was stopped just before crossing the line. But Sidley's persistance and a formation shift paid off.

As Rose moved from defence to up front, Chris Agutter unleashed a ferocious effort which crashed back off the bar straight to Rose and he slammed home on 72 minutes to equalise. And on 84 minutes Ray got on the end of a corner and as the goalkeeper parried Rose slid home to put Sidley in front.

In a dramatic last few minutes Rose was through one on one but didn't get enough on his chip to seal the game and Lancing hit the crossbar deep into stoppage time but Sidley held out for a vital victory which lifts the Blues 4 points clear of the drop zone.

A good team performance which if we can replicate in every game to the end of the season, should see us safe. A big win for the Blues.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Cooper, Rea (Hales), Rose, Ray, Agutter, Martin, Boyd, M Darby, Taylor (Brown), Payne (A Darby)

Sidley United 0 - 1 East Preston - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 19th March 2013

Sidley United remain deep in the relegation battle after losing at home to East Preston. 

Joe Shelley's 20th minute strike settled the contest when he thumped home a rebound after a good initial save by Sidley stopper Greg Nessling.

Sidley took the game to their opponents in the second half and Jack Cooper almost levelled from 5 yards. There was then a big turning point as Terry Payne appeared to be grappled to the floor by an East Preston defender. The referee appeared to see the foul but looked to his assistant and when no flag was raised, he chose not to blow and award the Blues a penalty. 

After Chichester's win at Worthing United, the result leaves Sidley just 1 point above the relegation zone, with a few games in hand.

The next game comes fast as we entertain Lancing on Thursday night where weary players will need to raise themselves as 3 points could make a massive difference to the battle ahead.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Cooper, Rea, Rose, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin, Hales, Darby, Taylor, Payne.

Dorking Wanderers 2 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 9th March 2013

Sidley United slumped to a defeat against relegation rivals Dorking Wanderers and slipped to fifth bottom on Saturday.

Blues were behind after just a minute as a simple move down the right saw the ball crossed in to Liam Holden who finished off the move.

Blues found themselves two down on the stroke of half time as Michael Death's sweet volley flew past Nessling in the Sidley goal.

Sidley steadied themselves after the break but never looked like scoring in what manager John Lambert described as the worst first half performance from his side of the season. The closest they came was through Chris Agutter's low shot which was well dealt with by the Dorking goalkeeper.

The result leaves Sidley deep in the relegation mix, just a few points above the drop zone.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett (Brown), Rose, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin, A Darby (Shelton), Hales, Taylor, Payne (Barton). 

Sidley United 2 - 2 St Francis Rangers - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 5th March 2013 

Sidley United responded well to Saturday's defeat with a promising performance as they secured a 2 - 2 draw against St Francis Rangers.

Blues started on the front foot and took the lead inside two minutes. A neat one-two saw Ricky Martin put through on goal and his lofted shot went over the goalkeeper and into the net to give Sidley a dream start. 

St Francis created little but found themselves back on terms on 13 minutes as the striker beat the Sidley defenders to a header and a shot on goal was spilled by Nessling straight into the path of Charlie Pitcher who stabbed home from 5 yards. They had a chance to go in at the break in front but incredibly a ball across the goal saw their striker poke wide from what must have been 2 yards out. 

However, in the second half it was St Francis who went in front when a mazy run in the box ended with a toe-poke which Nessling again could only knock down for it to be rifled home. Sidley responded well and got a deserved equaliser after some great play down the left from the again impressive Andy Hales found Terry Payne and his low shot beat the dive of the goalkeeper on 62 minutes to equalise.

Sidley had a chance to nick the points after they were awarded an indirect free-kick on the left hand side of the six yard box but St Francis blocked well and although both teams pushed hard, the game ended in a draw.

A good performance from Sidley. If we can play consistently like that, we should be confident of remaining out of danger with the remaining fixtures ahead. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Boyd, Rose, Cooper, Cruikshank, Willett (A Darby). Martin, Hales, Taylor, Pogue, Payne (C McDonald).

Sidley United 2 - 0 Shoreham - John O Hara Cup Quarter Final - Tuesday 26th February 2013

Sidley United saw off Shoreham to reach the semi-finals of the John O Hara cup after a 2 - 0 win on Tuesday. 

Kick-off was delayed due to the late arrival of players and officials from Shoreham, owing to an accident on the A27. Shoreham looked the brighter in the first 20 minutes, but Sidley worked their way back into the game and were rewarded with a penalty on 30 mins. when Terry Payne flicked the ball over the onrushing Shoreham keeper who then collided with Paine, making it an easy decision for the Ref. Jason Taylor coolly tucked away the resulting spot kick to give Sidley the lead.

Sidley had a scare just before the end of the half when Kevin Rose dropped the ball into his own net but the referee gave a free kick to Sidley, although it was unclear whether he gave it for a foul on the keeper or for an offside; either way, Sidley were happy to see a decision going their way for once!

Sidley started the second half strongly, pressing the ball high up the pitch. Shoreham always looked capable of getting back into the game though and continued to push forward at every oportunity, allowing Sidley to counter attack. And it was a counter attack that led to Sidley's second goal on 79 mins, when Dean Boyd (on as a sub) finished off a quick break that started with Ben Radley releasing Jason Taylor down the right wing. Being a cup game, Shoreham naturally threw everything forward after that but solid defending denied them a way back into the game, and at the other end, Sidley had a few more chances to add to their tally. However, the match ended 2 - 0 to Sidley who progress to the next round of the John O'Hara Cup.

All in all an exciting game with Sidley's work-rate being the difference in the end. The whole team played well; although Andy Hales and Jason Taylor deserve a special mention. Hales' determination to win every ball and Taylor's non-stop running to make something happen were particularly impressive tonight.

