Hawkhurst United 0 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 29th April 2023

Sidley United concluded their 2022/23 campaign with victory over Hawkhurst United thanks to goals from Lewis Wade and Dan Georgen. 

In a game that had rather an end-of-season feel to it Sidley started well and took the lead on 11 minutes when Ash Carey controlled a deep ball into the box and fizzed a ball across the six yard box for Wade to tap home.

Hawkhurst struggled to trouble the Sidley backline but the Blues still required Ritchie Gray to keep out a strike from distance as they went into the break with a 1 goal lead.

In the second half Sidley almost doubled their lead as Dan Hilder hit the crossbar with a free kick before the Hawkhurst goalkeeper denied Archie Ball and Logan Copley. The Blues did eventually strike though on 65 minutes as Copley fed the ball through to Goergen and he poked the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net.

Sidley created (and wasted) further chances to extend the scoreline but in the end it mattered little as they saw out the game to take home the points and with it seal 7th place in the Premier Division. 

Sidley Team: Gray, Hilder, Hempe (Hardy), Carey, Bradbury (Croucher), Eldridge, Witham (Corke), Wade, Ball, Goergen, Copley.

Sidley United 3 - 5 Punnetts Town - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 22nd April 2023

Sidley United were denied a third straight win in the ESFL Premier Division as Punnetts Town fought back from 2 - 0 down to take all three points. 

In their final home game of the season the Blues started strongly and took the lead on 10 minutes after Andy Atkin was brought down in the area and Logan Copley stepped up to slot home the resulting spot kick past loudmouth goalkeeper Sam Wiegand.

One became two just five minutes later as Lewis Wade added a second. But Punnetts got themselves back on level terms before half term as they pulled a goal back on 36 minutes before a corner evaded everyone to nestle into the Sidley net on 42 minutes.

A back and forth game saw Atkin smash the post with a long range effort before Casey Ham netted on 57 minutes to put the visitors in front. Their lead was extended on 61 minutes before Ham scored a penalty on 67 minutes as Punnetts put the game out of Sidley's reach.

The Blues were gifted another goal in bizarre circumstances when a Punnetts defender passed the ball straight into his own net on 73 minutes past the redundant Wiegand but they couldn't reduce the deficit further and Punnetts claimed the points.

Next week Sidley wrap up their league campaign with a trip to Hawkhurst United.

Sidley Team: Gray, Bradbury, Hempe, Wade, Eldridge, Carey, Dann, Shaw (Hilder), Ball (Witham), A Atkin, Copley.

Bexhill A.A.C 1 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Wednesday 19th April 2023

Sidley United made it back to back comeback wins in the ESFL Premier Division with victory in the local derby.

With both teams and the referee agreeing to play 40 minute halves, the Blues faced off against an Athletic side featuring a number of former Sidley players and they began positively with Archie Ball looking particularly threatening and it was he who came closest to scoring as he poked the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper only to see a covering defender clear off the line.

But Athletic took the lead on 33 minutes as Ben Ferguson headed home a corner. Sidley thought they had responded just minutes later as Logan Copley's free kick from the right appeared to evade everyone and nestle in the net but an offside flag saw the goal ruled out.

Sidley remained positive though and on the stroke of half time they did level. Again a set piece proved to be key as Hempe's lovely free kick found Andy Atkin who made no mistake in heading home to bring the sides level at the break.

Sidley looked threatening and Lewis Wade almost got on the end of a ball across from Atkin before they took the lead. On 47 minutes another excellent free kick from Copley was met by Steve Mote who powered an effort into the back of the net.

The Affa pushed forward looking for a leveller and had the ball in the net with another free kick being turned home but the referee had blown for a push on a Sidley defender by the time the ball found the net.

Sidley may have even had a third goal as Ball was denied well when through on goal late on but that mattered little as Sidley held on to take all three points. 

The Blues welcome Punnetts Town to Hooe Rec on Saturday looking for a third consecutive league win before they wrap up their campaign with a trip to Hawkhurst United. 

Sidley Team: Gray, Bradbury, Wade, Hempe, Mote, Carey, Dann, Witham (Corke), Ball, Atkin, Copley

Rock-A-Nore 1 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 15th April 2023

An 87th minute winner from Lewis Wade earned Sidley United all three points and ensured comfortable mid table survival in the ESFL Premier Division. 

