Sidley United remain top after surviving late comeback by West Hoathly

Danny Ellis' goal proved to be the match winner
Danny Ellis' goal proved to be the match winner

Sidley United remain top of the Mid Sussex Championship after surviving a late comeback attempt as they beat West Hoathly 3 - 2.

The Blues dominated the first half and after missing a few chances which included hitting the bar they finally took the lead as Charlie Cornford found the bottom corner of the net from inside the penalty area on 20 minutes.

A curling strike from Rosh Wells from the edge of the penalty area on 30 minutes doubled the home side's lead and they really should have been 3 or 4 ahead by the end of the half. However as the clock ticked into added time the referee missed a clear push on Chris Copley which allowed Hoathly's Dave Juniper to run through and slot past Joe Rogers.

Incredibly though Sidley still managed to go in at the break two goals ahead as within seconds of the restart Danny Ellis hooked the ball into the top corner with the final kick of the half.

Kicking into the strong wind in the second half the Blues struggled to control the game as much as in the first although they still had chances to extend the lead which went begging.

Substitutions from both sides failed to really spark the game into life and although the quality was not as good as in the first half it seemed as if Sidley were more likely to score than the visitors.

Knowing that the wind was against them as the game wore on, the Blues tried to play out from the back but this often put them in danger and from one such poor attempt Mark Buckland caught Rogers well off his line and lobbed him on 85 minutes to bring Hoathly back into the match from almost nowhere.

And Sidley had to survive a final scare as a corner saw all Hoathly players including the goalkeeper come forward but as the ball sailed over the bar the referee blew the whistle and Sidley claimed the points.

Manager John Carey said: "We played some lovely stuff in the first half and West Hoathly only got into our half once and we were unfortunate it led to a goal. In the second half we came out well for the first 15 minutes but then we went to sleep."

"Over the course of the game though I thought we were by far the better team and deserved the points. We go onto next week now so hopefully we can get ourselves another 3 points and get a winning run going."

Next week the Blues are on the road as they travel to basement side Nutley looking for another 3 points.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Walker, Hempe (Davies), McEniry, Copley, Bristow, Wells (Westlake), Ellis, Cornford (Scrace), Carey, Baldwin.