Sidley Team: Rose, Willett, Radley, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin, Darby, Hales, Taylor (Boyd), Payne (Shelton)

*Sidley United were later removed from this cup for fielding an ineligible player in this match 

Sidley United 2 - 0 Pagham - SCFL Division One - Saturday 23rd February 2013

Sidley United bagged a goal in each half and put in a tremendous defensive display to beat Pagham 2 - 0.

In an eventful first half, Pagham dominated the opening ten minutes before a flashpoint between Nessling and a Pagham forward saw both booked, although the Pagham forward can consider himself lucky not to be sent off after he pushed Nessling over.

Sidley went in front on 23 minutes as the ball dropped to Sam Willett, who took the ball to the deadline and cut the ball back to Jason Taylor who tapped home. Nessling then had to be substituted after being injured when he fell badly and defender Kevin Rose took over the gloves, with Jack Cooper coming onto the field.

In the second half, the excellent Daren Pearce controlled the midfield for Pagham, albeit without them creating much and it was Sidley who went close when Payne was put through one-on-one but saw the Pagham goalkeeper block his effort. He made up for it just a few minutes later though as he turned his man and curled the ball into the net to put Sidley two up.

Pagham pressed and Sidley dropped deep to defend but actually Pagham failed to test Rose seriously, just one good save with his knees required as we ticked towards the final whistle. Sidley had further opportunities to put the game to bed but ultimately defended their two-goal lead well to see out the game for a valuable 3 points.

A great all-round team display today with everyone really putting in a shift. Three massive points which lift us further away from the bottom three. 

Sidley Team: Nessling (Cooper), Willett, Radley, Rose, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin, Darby, Hales, Taylor, Payne (Boyd)

Sidley United 1 - 2 Hailsham Town - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 19th February 2013

Ten man Sidley United were beaten with a 96th minute penalty at home to Hailsham Town tonight. 

In the first half Hailsham started the brighter and had the better of the play but the best chances fell to Sidley's Kenny Pogue, returning to the team after a spell at Eastbourne Town. Unfortunately Pogue was off target. 

Sidley went behind on 67 minutes when they gave the ball away in a silly area and Hailsham broke. Chris Agutter brought down the Sidley forward to receive a yellow instead of red but from the resulting free kick Danny Leach drilled it past Nessling in the Sidley goal.

Sidley restored parity on 75 minutes as sub Ricky Martin played in Pogue who slammed the ball home to square matters. The game swung Hailsham's way 4 minutes later when Sam Willett was shown a straight red for what we assume the referee deemed a dangerous tackle, despite not one Hailsham player appealing. 

Both sides had further chances but the pivotal moment came in the 96th minute as Cruikshank pulled down a Hailsham forward and Leach buried his penalty past Nessling to steal the win.

Unfortunately, we bring problems upon ourselves and there can be little doubt that avoiding relegation is now the most pressing concern for us with the remainder of the season.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Radley, Hales, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Darby, Willett, Boyd (Martin), Pugh (Taylor), Pogue, 

Redhill 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 16th February 2013

Sidley United took a credible 1 - 1 draw on Saturday away to form side Redhill.

In the first half Redhill created more opportunities and almost went ahead when Difford headed against the post but Sidley, playing a new 3-4-1-2 formation got to half time at 0 - 0.

Sidley retained possession much better in the second half but the deadlock was broken by Joe Bingham in the 61st minute as he fired home a cracking left foot finish into the top corner from a narrow angle.

But Sidley rallied and the three substitutes made a difference. David Pugh rattled the crossbar with an effort from distance before he smashed home on 74 minutes from a narrow angle after good work by Jason Taylor to secure the draw.

Redhill pumped several long balls into the Sidley penalty area and Blues were thankful to Chris Agutter's goal-line clearance in stoppage time to help ensure they came away with a point.

A good result for Sidley at a place where Blues have struggled in recent years as Sidley picked up a valuable point on the road.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Cooper, Cruikshank, Radley, Willett, Agutter, Trickett (Boyd), Hales, Darby (Payne), Shelton (Taylor), Pugh.

Horsham YMCA 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 9th February 2013

A 94th minute winner condemned Sidley to a second defeat in a week after Andy Hales looked to have salvaged a draw.

In a cagey first half, Sidley at least showed much improvement from the 3 - 1 defeat at home to Ringmer. Sidley played well in the opening 25 minutes but fell behind when Martin Smith finished well for the hosts. 

In the second half Sidley conceded a harsh looking penalty but for the second game in a row Nessling saved well to keep it out. And Sidley looked to have nicked a draw when Andy Hales scored in the 89th minute as a corner was cleared to Hales and he rifled it into the net.

But Horsham stole the win at the death when a corner saw Nessling collide with Rose and the ball broke to Kevin Burgess on the edge of the area and his shot deflected into the net.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Hales, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Trickett (Shelton), Martin, Darby, Taylor (Boyd), Pugh (Rose). 

Sidley United 1 - 3 Ringmer - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 5th February 2013

A rusty Sidley United ran out of steam in the second half as they were beaten at home by Ringmer in their first game for a month. 

The first half was a fairly even affair, with both sides struggling to create any quality football on a very sticky pitch. It was Ringmer who had the better of the half though, albeit with not many scoring opportunities created. 

The bulk of the drama came in the second half as firstly Sam Willett hit the bar out of nothing for Sidley when his shot held up in the wind. A Sidley penalty appeal on 56 minutes was waved away and almost immediately Ringmer took the lead as a ball in from the right saw Marc Whiteman connect sweetly with it and find the back of the net. 