With Tilekiln unfit to play on the match was switched to Hooe Rec and Sidley looked to take advantage of this early on against a Rock-A-Nore side who only could field 10 players.

But it was the Rocks who took the lead on 27 minutes through Harry Cawkhill. Undeterred though Sidley levelled on 30 minutes through Logan Copley as the Blues began to get on top.

The second half rather lacked in sparkle as both sides battled hard. The match could have gone either way but it was Sidley who came out on top as Wade lobbed the Rock-A-Nore goalkeeper and the ball found the back of the net with just minutes left on the clock to claim all three points. 

With this result, Sidley are guaranteed to be playing Premier Division football next season. Next up they face local rivals Bexhill A.A.C on Wednesday night.

Sidley Team: Gray, Wade, Hilder, Hempe, Mote, Ransom, Witham, Carey, Eldridge, Ball, Copley.

Bexhill Town 2 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 8th April 2023

Ten men Bexhill Town overcame a goal and a man deficit at the interval to maintain their lead at the top of the ESFL Premier Division. 

With the game reversed to Hooe Rec due to the unavailability of Bexhill College, Sidley made a strong early start and took the lead on 5 minutes when a corner from the left was powered home by recent new signing Dan Goergen. The Blues may have had a second goal when an almost identical corner was met by Andy Atkin but Town goalkeeper Dan Hart was adjudged to have just prevented the ball from crossing the line.

Town struggled to cause Sidley too many problems but earned a route back into the game on 28 minutes as Sidley goalkeeper Ritchie Gray came out to meet a cross and clattered into the Town striker with the result being a penalty awarded to Town. However, Gray made amends with a terrific save high to his left to keep out Town skipper Liam Richards' spot kick.

Going into the break a goal behind, Town striker Harry Saville then earned himself the most needless red card for foul and abusive language towards the assistant who had very little to do in the half. 

But losing a man in this manner may have galvanised Town who came out the stronger in the second half with Sidley rather surrendering their midfield shape. On 65 minutes Town won another penalty from a clumsy challenge in the box and this time the responsiblity fell to Tommy Whelan to take it. Despite Gray getting a hand to his effort, the ball found the back of the net to restore parity.

Town were definitely in the ascendancy but they were indebted to the honesty of the Sidley linesman on 74 minutes as the ball pinballed around the Sidley six yard box before dropping over Gray. There was some uncertainty as the ball was hooked out but the linesman flagged to indicate the ball had crossed the line and Town were awarded the goal.

Sidley pushed forward late on looking for a late equaliser and although a last gasp free kick into the box found a Sidley head, the ball drifted wide and Town held on to claim the points.

The Blues may come away disappointed not to take anything from the game but can be proud of their conduct both on and off the field. Next week they travel to Tilekiln to face Rock-A-Nore.

Sidley Team: Gray, Wade, Goergen, Mote, Hempe, Hilder (Shaw), Carey, Ball, Witham (B. Atkin), A. Atkin, Copley.

Sidley United 3 - 1 Robertsbridge United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 1st April 2023

Two goals from Logan Copley and a thunderbolt from Andy Atkin earned Sidley United all three points as they moved up to sixth place in the ESFL Premier Division. 

The Blues began on the front foot against the division's basement side and they took the lead on 4 minutes as a glorious long ball from Gary Hempe beat the Bridge defence and Copley poked the goal past Guy Ballard - regular striker but today in goal - and into the net.

But going a goal up against the bottom placed side so early may have actually been a negative for the Blues who seemed to take their foot off the pedal, with too many lacking in energy for the next 20 minutes as Robertsbridge got back into the game. They deservedly levelled when Lewis Chapman was left in space to get a shot away and although Ritchie Gray did well to parry his effort, Ryan Penney was on hand to follow up to equalise on 25 minutes.

Robertsbridge may even have taken the lead but Dan Turner struck the crossbar with a free kick as the sides went in level at the break. 

Sidley knew they needed to up their game and they did so as Andy Atkin smashed home on 55 minutes after Ash Carey had flicked the ball onto him. Despite this tough, Sidley were indebted to Gray who brilliantly kept out Turner with his feet to preserve the lead. With both sides' energy levels dropping, it was the pace of Archie Ball that proved to be the cataylst for the third Sidley goal. A good hook forward from Dan Hilder saw Ball win the race with the Bridge defender and once he arrived a simple square ball across goal allowed Copley to strike the ball into the net on 72 minutes.

