Sidley United denied 'smash and grab' victory at Forest Row by last second equaliser

A last second equaliser denied Sidley what would have been a 'smash and grab' victory on their return to action.

Sunday, 4th April 2021, 8:53 am
Updated Sunday, 4th April 2021, 8:56 am
Man of the Match Phil Hawkins
Man of the Match Phil Hawkins

Forest Row 1 - 1 Sidley United - MSFL Premier Division Mini League

The last two meetings between the sides have ended 4-3 and 3-2 in the favour of Forest Row but a high scoring affair never looked likely here after so long away from action for both.

The first half lacked many highlights although Sidley came closest to opening the scoring when Rhys Whybourne met a free kick with a header which came back off the crossbar. However that really was about the only talking point as neither side created a great deal.

In the second half the home side started to enjoy more of the ball and had a glorious chance to take the lead when Zac McEniry was adjudged to have brought down a Forest Row player in the penalty area on 66 minutes but Blues goalkeeper and Man of the Match Phil Hawkins made a good save low down to keep out the resulting spot kick from Tom Underwood.

Sidley may well have felt that a point would have been a reasonable result at that point as Whybourne made a great last ditch block to deny a Forest Row player. But on 87 minutes it looked like the Blues may steal all three points as a ball in from the right was headed home from close range by Toby Clifford.

However the home side pushed forward and in the fifth and final minute of stoppage time they found the equaliser as the ball pinged around the Sidley area before being turned home by Brett Caiger.

A match where Sidley may not know whether to cheer the point or feel disappointed that 2 slipped from their grasp but Sidley will have to shake that off and get back to action quickly as they travel to Balcombe on Easter Monday.

Sidley Team: Hawkins, Walker, McEniry, Whybourne, Elliott-Noye, Bristow, Wells, Ellis, Foster, Carey, Baldwin. Subs: Elphick, Clifford, Thompson, Ranson.

There was better news for the Reserves as they beat higher grade St Leonards Social 2 - 1 in the ESFL Prem / Div 1 Cup.

Despite being a goal behind at half time, Blues hit back as Simon Tomlinson equalised before the returning Chris Agutter provided the winning goal for a well deserved win.

Report contributed