One became two with a soft goal on 61 minutes as a shot blocked bobbled around in the Sidley area and Matt Percival's lofted header looped over Nessling and into the net. Ringmer were then awarded a penalty for a foul by Cruikshank in the area but Nessling saved a weak penalty low to his left to keep Sidley in the game.

Sidley thought they gave themselves a sniff of getting something from the game on 89 minutes when a ball in found Andy Hales who's deft finish wrong-footed the goalkeeper but just a minute later a long range strike from Scott Marshall sealed the win for Ringmer.

Nice to be back to playing but not the result or performance Sidley were hoping for. Next up for the Blues is a trip to Horsham YMCA on Saturday. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Radley, Hales, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin (Darby), Willett, Boyd (Rose) Taylor (Trickett), Pugh.

Sidley United 0 - 0 Peacehaven & Telscombe - Saturday 5th January 2013

The Blues provided a tonic to missing boss John Lambert today with a worthy draw against league leaders Peacehaven at the Gullivers this afternoon. The draw ended 15 consecutive wins in all competitions for the Haven.

Assistant Manager Jamie Podmore took charge of the game along with Peter Heritage, whilst Lambert looked on from the sidelines making a surprise appearance in the crowd despite suffering from the sickness bug doing the rounds.

After being mauled 9 - 1 by the same opponents in August, Sidley were determined to get something from the match. In all truth the conditions made things very difficult for either side to play pretty football and very little was created in the first half in the way of clear cut scoring opportunities. 

Peacehaven had a lot of possession and the threat of a goal was always there, Sidley defenders having to make sure they never lost concentration. But it was actually Sidley who came closest to scoring in the first half as right on the whistle a surging run from Jason Taylor saw him play in Matt Darby 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper but Darby steered his effort just wide of the post.

In the second half Sidley again came closest to scoring when Taylor's ball in was flicked on by Pugh into the path of Dean Boyd but his instinctive stab at goal went just wide of the far post. As the game ticked on, Sidley dropped deeper and Peacehaven enjoyed the vast majority of possession. The few chances that were created however were charged down by defenders as Sidley valiantly battled for their point. 

A great result against classy opposition who are surely destined for promotion come May. The result lifted Sidley up two places in the table and hopefully will boost confidence ahead of Tuesday's match.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Hales, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Darby, Boyd (Brown), Martin, Taylor (McEniry), Pugh. 

Sidley United 3 - 4 Lingfield - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 11th December 2012

Two late goals at a freezing Gullivers turned a potential win against top 6 opposition into a last minute defeat.

With most other games around the County postponed due to the freezing temperatures, the game was only given the go ahead to play some five minutes before kick off time. The opening exchanges were fairly even but Lingfield took the lead when a mis-hit goalkick from McEniry went straight to Louis Gallagher who ran through to open the scoring.

Sidley got back into the game on the half hour mark. A shot from outside the box fell at the feet of debutant David Pugh and despite looking suspiciously offside, Pugh tucked the ball away to bring Sidley level.

In the first minute of the second half Matt Darby took advantage of some poor defending to round the goalkeeper and put Sidley into the lead. However, this was cancelled out with a harsh looking penalty against Cruikshank for handball which Lingfield converted with ease.

With both teams really going for the win Sidley looked like they had won it on 81 minutes when substitute Jason Taylor was played in and he exquisitely lifted the ball over the goalkeeper. But Blues dropped deep to try and defend the lead and paid the price on 86 minutes when the ball cannoned about and seemed to go under McEniry to bring Lingfield level.

And with almost the last kick of the game, a great strike hit the underside of McEniry's bar and the follow up was rattled home. The linesman originally flagged the goal as offside but after consultation with the referee the goal was given. 

A rip-roaring encounter to warm the viewing crowd but unfortunately not the result Sidley were hoping for.

Sidley Team: McEniry, Willett, Rea, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Martin, A Darby (Taylor), M Darby, Hales, Pugh.

Hassocks 5 - 0 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 8th December 2012

Sidley United suffered a sorry second half as they went down 5 - 0 at Hassocks to end their 8 match unbeaten streak.

Blues started the game well and a pretty even first half ended goalless. But the second half all went wrong for Sidley as Phil Gault struck early on although the Blues responded to that setback well. They hit the post, had a number of shots blocked and felt they should have been awarded a penalty for a foul on Sam Willett but the referee chose to award a free kick instead.

On 75 minutes though Gault bagged his second and that seemed to deflate the Blues.

The Blues threw on all three substitutes but were caught on the break as Gault completed his hat trick and two further goals late on from Nathan Miles condemned Sidley to a heavy defeat. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Cooper, Radley, Rea, Taylor (Williams), A Darby (Barton), M Darby, Martin, Hales, Rose (McEniry).

East Grinstead Town 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 27th November 2012

Sidley United stopped East Grinstead Town's 7 match winning streak with a credible 1 - 1 draw and were only denied a win by a stoppage time equaliser.

In the Blues first outing for a couple of weeks due to the weather they went close when Kevin Rose headed wide of the near post but moments later Grinstead's Carlo Castrechino's 30 yard strike dipped just over.

Sidley struck on 60 minutes when Jack Cooper's goalbound header was deflected into the net by home defender Richard Cole. East Grinstead pressed trying to get the equaliser and Jon Hampson had a bullet header cleared off the line before John Sinclair fired another good effort just over.

Sidley were holding on but in the 93rd minute with the goalkeeper coming up for a corner Ben Chick powered home the equaliser, breaking Sidley hearts in the process. Despite that the Blues could still have won it when a low drive from debutant Alex Williams eventually fell to Billy Trickett but he steered the ball wide from close range.

However a tough away point against a team in form is a good result and keeps the Blues recent good run going. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Willett, Cooper, Cruikshank, Rea, Taylor (Williams), Agutter, Martin, Hales, Darby (Trickett), Rose (McEniry).