The Blues brought on Dan Georgen for a debut and he looked assured as Sidley continued to push forward. A staggering 9 minutes of stoppage time proved largely uneventful as Sidley held on for all three points to move up to sixth place in the table. Next week Sidley return to Bexhill college as they face current league leaders Bexhill Town.

Sidley Team: Gray, Hilder (B. Atkin), Mote (Wade), Bradbury, Hempe, Shaw (Georgen), Witham, Ball, Carey, Copley, A. Atkin.

Punnetts Town 3 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Challenge Cup Semi Final - Saturday 25th March 2023

A brilliant Logan Copley goal briefly had a depleted Sidley on course for a cup final appearance but a late comeback from Punnetts Town put paid to their chance of silverware this season.

With cup rules and personal issues meaning that a number of players were ruled out, the Blues were only able to list one subsitute for this match. However they put up a good battle against a title chasing side. A tight first half passed without little incident as Punnetts had the majority of the ball but without really causing Sidley a lot of trouble - although the same was true at the other end as well.

Punnetts had more of the threat of opening the scoring but it proved to be the Blues who did on 59 minutes. A mix up in the Punnetts third on their right hand side presented the ball to Copley who executed a brilliant lob over the Punnetts goalkeeper and into the net to give Sidley the lead.

The Blues defended resiliently and could even have had a second goal as Copley rounded gobby goalkeeper Sam Wiegand but from a wide angle found his route to goal blocked by a covering defender. However, Sidley paid the price on 73 minutes as they failed on a couple of occasions to clear the ball and after a bit of pinball it was swept home from around 10 yards out by Alex Burton.

With their tails up, Punnetts sensed blood and against tired Sidley legs they finally got their reward as a good move down the right hand side saw the ball crossed in low to Casey Ham who swept home. Chasing the game, Sidley threw men forward in search of the equaliser and in the 5th minute of stoppage time they paid the price for having a lack of men back as Punnetts broke forward and Ham put the game to bed with a near post poked finish.

Sidley though should be proud of their battling efforts given the situation they found themselves in. Next week they return to league action as they welcome bottom of the table Robertsbridge United to Hooe Rec.

Sidley Team: Gray, Hilder, Mote, Bradbury, O. Shaw (Sam), Hempe, Wade, Witham, Carey, Ball, Copley.

Rye Town 1 - 0 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 11th March 2023

A threadbare but improving Sidley United put in a valiant effort but unfortunately came out on the wrong side of a narrow defeat to title chasing Rye Town. 

Rye started quickly, forcing Sidley onto the defensive and they reaped their reward when a cross from the right was headed home by Charlie Stevens on 11 minutes.
Sidley finally got into the game with a couple of quick breaks forward, Archie Ball having some success on the right wing and winning a number of corners. However, Sidley were unable to convert these into goal scoring chances.
The second half was more even with both sides battling for control. Howver, Rye's quick forwards always looked dangerous on the break and from one attack they won a penalty after a carelss challenge just inside the box. Jules Phillips stepped up to take the spot kick only to see his effort rebound off the post before being cleared away.
As the game wore on, Sidley started to get on top and for the final 15 mins Rye were hanging on to their narrow lead. However, Sidley just couldn't get that little bit of luck in the opposition box that would have made the difference.
With an number of players unavailable, Sidley's lack of substitutes certainly hurt them as the game wore on. A lengthy stoppage followed an injury to Lewis Wade, who had to carry on when on another day he would have been replaced.
A narrow defeat then, but Sidley gave a good account of themselves and can take a lot of confidence that they can mix it with the stronger teams in this divsion.
Sidley Team: Gray, Wade, Mote, B. Atkin, Hempe, Carey,  S. Atkin, Witham, Eldridge, Ball, A. Atkin.

Sidley United 3 - 1 Crowhurst - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 4th March 2023

Sidley United put in arguably a performance of the season as they inflicted revenge on Crowhurst to claim a huge three points in the ESFL Premier Division.

When the two sides last met, Crowhurst hit ten past the Blues - but these are two sides who are very different from that day. Although a Crowhurst side featuring a number of former Sidley players began on the front foot, they created little against a resolute and determined Sidley defence.

