Sidley United's treble ambitions still in tact after cup win

Two penalties for Gary Hempe
Two penalties for Gary Hempe

Sidley United's treble ambitions are still in tact after they came from behind against Polegate Town to book their place in the Mowatt Cup Semi Final.

After the club record win last week, this was a much sterner test for Sidley as Polegate sat deep in the first half. Sidley had early chances but were unable to score as Sean Baldwin twice went close to giving Blues the lead.

The break through arrived though just as the clock hit the 45 minute mark as Sidley broke away from a Polegate corner and Charlie Cornford found the net with a low strike after a strong run.

The second half proved to be far more eventful. First Lee Carey was sin-binned for dissent on 53 minutes and Polegate took advantage to draw level on 59 minutes as a neat move got them in down Sidley's right hand side and Elliott McWilton finished high past Sidley goalkeeper Joe Rogers.

The visitors then took a shock lead when a back pass to Rogers was under hit allowing Joe Lyons to round the Blues goalkeeper and slot home on 66 minutes.

Up against it, Sidley needed to show real character and courage and they rolled up their sleeves and did just that. After changing shape they won a penalty on 80 minutes when Ash Elphick was pushed to the floor and Gary Hempe converted the spot kick despite Polegate goalkeeper Justin Leatham getting a hand to his effort.

Two minutes later and Sidley were back in front. The ball fell to Danny Ellis outside the area and he found the top corner of the net with a pinpoint curling strike giving Leatham no chance.

With the game now back in their favour Sidley won another penalty in the final minute when Baba Sarcouli, already booked when conceding the first penalty, cleaned out Carey with a poor challenge and was shown a second yellow card. Hempe coolly sent Leatham the wrong way to seal Sidley's passage into the Semi Final.

"We have to give Polegate credit today" said manager John Carey afterwards. "They gave us a real game. We were well off the pace but we showed good character to come from behind which we haven't had to do for a while."

"I am probably a bit harsh on the boys most weeks to be fair but I know how well they can play. To be top of the table and in two cup semi finals - I couldn't ask for much more from them if I'm honest."

Sidley travel to Peacehaven & Telscombe II next week in a key league match.

Sidley Team: Rogers, Elphick (McCue), Hempe, Walker, Saunders, Elliott-Noye, Wells, Ellis, Carey, Cornford, Baldwin.