Sidley United 2 - 0 Dorking Wanderers - SCFL Division One - Saturday 17th November 2012

Two late goals from Ricky Martin and Kevin Rose earned Sidley United a scarcely earned 2 - 0 victory over Dorking Wanderers. 

Dorking definitely had the better of the first half and hit the crossbar with a header and the post when a miskick by Chris Rea allowed the Dorking striker to shoot from the angle. They also lobbed an effort just wide right on the whistle as an otherwise drab first half ended goalless.

Sidley's second half substitutions made a bit of an impact and we began to get more involved in the second half but it was Dorking who had the ball in the net first following some controversy. A clear Sidley throw was given Dorking's way and they broke forward and after a first shot was saved by Nessling in the Sidley goal the forward who tapped in from almsot on the line was given offside. 

Sidley recovered from that and somewhat against the run of play took the lead. A good ball through saw Ricky Martin through on goal and as the goalkeeper came out of his area, Martin maintained his composure to round the goalkeeper and slot home from a tight angle. That goal gave us a lift and we got a second goal just 5 minutes later as a Jason Taylor corner from the right was headed into the top corner by Kevin Rose.

The match was more or less killed off by that goal and Sidley saw out the result to take a valuable 3 points that puts us up into the top half of the table. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Cooper, Rea, Radley, Cruikshank (Willett), Agutter, Martin, Hales (Darby), Taylor, Rose, McEniry (Boyd). 

Sidley United 1 - 1 East Preston (Sidley United win 5 - 4 on penalties) - John O Hara Cup Third Round - Tuesday 13th November 2012

Sidley United progressed through to the Quarter finals of the John O Hara cup as they knocked out league leaders East Preston on penalties. 

The visitors had a lot of first half possession but it was all in front of a hard working and difficult to break down Sidley side. The Blues had the best chance when Sam Willett got through one on one with the goalkeeper but was denied from a tight angle.

But it was goalless after 90 minutes and so extra time was forced. And in the first period, Sidley got their noses in front as Dean Boyd dribbled past two players before pulling the ball back to Andy Hales who smashed the ball into the top corner. It looked like they might take a terrific victory but 2 minutes from the end of extra time a dubiously awarded free kick was floated in and Fred Foreman headed an equaliser that forced penalties.

That late blow could have crushed Sidley's confidence but the players stepped up with courage and all 5 Sidley takers found the back of the net. With East Preston missing their 3rd kick, goalkeeper Greg Nessling was the player who scored the decisive penalty and set up a home tie against Shoreham in the quarter finals.

A great result for Sidley, who have now knocked out two top sides in the competition already.

Sidley Team: Nessling, Cooper, Cruikshank, Radley, Rea, Willett (Boyd), Martin, Agutter, Hales, Rose (Taylor), McEniry.

Selsey 1 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 10th November 2012

A depleted Sidley United squad made the long trip to Selsey and came back with a point following a 1 - 1 draw. 

Sidley promoted youngsters Andrew Brown and Ben Barton to the line up while a makeshift forward line of Kevin Rose and Zac McEnery caused Selsey some problems. However the first half was a fairly even affair with goalscoring opportunities rather limited.

It was Selsey who drew first blood in the 54th minute with Graham Bush opening the scoring with only their second effort. But just as in the home match, the visitors drew level shortly afterwards with Kevin Rose scoring from the spot after he was brought down in the area.

The Blues carved out several decent chances to grab the winner. Rose headed just wide before he also missed a good one on one chance when the ball bobbled badly while McEniry forced a good save from the home goalkeeper with a header. 

A long trip but a hard earned point as Sidley look ahead to East Preston in the John O Hara cup on Tuesday. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Rea, Cooper, Cruikshank, Brown, Barton (Packer), Radley, Agutter, Taylor, Rose, McEniry.

Lancing 2 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 3rd November 2012

A battling performance from Sidley United went unrewarded as they lost 2 - 1 at Lancing. 

The Blues fell behind to a soft early goal as a ball crossed in from the right was missed by a Sidley defender allowing Jamie Strong the chance to get a toe on it and poke it past Greg Nessling. A soft goal for Sidley to concede.

After that early setback, the Blues got back into the game, albeit without creating many opportunities. The closest anyone got to adding to the score was a Lancing striker who forced Nessling into a fingertip save to push the ball round the post.

In the second half, the match was very even until Lancing bagged a second goal on 62 minutes. A right wing cross was allowed into the Sidley box and Danny Gainsford powered home the header. 

That galvanised Sidley who responded almost immediately with Andy Hales smashing an opportunist shot off the crossbar. Sidley made a couple of substitutions and late on Ben Barton slotted home after the ball ricocheted around in the box. Sidley applied pressure over the last couple of minutes but Lancing held on for the win.

Next up for Sidley is a long trip to Selsey next Saturday in the league before we welcome East Preston in the John O Hara cup.

Sidley Team: Nessling, McEniry, Rea (Barton), Cruikshank, Agutter, C McDonald (Rose), Vinall, Hales, Taylor, Clarke.

Sidley United 2 - 0 Redhill - SCFL Division One - Saturday 27th October 2012

A Dominic Clarke brace earned Sidley their first home league win of the season as the year defeated high flying Redhill 2 - 0 for their third successive victory.

Clarke opened the scoring just 2 minutes in following a corner. Sidley's bright start rattled Redhill, who took a while to get into the game but finally called debutant goalkeeper Greg Nessling in to some smart saves.

The Blues could have doubled their lead but Jason Taylor fired wide of the near post from Matt Darby's centre before they felt they should have been awarded a penalty but Hales was instead booked for diving right at the end of the first half.