The Blues' opening goal was rather route one. A long kick upfield from goalkeeper Ritchie Gray evaded everyone and Logan Copley burst past the covering defender and beat the onrushing goalkeeper to the ball to poke it into the back of the net on 9 minutes. One became two in similar fashion as Sidley countered and after good work by Andy Atkin, he laid the ball off to Copley to curl a lovely outside of the foot finish into the bottom corner on 29 minutes.

The visitors seemed stunned that Sidley had sucker punched them and Sean Lennard was sin-binned for arguing against an award of a free kick by the referee as Sidley got into the interval with a two-goal lead.

The fear was that if Crowhurst got the next goal that Sidley nerves may begin to show but it was the Blues who grabbed the killer next goal in spectacular fashion. The ball bounced up to be hit on the volley by Ash Carey some 30 yards out and his thunderous strike arrowed into the corner of the net on 56 minutes.

Crowhurst did get a route back into the game when a penalty was awarded for a handball by Ben Atkin which was duly converted by Reece Johnson on 61 minutes. But Sidley's dogged and organised defending meant that, despite the pressure, Crowhurst were unable to fashion any clear opportunities and Sidley took the three points.

A terrific performance from the Blues with some quality football to boot. Next week Sidley travel to Rye Town.

Sidley Team: Gray, Bradbury, Hempe, Mote, B. Atkin, Shaw (Wade), Carey, S. Atkin, Witham, A. Atkin, Copley.

Westfield II 4 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 25th February 2023

It was a derby day to forget for Sidley United as they slipped to 7th in the ESFL Premier Division following defeat at neighbours Westfield II.

With their first team without a fixture, the home side gave a match to a number of first team players and this showed as they began on the front foot with Sidley defending deeply. On 14 minutes though a nice move down the right hand side saw Ritchie Gray come out to block the attacker but missing the ball. However the ball was squared across the goal and tapped home at the far post to avoid the penalty being awarded.

Westfield grabbed two more quick fire goals; firstly a shot from the edge of the area finding the corner of the net on 27 minutes before the home side did win a penalty for a foul by Dan Hilder which was converted on 29 minutes.

Sidley didn't give up though and had a couple of free kicks in promising positions which ultimately came to nothing. They did register though on 42 minutes as Andy Atkin broke through on goal and although his effort was saved well, the ball landed to Logan Copley who smashed it into the top corner to reduce the arrears.

That goal gave Sidley a bit of hope they might take something from the game but all hope was extinguished on 70 minutes when a harsh penalty was given for handball by Gary Hempe, who had made a great block tackle on a Westfield forward and the ball then bounced up and struck his arm whilst he was on the ground. Hempe took his appeals too far for the referee's liking and was sin-binned whilst the penalty was calmly converted.

The Blues kept going but the game was gone and the home side came away with all three points. Sidley will look to bounce back next week when they welcome Crowhurst to Hooe Rec.

Sidley Team: Gray, Bradbury, Carey, Mote, Hempe (Britt), Hilder (Sam), S Atkin, Witham (Wade), Ball, A. Atkin, Copley. 

Sidley United 1 - 2 Rye Town - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 11th February 2023

A late Will Witham strike wasn't enough as Rye Town ended Sidley's unbeaten start to 2023 by taking all three points at Hooe Rec.

The Blues fell behind after 15 minutes as Jules Phillips put Rye in front and this was followed up by a goal from Georges Gouet on 26 minutes.

However, Sidley stayed in the game and they struck through Witham on 88 minutes but unfortunately this proved too late to really build any momentum and Rye held on to take all three points.

Sidley Team: Gray, Britt, Mote, Hempe, Hilder, Carey, Witham, Wade, S. Atkin, Ball, A. Atkin.

Sidley United 1 - 1 Westfield II - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 4th February 2023

A last minute Logan Copley penalty earned Sidley United a point at home to neighbours Westfield II in this mid table Premier Division clash. 

In a tight and scrappy game, neither team really got on top and the game was even all the way through until the visitors took the lead in the 80th minute with a goal from subsitute Rian Starkin.

But Sidley rallied and won a penalty in stoppage time which was coolly converted by Sidley's own subsitute Copley to ensure a share of the spoils.

Sidley Team: Gray, Wade, Mote, Carey, Bradbury, Hempe, Shaw, S. Atkin, Witham, A. Atkin. Subs: Britt, Copley.

Westfield II 2 - 3 Sidley United - Challenge Cup - Saturday 28th January 2023

An 89th minute winner from substitute Darrell Shaw earned Sidley United victory at local rivals Westfield and a place in the net round of the cup.

