Hollington United lose to Balcombe... Willingdon win at Sidley
Hollington United suffered their first defeat of the restarted campaign after a frustrating day at the Gibbons.
Again with key players missing the home side started well and took the lead through a sublime finish by Matt McLean. The lead didn’t last long as Balcombe equalised against the run of play.
The goal kicked the visitors into life and Elliot Stokes did brilliantly in goal to keep the scores level. The Lions seemed to find another gear and Jack Dixon jumped highest to score his third goal in four games. The Lions should have killed the game at this point but some poor finishing meant the score stayed 2-1 at the break.
The second half was a different story with the home side making very uncharacteristic mistakes defensively and with the very impressive front line of Balcombe, the outcome was obvious and they punished the hosts.
At 3-2 down Hollington should have levelled when young Emmanuel Ubi got through but was denied by a fine save. Half chances came and went but Balcombe added a fourth with pretty much the last kick of the game. Final score 2-4.
Man of the match sponsored by A2B Decorating was Matty McLean
Next week the Lions make the short trip to the Pilot Field to face Sidley Utd.
Hollington boss Scott Price said: “I can’t fault the players' effort. Most of them are running on empty, and with the players we had available we were very unbalanced, it was pretty much a squad full of defenders and midfielders with the only recognised forward being Dommy Clarke who hadn’t played since October.
"But I still feel we had enough chances to win the game, or certainly not lose the game. If we’d have had their No10 or No9 in our side today I think we win the game comfortably. But credit to Balcombe who were clinical and have a knack of getting a result at our place.
"It was a superb advert for grassroots football though. Looking to next week's game against Sidley is the same as last week. I’ll know more at 12 o’clock on Saturday!"
Sidley United 0 Willingdon Athletic 2 - MSFL Premier Division Mini League
The post-lockdown slump continued for Sidley United as they were beaten 2-0 by Willingdon Athletic at The Pilot Field to all but end their chances of finishing top of the pile.
It was another slow start with the Blues finding themselves up against it early on as Willingdon struck after just five minutes. A free kick, which Sidley contested, was played down the right and the ball was fed back to Greg Manton, who finished low past Phil Hawkins.
The Blues may have been missing personnel at the back but it was going forward where they struggled to create as the best chances came from a wild Alan Foster effort from distance whilst a couple of driving runs from the returning Charlie Cornford came to nothing.
Sidley knew they had to raise their level in the second half but found themselves further behind on 55 minutes. A long ball forward saw Josh Elliott-Noye attempt to head back to Hawkins but he didn't get enough on his header and a Willingdon player nipped in and squared for Tom Steele to tap into the unguarded net.
The game became rather niggly with Sidley picking up four yellow cards and this disruption in the game only served to suit Willingdon. Sidley may have felt that they had a route back into the game on 85 minutes when a careless challenge on Lee Carey in the area saw a penalty awarded but Cornford's low spot kick was saved by Willingdon goalkeeper Jan Holt to compound a disappointing afternoon for the Blues.
Sidley: Hawkins, Clifford, McEniry, Elliott-Noye, Bristow, Thompson, Foster, Ellis, Cornford, Carey, Baldwin. Subs: Elphick, Wells.