Redhill made a fast start to the second half and Nessling pulled off two good saves in quick succession. But Sidley, who sometimes don't always replicate a good first half performance, stood strong and doubled the lead on 78 minutes as Clarke headed home a Jason Taylor cross.

The visitors had a couple of late chances but Nessling held one good strike while another flew wide. A good win for the Blues to follow on from Tuesday's success and a result that lifts them comfortably into mid table. 

Sidley Team: Nessling, Miltiadou, Radley, Cruikshank, Rea, Darby, Agutter, McDonald (Vinall), Hales (McEniry), Taylor, Clarke.

AFC Uckfield 2 - 9 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 23rd October 2012

Sidley United enjoyed their most successful evening in front of goal for a long time as they routed troubled AFC Uckfield.

Blues took just 5 minutes to open the scoring through Matt Darby before a fierce low drive from 25 yards from Kenny Pogue on 8 minutes made it 2. Further goals from Dominic Clarke and Andy Hales saw Sidley take a 4 - 0 lead in at half time. AFC Uckfield had by then lost their goalkeeper due to injury and had to replace him with an outfield substitute.

Some slack defending right at the start of the second half allowed Uckfield to pull a goal back through Callan O'Reilly but Hales slammed in Pogue's chipped pull back, Mitiadou struck a deflected effort in and Jason Taylor scored two, his first a delightful chip and the second from close range. 

AFC Uckfield grabbed a second on 81 minutes when a corner was stabbed home by Charlie Shearing but it was left to Clarke to complete the scoring as he was left unmarked at a corner to head home.

Troubling times for an AFC Uckfield side trying to rebuild with primarily youth team players but for Sidley it was a welcome three points and a healthy boost to the goal difference.

Sidley Team: Tashpulatov, Miltiadou, Radley, Cruikshank, Rea, Willett (Mcdonald), Agutter, Darby, Hales (Brown) Clarke, Pogue (Taylor). 

Sidley United 2 - 0 Newhaven -SCFA RUR Cup - Tuesday 16th October 2012

Sidley United responded emphatically to Saturday's collapse with a 2 - 0 win in the RUR Cup.

The Blues gave debuts to goalkeeper Daniyar Tashpulatov and centre half Ben Radley. Sidley had the better of the first half and 7 minutes in Kenny Pogue hit the bar with a fierce shot. Newhaven missed a glorious chance at the back post shortly after but Sidley took the lead on the half hour mark as a Sam Willett cross from the right saw Clarke challenge the Newhaven goalkeeper and the ball landed at Pogue's feet and he struck fiercely into the net.

Sidley played temporarily with 10 men early in the second half as debutant Ben Radley had an emergency call to answer but once he got back onto the pitch Dom Clarke doubled Sidley's lead on 58 with a back post header from Pogue's cross.

Newhaven spurned a glorious late chance to get back into the game after a slight mix up at the back but overall Sidley were value for the win and demonstrated much better defensive solidarity.

Sidley Team: Tashpulatov, Rea (McMinigal), Radley, McEniry, Miltiadou, Willett, Agutter, Darby (Fletcher) Taylor (Mcdonald), Clarke, Pogue. 

*Sidley United were later removed from this cup competition for fielding an ineligible player in this game

Loxwood 6 - 4 Sidley United - Sussex Senior Cup - Saturday 13th October 2012

John Lambert resigned after Sidley United were on the wrong end of an incredible scoreline after blowing a strong half time lead to bow out of the Senior Cup to Division Two outfit Loxwood.

Blues fell behind early on when Damon Aston opened the scoring as he outpaced Zac McEniry and chipped home. But Sidley quickly established a stronghold on the match with goals from Taylor (penalty), Clarke, Pogue and a Loxwood OG to lead 4 - 1 at the break.

But incredibly, Loxwood hit 5 second half goals without response as Ben Bissett grabbed a hat-trick before Aston notched another 2 to complete his to see Sidley knocked out at the first stage. 

Lambert changed his mind after having a couple of days to consider and elected to continue as Blues manager. 

Sidley Team: Dann, Rea, Cruikshank (Vinall), McEniry, Miltiadou, Taylor, Darby, Willett, Agutter, Pogue (Bird), Clarke. 

Sidley United 1 - 1 Selsey - SCFL Division One - Saturday 6th October 2012 

Sidley United drew 1 - 1 at home to Selsey in a game played on a very tricky pitch.

Sidley had the better of the first half and were soon creating chances, but the final ball let them down at times. The pitch was very muddy and players were losing their footing, making it hard for both teams to play football.

Sidley got in front on 34 minutes when an Andy Hales shot deflected off a Selsey defender and landed at the feet of Jason Taylor, who scooped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net. Sidley failed to build on that lead though and went in at half time 1 - 0 up.

Sidley's second half performance wasn't quite as strong as the first half and Selsey got back into the match. Their equaliser also had a slice of luck about it as a shot across goal hit the leg of Jack Cooper and trickled past Matt Dann into the net.

Selsey were temporarily on top and a fine Matt Dann saved prevented them from going in front but Sidley had the best chance to win it late on - Dom Clarke's header coming back off the crossbar.

Both teams pushed hard for the winner but in the end had to settle for a point. A good performance from Sidley overall, but a slight feeling of two points dropped at the end.

Sidley Team: Dann, Miltiadou, Rea (McEniry), Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Darby, Willett, Taylor, Hales, Clarke.

St Francis Rangers 3 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 2nd October 2012

Sidley United's defensive woes continued as they were edged out 3 - 2 at St Francis Rangers.

The Blues found themselves two down at the interval as Charlie Pitcher cracked home a volleyed effort from 25 yards and Aaron Walsh headed home a peach of a cross to put St Francis in control.