Sidley raced into an early two goal lead thanks to strikes from Gary Hempe in the 2nd minute and the returning Logan Copley on 5 minutes. 

However, Westfield levelled before the break with goals from Aydin Janes and Alagin Touray and at half time the game could have gone either way.

But substitute Darrell Shaw came on in the 85th minute to replace Copley and with just a few minutes left, he popped up to score the winning goal and send Sidley through.

Sidley Team: Gray. Britt. Wade. Hempe, Bradbury, S Atkin, Ball, Witham, Haffenden, A Atkin, Copley (Shaw).

Sidley United 4 - 2 Hawkhurst United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 7th January 2023

Sidley United kicked off 2023 with a victory which lifted them above their visitors and into fifth place in the league.

The Blues began positively and Andy Atkin had already gone close with a header by the time they won a penalty on 19 minutes when Steve Mote was fouled. Atkin's son, Sam, stepped up to take the penalty but he dragged his spot kick and it hit the post and came back out off the post.

That though proved to be the motivator for Sidley to start taking their chances and they went in front on 26 minutes when Will Witham delivered a lovely low cross from the left which was steered past his own goalkeeper by a Hawkhurst defender.

Andy Atkin then doubled the lead with a goal of the season contender as he controlled the ball, turned his man and curled home an effort into the top corner from comfortably 30 yards.

Atkin then made it three when he headed home Gary Hempe's cross from the left into the bottom corner on 40 minutes. Hawkhurst had to drop down to 10 men before the interview as one of their players picked up an injury.

But if the Blues thought the game was done and dusted, they were delivered a message 2 minutes into the second half as Kieren Martin broke through and steered his shot beyond Gray in the Sidley goal to get Hawkhurst on the mark.

Sidley appeared too casual at this point of the game and even with Hawkhurst dropping down to 9 men with another injured player, Sidley failed to make their dominance count until the 64th minute when a sweet Adam Day free kick went over the wall and into the net to make it 4 - 1.

Hawkhurst may have been dealt a slice of luck when the referee showed a yellow card to one of their players for dissent but not issue a sin-bin, perhaps in the knowledge that would put Hawkhurst down to 8 men. They used that reprieve to their advantage on 82 minutes when an underhit backpass towards Gray allowed Martin to nip in and steal a second Hawkhurst goal.

The Blues had the chance to make the scoreline more emphatic when they won another penalty for handball and again the opportunity was given to Atkin Junior. This time he went for power but got too much on his effort and it cannoned back off the crossbar.

However, the Blues held on to take the points and as a result went above Hawkhurst in the table and up to fifth place.

Sidley Team: Gray, Hempe, Bradbury, Aston, Mote, Funnell, Ball, S Atkin, Witham (Haffenden), Day, A Atkin (Hilder).

Sidley United 2 - 3 Ringmer AFC - Sussex FA Intermediate Cup Second Round - Saturday 10th December 2022

A brilliant effort from Sidley United ultimately wasn't enough as Ringmer came from two goals behind to progress into the next round of the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup. 

The Blues began positively against their Mid Sussex Premier Division opponents and the first half was a tight affair. Sidley already had an early goal disallowed for a push before Andy Atkin went close with a header from a corner before Ringmer had an effort scrambled off the line.

Sidley then hit the crossbar around the half hour mark as both teams battled to get in front but the way the Blues took the lead owed to a large slice of good fortune. Archie Ball's cross from the right took a wicked bounce which deceived Ringmer goalkeeper and ended up in the far corner of the net on 44 minutes. 

Sidley believed they could continue in the same vein in the second half and despite loing Atkin to injury, they doubled the lead on 60 minutes as Louis Haffenden got onto a long ball forward, beat the Ringmer goalkeeper and slotted home to make it 2 - 0 to the Blues.

Sensing that they had to throw everything at it now, Ringmer did just that and they got a goal back on 64 minutes as the ball was cut back and finished from close range by Daniel Fox.

With their tails up, Sidley dropped deeper and suddenly started to look fragile. Ringmer took advantage of this change in momentum and levelled the scores on 77 minutes as Joey Pout struck with Sidley hoping that an offside flag might save them.

With the scores level now it was the visitors who would strike late on as on 84 minutes Jack Craig slotted home at the far post from a mis-hit shot. There was still time for some late Sidley pressure with a number of corners but ultimately Ringmer held on to take the win.

A frustrating last half an hour was compounded with a red card after the full time whistle for Will Witham, an unnecessary petulant action towards the referee.

The Blues will now turn their attention to league action as they continue to try to rise up the table.

Sidley Team: Gray, Hempe, Britt, Mote, Carey, Dann, Witham, Ball, Day, Haffenden, Atkin (Bradbury).

Sidley United 4 - 3 St Leonards Social - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 3rd December 2022

Sidley United produced a heroic second half performance to come from behind and claim a hugely important three points in the ESFL Premier Division.

After a heavy defeat last time out against Crowhurst, Sidley were desperate to get back on track but with a number of players unavailable, it was a makeshift team which took up the challenge and they soon found themselves a goal down as Social opened the scoring with a terrific effort on 5 minutes.

But the Blues worked their way back into the game and levelled when Mark Funnell headed home a corner on 15 minutes. Parity though didn't last too long and Social restored their lead in fortuitous circumstances as a clearance from the halfway line dropped over Sidley goalkeeper Ritchie Gray and into the net on 25 minutes.

Social then doubled their lead on 40 minutes as a scuffed shot deceived Gray to roll into the opposite corner to the goalkeeper's dive. The half time scoreline though was harsh on the Blues who came out in the second half determined to put things right.

Playing a direct game the Blues pressured the Sidley goal and debutant Matt Dann knocked home a second goal on 56 minutes before Funnell got his second of the game to level the scores on 62 minutes. 

With their tails up Sidley went looking for the winner and on 83 minutes Will Witham struck to put the Blues in front. Despite 7 minutes of added time, Sidley held on for their first home win of the season and three points to move two places up the table. A hard fought and deserved win given the grit and resolve the Blues showed.

Sidley Team: Gray, Britt, Hilder, Carey, Hempe, Aston, Ball, Dann, Haffenden, Witham, Funnell. Sub: Sam.

Crowhurst 10 - 1 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 19th November 2022

It was an afternoon to forget for Sidley United as they were thumped by a rampant Crowhurst side.

The first half an hour couldn't have gone much better though for the Blues as a 2nd minute Crowhurst penalty was missed by Wes Tate before Sidley actually took the lead when Andy Atkin controlled a ball forward and finished well on 17 minutes.

The lead though wasn't to last and Crowhurst levelled when a corner was turned home by Anton Neil and the hosts would take advantage of Sidley losing captain Ash Carey to a sin-bin to take a half time lead as Sean Lennard dinked the ball over Ritchie Gray.

At half time though, despite Crowhurst playing the better football, Sidley were well in the game but the second half proved to be a horror show as Crowhurst struck 8 more times. Reece Johnson netted four, Harry Loates grabbed two and strikes from Wes Tate and Jan Bailey rounded off a thoroughly disappointing afternoon for the Blues.

Whilst defeats are part and parcel of football, the Blues will need to examine their character this week as they look to bounce back as soon as possible.

Sidley Team: Gray, Mote, Day, Carey, Hempe, Ransom, Bradbury, Wade, Witham, Ball, Atkin. Subs: Britt, Croucher, Haffenden.

Sidley United vs Petworth - Sussex FA Intermediate Cup First Round - Saturday 12th November 2022

Match not played as Petworth could not raise a team. Walkover win for Sidley United. 

Sidley United 0 - 1 Bexhill A.A.C - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 29th October 2022

A cruel, soft late goal condemned Sidley United to defeat against Bexhill A.A.C. 

The Blues were missing top striker Logan Copley through injury and the lack of bite up front showed as they struggled to create many clear cut opportunities. The best fell to Andy Atkin who broke free of a defender but could only steer his shot into the side netting. 

At the other end an Athletic side which featured several former Blues made a couple of chances but they were dealt with well by Ritchie Gray in the Sidley goal asthehalfendedgoalless. 

The second half continued in the same vein with both sides battling to get on top but neither really creating clear cut opportunities although Sidley may have nicked it late on as Atkin had a clear strike on goal but it flew just wide of the far post.

However it was to be the visitors day as on 88 minutes a cross from the left hand side deceived Gray and slipped through his fingers and trickled into the bottom corner. Cruel on Sidley who probably deserved a point.  

Sidley Team: Gray, Hilder, Hempe, Carey, Mote (Bradbury), Day, Shaw (Haffenden), Witham, Ball, Wade (Sam), Atkin. 