But after the break Sidley found the rallying spirit that was lacking on Saturday and got back into the game through an Andy Hales goal on the hour mark.

And they looked like getting something out of the game when Dan Cruikshank hooked in a corner to level the scores on 86 minutes to make the scoreline 2 - 2. But just two minutes later Andy Mott picked out the top corner and ensured that the home side took all three points.

Sidley Team: Pelling, Miltiadou, Hales, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Willett (McEniry), Taylor, Darby, Clarke, Payne (McMinigal). 

Sidley United 0 - 3 Horsham YMCA - SCFL Division One - Saturday 29th September 2012

Sidley United turned in a performance to forget as they went limply lost at home to Horsham YMCA by a 3 - 0 scoreline.

Blues failed to pass the ball well and usually key players had distinctly off days as Horsham grabbed two first half goals from Peter Tarrant and Ashley Dugdale.

Sidley hoped the half time interval might bring about a change in fortunes but there was to be no such luck as another sloppy bit of passing allowed Martin Smith a free run on goal to slot past Pelling.

Sidley never really looked like scoring although they did improve when Terry Payne was brought off the bench but today was just one of those days where nothing went right for the homesters.

Sidley Team: Pelling, Willett, Miltiadou. McEniry, Cruikshank (Cooper), Agutter, Darby, Hales (Pogue), McMinigal (Payne), Taylor, Clarke.

Chichester City 2 - 2 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 22nd September 2012

A late Chris Agutter goal salvaged a point for Sidley United as they came from behind to draw at Chichester City on Saturday. 

A reshuffled side went behind after just 2 minutes as they failed to clear their defensive lines and Dan Watts fired into the bottom corner to give Chichester a dream start. 

The Blues rarely troubled the home defence in the first half and Chichester had two goals correctly ruled out for infringements before the interval. 

Harry Dye doubled the home side's lead with a free header at a corner shortly after the restart and Sidley seemed to feel a bit sorry for themselves for around 5 minutes afterwards.

But they then rallied and got back into the game when Allan McMinigal's strike from the edge of the area went in off the post. 

Dominic Clarke headed over as Blues pushed for an equaliser although they were indebted to goalkeeper Josh Pelling for keeping them in it with a couple of excellent saves from some Chichester counter attacks. But in the 93rd minute Agutter's cross from the right evaded everyone to nestle into the net and rescue a point. 

Sidley Team: Pelling, Miltiadou, McEniry, Cruikshank, Hales, Darby, Agutter, Willett (Barton), Taylor, McMinigal, Clarke. 

Sidley United 1 - 3 Crowborough Athletic - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 18th September 2012

Sidley United were unable to make it back to back wins at Gullivers after letting a lead slip against determined opposition.

Crowborough probably shaded the early exchanges but it was Sidley who got their noses in front when a smart turn from Matt Darby allowed him space to curl his left foot shot into the bottom corner on 24 minutes.

Crowborough equalised with a slightly fortuitous goal just before half time as a shot cannoned off a couple of Sidley legs and landed at the feet of Harry Thompson who slotted past Pelling.

They took the lead shortly after the interval after a free header from a corner was parried out by Pelling, Chris Ransome was on hand to knock in the rebound. They sealed the game on 78 minutes as Sam Carrington converted a cross from the right after a breakaway move. 

While Sidley had a couple of efforts cleared off the line, the Crows could also have had a couple more in what was quite an attacking match. 

Sidley didn't play badly but Crowborough chased and hassled all night and didn't allow the home side time to play and ultimately were worthy of the points.

Sidley Team: Pelling, Willett, Miltiadou, McEniry, Cruikshank, Agutter (Bird), Darby, Taylor, McMinigal (Hales), Pogue, Clarke (Payne)

Sidley United 4 - 1 Lancing - John O Hara Cup Second Round - Saturday 15th September 2012

Sidley United turned in a performance of the season as they beat Lancing 4 - 1 in the John O Hara Cup.

Sidley started well against a good Lancing side but good chances were at a premium for the first 20 minutes. Sidley took the lead with the best move of the match, Jason Taylor turning the ball into the path of substitute Sam Willett who turned home on his Sidley debut.

Kenny Pogue doubled the lead 8 minutes later as a long ball forward was left by both defender and goalkeeper, allowing Pogue to nip in and lift it over the goalkeeper and into the net as Sidley led 2 - 0 at the break.

Lancing struck early in the second half as Darren Boswell steered home a cross as Sidley ball watched. But the 2 goal cushion was restored almost immediately. A contentious free kick was given in Sidley's favour and from the ball in Zac McEniry slid home on 53 minutes.

Tempers became a bit frayed as Lancing felt aggrieved by some refereeing decisions but Sidley kept their heads and kept playing the football. They wrapped up the win on 93 minutes when another substitute, Terry Payne, headed home a Taylor cross.

A very impressive performance from the Blues today in their first match of the season at Gullivers and safe passage into the next round of the cup.

Sidley Team: Pelling, Miltiadou, Hales (Willett), McEniry, Cruikshank, Agutter, Darby, Taylor, McMinigal (Bird), Clarke, Pogue (Payne)

Hailsham Town 0 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 11th September 2012

Sidley United struck early again but this time stood resolutely as they beat near neighbours Hailsham Town 1 - 0 at the Beaconsfield.

Matt Darby struck for Sidley on 9 minutes as Sidley started in almost identical fashion to Saturday's game.

However, unlike Saturday, they stood strong at the back and shut out a Hailsham side who sit in the bottom three of the table.

Dom Clarke had a volley come back off the post in the best of Sidley's chances, but in the end the early strike from Darby was enough to earn Sidley their third league win of the season.

Sidley Team: Pelling, Miltiadou, Hales, Munday, McEniry, Agutter, Darby, McMinigal (Payne), Taylor (Bird), Clarke, Pogue.  