Hawkhurst United 0 - 6 Sidley United - ESFL Challenge Cup - Saturday 22nd October 2022

For the second week in a row Sidley United discovered the joy of six as they thumped Hawkhurst to progress into the next round of the ESFL Challenge Cup.

The Blues began positively and raced into an early two goal lead through goals from Logan Copley on 5 and 10 minutes and they never looked like surrendering that advantage. 

However further goals took a while to come as chances to extend the lead came and went. It wasn't until an own goal on 72 minutes finally killed off the game and from then on Sidley compounded the result. 

Atkin struck on 74 minutes before a penalty converted by Will Witham on 76 minutes added gloss to the score. The final nail in the Hawkhurst coffin was when Lewis Wade added a sixth goal on 87 minutes as Blues sailed through into the next round. 

Sidley Team: Gray, Hilder, Hempe, Carey, Mote, Day, Witham, Shaw, Wade, Atkin, Copley.

Robertsbridge United 1 - 6 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 15th October 2022

Logan Copley continued his blistering goalscoring form with a hat-trick as Sidley picked up a second away win of the season with an emphatic win at basement side Robertsbridge United. 

The hosts were looking for their first points of the campaign against the team directly above them but it was the Blues who got off to a dream start with debutant Andy Atkin turning home a corner on 4 minutes.

Robertsbridge came back at the Blues and were awarded a rather soft penalty on 18 minutes - the fifth Sidley have conceded in three games - but Guy Ballard's spot kick sailed over the crossbar. Sidley then made them pay for that almost immediately as Lewis Wade struck to double the Blues lead.

Robertsbridge however did pull a goal back on 22 minutes through Chris Phillips but Sidley restored the two goal lead when Logan Copley won a penalty and picked himself to slot home the resulting spot kick.

Going into the break with a two goal lead, Sidley knew that the next goal was pivotal and they got it on 64 muinutes with a breakaway goal, finished off by Copley. With the game effectively sealed, Sidley struck again through substitute Archie Ball on 74 minutes before Copley completed his hat-trick on 80 minutes to wrap up an emphatic victory for the young Blues side.

The Sidley United Man of the Match was Lewis Wade. Next week the Blues travel to Hawkhurst United in the cup.

Sidley Team: Gray, Hempe, Hilder, Britt, Carey, D. Shaw, Haffenden, Witham, Wade, Atkin, Copley. Subs: Ball, O. Shaw, Sam.

Sidley United 1 - 2 Westfield II - Macron Hastings Challenge Cup First Round - Saturday 8th October 2022

Despite a late surge the young Sidley United side bowed out of the Macron Challenge Cup at the first attempt at the hands of local rivals Westfield II.

The Blues fielded a couple of new signings but found themselves familiarly going behind as Westfield were awarded a penalty for a foul tackle by Charlie Croucher on 8 minutes which was tucked home by Baxter Orchard.

The Blues found it difficult to sustain attacks in the first half and spent more of the game on the back foot as Westfield carved out a number of good chances and only some smart goalkeeping from Ritchie Gray and some wayward finishing prevented the visitors from running away with the game in the first half.

They did however double the lead on 32 minutes as a free kick from the right was flicked on before being tucked home at the far post by Cameron Woodley. The Blues best moment came from a fierce effort by Logan Copley which flew just over the bar.

Sidley may have hoped the second period would bring about a change of momentum but faced another hurdle when Westfield were again awarded a harsh penalty for a handball by Gary Hempe. However Gray brilliantly kept out Orchard's spot kick to keep Blues in the game.

And Sidley then got a proper foothold in the game when they won a spot kick after a Westfield handball in the area and Copley steered home the penalty on 56 minutes.

Thereafter the game was more even with Westfield still creating numerous chances but failing to finish them - including an extraordinary miss from within the six yard box which went over the bar - but Sidley were also enjoying some pressure on the visitors goal as well with a James Bailey effort blocked before Copley placed his effort over the bar.

As it was Sidley huffed and puffed as they pushed forward but ultimately came up short and Westfield progressed, deservedly over the course of the game.

Sidley Team: Gray, Hempe, Hilder, Croucher, Carey, Haffenden, Wade, Witham, Bal, Dovla, Copley. Subs: Bailey, O, Shaw.

Punnetts Town 1 - 2 Sidley United - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 1st October 2022 

Sidley United picked up their first win of the season with a come from behind victory at Punnetts Town. 