Shoreham 5 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 8th September 2012

Sidley United started brightly but ultimately another defensive collapse saw them lose 5 - 1 at Shoreham this afternoon.

Sidley took the lead on 11 minutes through Matt Darby and the returning Kenny Pogue had a hat-trick of glorious chances to extend the lead but squandered them all.

And his profligacy in front of goal cost the Blues as Owen O Callaghan equalised from a corner and then steered Shoreham into the lead before Kevin Rose turned into his own net to make it 3 - 1 to Shoreham at half time.

Another Shoreham strike early in the second half effectively sealed the game. Still chances fell Pogue's way but his shooting boots were not with him today as he spurned another 1 on 1. A late fifth strike sealed the win for the hosts and condemned Sidley to another crushing defeat.

We can't hope to win football games if we concede goals as easily as we did today, especially if we don't convert our chances. Hopefully we can build for Tuesday's trip to Hailsham.

Sidley Team: Pelling, McEniry, Rose, Brand (Bird), Cruikshank, Agutter, Darby, Taylor (Barton), McMinigal, Clarke (Gould), Pogue.

Mole Valley SCR 2 - 0 Sidley United - FA Vase - Saturday 1st September 2012

Sidley United saw FA competition interest ended for the second time in a week as they went out of the FA Vase, losing 2 - 0 to Mole Valley SCR.

The Blues made four changes from Wednesday's defeat to Greenwich Borough and were so short of options that Chris Agutter had to sit on the bench despite being injured. 

Sidley held their own during the first half but the game swung when the home side scored a lovely 25 yard volley early in the second period. 

A breakaway goal put Mole Valley two goals up and Sidley's luck was clearly out as Agutter's shot shot was tipped onto the post and rolled along the goal-ine to hit the other post before being cleared. 

Back to league action now for the Blues as they travel to Shoreham next Saturday.

Sidley Team: Dann, Brand, Cooper, Cruikshank, Hales, Rose (McEniry), Dadswell (Agutter) Taylor, Bird (Berry), Gould, Clarke. 

Sidley United 0 - 1 Greenwich Borough - FA Cup - Wednesday 29th August 2012

Sidley United were cruelly knocked out of the FA Cup after losing a closely fought replay against Greenwich Borough 1 - 0.

Sidley made a purposeful start to the match with Terry Payne, Billy Trickett and Chris Gould all having shots blocked inside the first 3 minutes. 

Blues had more of the game and should really have gone in at half time with the lead but both Jason Taylor and Gould spurned good opportunities. Greenwich rarely threatened but had one glancing header narrowly wide of Matt Dann's post. 

The second half was a more evenly contested affair and neither side really looked like scoring until the 76th minute. Sidley gave the ball away in midfield and Greenwich forward Akim Hanson shot early first time past Dann, deceiving the young goalkeeper.

Sidley threw more attacking players on to try and get back into the tie but the best opportunity fell at the feet of Gregg Berry who shot straight at the goalkeeper. Kevin Rose may have been lucky to avoid a second yellow card for a challenge from behind. 

Greenwich kept the ball in the corner as the minutes passed by and Sidley, who played well overall, went out at the second stage for the fourth time in club history.

Sidley Team: Dann, Rea, Cruikshank, Cooper, Brand (Bird), Rose (McEniry), Darby, Taylor, Gould (Berry), Trickett, Payne.

Greenwich Borough 2 - 2 Sidley United - FA Cup - Saturday 25th August 2012

A late Dominic Clarke equaliser earned Sidley United a replay in the FA Cup.

Chris Gould had given the Blues an early lead away with a wonder strike at Greenwich, from the equivalent-standing Kent Premier Division. Picking the ball up after a poor clearance from the home goalkeeper, he unleashed a low strike from around 45 yards which fizzed into the net. 

The Blues got to the break in front but Greenwich levelled on the hour mark with an equally impressive goal as a centre half netted with a thunderous volley from 35 yards. 

They then grabbed what looked like being the winner with around 10 minutes to go and Sidley responded by bringing on Gregg Berry to play up top with Clarke. 

It looked like heartbreak for the Blues until a long ball from Chris Rea in the 90th minute was allowed to bounce by a home defender and Clarke beat the goalkeeper to the ball to head in the equaliser to set up a replay on Wednesday night to be played at Hailsham Town's Beaconsfield Ground.

Sidley Team: Dann, Brand (Berry), Cruikshank, Cooper, Rea, Darby, Agutter, Taylor (Payne), Trickett, Gould (Hesmer), Clarke. 

Ringmer 4 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Tuesday 22nd August 2012

Sidley United suffered their second defeat of the campaign last night, going down 4 - 1 at Ringmer.

The first 20 minutes were pretty even with both teams having chances although Ringmer probably created slightly more. They took the lead through a bit of a soft goal as a forward took a pot shot from outside the area which seemed to go straight through Matt Dann. The young goalkeeper will be disappointed not to have kept that out.

Sidley however got back on level terms with the best goal of the night. A great through ball from Matt Darby put Jason Taylor in on goal and he beat the keeper to make it 1 - 1 on 43 minutes. However, Sidley went in 2 - 1 down as Ringmer were given a soft free kick when the forward made the most of a challenge on the edge of the box. From the resultant free kick, Tom Lyons was left unmarked at the back post and his header across goal found the back of the net.

Sidley might have felt they were still in the game as the second half kicked off but the match was effectively settled on 51 minutes as Dann could only parry a shot straight to the feet of Lyons who was on hand to make it 3 - 1. Sidley had chances still and both Darby and Chris Gould went close before 3 became 4 on 73 minutes as Lyons completed his hat trick from close range.

The scoreline was harsh on the Blues, who didn't deserve to be on the end of a 4 - 1 defeat, but football's all about taking your chances.

It's back to FA cup action on Saturday as Blues travel to Greenwich Borough.

Sidley Team: Dann, Rea, McEniry (Brand), Hales, Cooper, Agutter, Trickett, Darby, Taylor, Gould, Miles (Clarke).

Pagham 2 - 3 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 18th August 2012

Sidley United picked up a marvellous 3 points at Pagham, winning in the most dramatic way with a 91st minute winner from Chris Gould. 

Typically, Blues don't do it the easy way. They enjoyed the better of the opening 20 minutes before they gained a real advantage as Pagham goalkeeper Andy Smallpiece was sent off for bringing Gould down just outside the area. 

The Blues made the extra man count as Matt Darby cut inside and fired into the far corner of the net for his first Sidley goal. Gould then doubled the lead as he finished off a terrific team move which included around 25 passes before he lobbed the substitute goalkeeper exquisitely. 

But in the second half Pagham rallied and pulled one back through Howard Neighbour's header on the hour mark before the same player equalised from a dubiously awarded penalty.

However, Sidley dusted themselves down and made a triple substitution which helped them get back into the ascendancy and they went on to get the winner in the 91st minute thanks to Gould's second of the game as he cut in from near the corner flag and lashed a shot into the far corner to spark joyous scenes in the away camp. 

A fabulous three points for the Blues ahead of another tough game against Ringmer on Tuesday night at the Caburn Ground.

Sidley Team: Dann, McEniry (Hesmer), Cruikshank (Rose), Cooper, Rea, Darby, Agutter, Trickett, Taylor (Miles), Hales, Gould. 

Hassocks 0 - 1 Sidley United - FA Cup - Saturday 11th August 2012

Sidley United won through to the next round of the FA cup after a fine 1 - 0 win away at Hassocks.

With goalkeeper Matt Dann injured before the match, Zac McEniry took over in goal as Sidley reverted to a 4-5-1 formation.

The decisive moment came early in the first half as Dom Clarke headed home from a free kick, his second goal for the Blues.

Hassocks pressed in the second half and had a goal chalked off for offside, but Blues dug in and defended well and were worthy of the result. Sidley even had chances near the end to seal the win as both Matt Darby and Sam Hesmer ran through but were denied.

However, it was joy at last in the FA Cup for the Blues after first stage exits in the last few years as they held on to secure a great 1 - 0 win and respond brilliantly to Wednesday's defeat.

They will now face Greenwich Borough in the next round after they overcame Hailsham Town after extra time. 

Sidley Team: McEniry, Miltiadou, Rea, Cooper, Cruikshank, Agutter, Taylor (Hesmer), Darby, Clarke, Trickett (C McDonald), Gould (Miles).

Peacehaven & Telscombe 9 - 1 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Wednesday 8th August 2012 

Sidley United suffered an awful night at the hands of impressive Peacehaven as the home side won by a crushing 9 - 1 scoreline.

The Blues fell behind on 21 minutes when Ryan Bradley flicked home. Further goals from Ashley Rees (26 & 39), Joe Dyer (38) and Tom O'Toole saw the game killed off as Peacehaven went in 5 - 0 up at the break.

The interval didn't provide much respite. In the second half, a wonder strike from defender Adam Kneller on 55 minutes made it 6, Carl Dunk notched a penalty after a Chris Rea foul in the box on 68 minutes and Ashley Jones made it 8 with a header. 

Chris Gould got Sidley on the scoresheet at least with a goal on 88 minutes but just a minute later Peacehaven rounded off the scoring with Jones again finding the roof of the net to make it 9 - 1 at the final whistle.

It was Sidley's heaviest defeat since a 10 - 0 loss to Selsey in the 2007/08 season and Blues will hope for an immediate response at Hassocks on Saturday as the Blues start their FA Cup campaign.

Sidley Team: Dann, Rea, Miltiadou, Cruikshank, McEniry (Cooper), Agutter, Trickett (Hesmer), Darby, Taylor, Miles, Clarke (Gould).

Worthing United 1 - 3 Sidley United - SCFL Division One - Saturday 4th August 2012

Sidley United kicked off the 2012/13 campaign with a 3 - 1 win against 10 man Worthing United.

The Blues played the better football in the first half but found themselves a goal down on 12 minutes as a good free kick into the box was palmed by goalkeeper Matt Dann and bounced off the back of the head of home defender Jamie McLeod and found the back of the net.

Sidley bounced back quickly however as the returning Zac McEniry was played through beautifully and slid in with the goalkeeper, who didn't hold the ball and from a tight angle McEniry ensured parity. Worthing appeals fell on deaf ears as the linesman confirmed that the goalkeeper did not have the ball in his hands.

Blues were getting more and more on top and on 31 minutes Liam Miles was clean through on goal when he was pulled down by home defender Paul Curtis. The referee duly showed Curtis a straight red card, much to the home side's annoyance.

Sidley didn't take long to capitalise. A Chris Agutter free kick on 35 minutes was met by the unmarked Dom Clarke who nodded home to put Sidley in front at the break.

After the interval, Sidley didn't come out with the same energy as they played with in the first half and Worthing got on top. A succession of home corners failed to bring about an equaliser as Sidley hit on the break. They finally killed the game off on 85 minutes when Billy Trickett found himself unmarked in the area to head home the third goal.

Not a completely perfect performance from the Blues, but a winning start ahead of what will be a tough trip to Peacehaven on Wednesday.

Sidley Team: Dann, Brand, Miltiadou, McEniry, Rea, Agutter, Trickett, Darby, Taylor (Hesmer), Miles (Gould), Clarke (Rose). 


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