The home team started well and produced some excellent attractive football. However with Darrell Shaw organising and marshalling the defence, Sidley reduced Punnetts to only a handful of chances.

On 30 minutes a mistimed tackle from Archie Ball gave the home side a penalty although Sidley were reprieved when the forward steered his effort wide of the post. Some excellent goalkeeping from Richie Gray kept Punnetts at bay until the home side were awarded another penalty on 42 minutes as Ash Carey was penalised for a handball whilst protecting his face.

Gray made another great stop to tip the penalty onto the crossbar only to see the ball drop for the Punnetts Town player to follow up and score as the home side went in at the break a goal to the good.

Some half time formation changes to the shape of the team saw Sidley lining up in a 4-3-3 in the second half and the Blues still had the belief they were still in the game.

Punnetts continued to create chances but every time they were denied by the determination of Gray as well as Ash Carey and Gary Hempe throwing their bodies in the way of all the shots and crosses. 

On 60 minutes the Blues introduced Will Witham to add energy and bite into the midfield and they started to grow into the game, creating a few half chances. In the 80th minute young striker Logan Copley was rewarded for his tireless work rate as he ran onto a threw ball, held off the defender and slotted home to make the score 1- 1.

This inspired Sidley who then amazingly went on to win the game. With Punnetts pushing forward looking to score their second goal, a swift counter attack saw Copley outwit the fullback and goalkeeper to score from a tight angle.

Punnetts continued to push but the Sidley defence held firm to take all three points. A terrific result for our new inexperienced side who showed unity, belief and togetherness to earn the result.

Sidley Team: Gray, Carey, D, Shaw, Hempe, Haffenden, Ball, Hilder, Sam, Bailey, Kryeziu, Copley. Subs: Witham, Britt, O, Shaw. 

Sidley United 1 - 5 Bexhill Town - ESFL Premier Division - Saturday 24th September 20222

The derby day spoils went to Bexhill Town as they came away from Hooe Rec with a comprehensive win.

The town goals were scored by Henry Barnes, Olwethu Peterson (2), Liam Richards and Tommy Whelan with the Sidley consolation coming from Logan Copley. The Blues will look to pick themselves up next week as they travel to Punnetts Town.

Sidley Team: Hempe, Britt, Carey, Day, Hilder, Witham, Haffenden, Ball, Bailey, Scrace, Copley. Subs: Kryeziu, Sam, Freeman.

St Leonards Social 3 - 1 Sidley United - Saturday 17th September 2022 - ESFL Premier Division

The new look, young Sidley United side went down in their opening game in the ESFL Premier Division but will feel there were plenty of positives to take from the opening game.

After a summer of wholesale change, the Blues fielded a number of teenagers but they didn't look out of place against an established Premier Division outfit.

After an impeccably observed minute's silence to honour Her Majesty, the opening stages saw Social start strongly but they were unable to make their pressure count. However a cracking strike from outside the box on 17 minutes eventually broke the Sidley resistance.

Sidley were well in the game though and threatened from a free kick as the half ended. However the Blues fell two goals behind on 52 minutes as a strong run down the right saw the ball cut back into the middle and tucked home.

Sidley then enjoyed a strong spell and pulled a goal back as young Logan Copley beat a defender to get in on goal and though his first effort cannoned back off the post, he tucked home the rebound smartly on 64 minutes.

That may have sparked belief that the Blues could get something from the game but that hope was snuffed out just 5 minutes later. A shot from the right hand side came back off the far post and struck a Social player and ended up in the back of the net.

Sidley pushed and George Rayner had a good chance to pull a late goal back but he didn't get enough of a curl on his effort. The points went to Social but Sidley can feel positive about the season ahead.

Joint manager Mark Linch said afterwards "I'm extremely proud of the players who worked tirelessly with most of them making their debuts in the ESFL Premier. There were some great performances, notably Louis Haffenden, Logan Copley, Archie Ball and Will Witham. These are exciting times for the club.

Sidley Team: Gray, Dangerfield, Britt, Carey, Hempe, Haffenden, Ball, Witham (Sam), Copley, Kryeziu (Rayner), Czeller.

Sidley United vs Rock a Nore - Saturday 3rd September 2022 - ESFL Premier Division

Match not played as Sidley United could not raise a team. Walkover win for Rock-A-Nore. Sidley United deducted 1 point.

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