Home sweet home for Sidley
SIDLEY UNITED 2SOUTHWICK 1
HOME, sweet home was not a phrase regularly heard ringing around Gullivers last season but the return to familiar surroundings had the desired effect on Saturday.
Sidley United won just three matches (excluding their victory over St Leonards which was expunged from the records following their opponents' move into liquidation) during their entire 2003-04 Sussex Division One home programme.
But, winless from their opening six away outings this time of asking, they picked up their first League triumph of the term courtesy of goals from newly-formed strike pairing Jordan Wood and Steve Morris.
"It was nice to get three points in the first home game," said joint manager Andy Laskey. "That gave the players a lift a little bit. If we had lost that they would have been six points ahead of us and all of a sudden there's a big gap appearing. But we fully deserved it.
"The difference on Saturday from the previous games was that we got hold of it in midfield really. It was one of those games where you would say it was a solid display rather than spectacular."
But when engulfed in a rut such as Sidley have been in, solidity is exactly what is required. With Owen Ball and Lee Wood in defiant form at the heart of the defence, United had the platform that is going to be so important over the coming months.
And an early goal would have settled them too. Jordan Wood went away claiming it, although Graham Morris must take much of the credit for a scorching shot which brushed the pint-sized frontman on its way into the net.
But it wouldn't be Sidley without conceding a controversial "Sidley goal", as Laskey put it. Firstly Jimmy Watson's clip out wide was intercepted by the referee and three passes later Jon Donoghue was in the clear beyond Blues' defence to slot past Greg Thurstans, although "the supporters up there said it was three yards offside easily" when the ball was played through.
That was largely forgotten, though, when Steve Morris half-volleyed home Chas Lister's cross 20 minutes from time.
Sidley: Thurstans, Parsons, Finch, L. Wood, Ball, Lynch, G. Morris, Watson, S. Morris (Heritage), J. Wood (Boyd), Lister. Subs not used: Trickett, White, Lusted.
The second team of Sidley United continued their eventful but promising start to the Reserve Section Premier season with an incredible 6-1 win over Ringmer on Friday night.
The six goals were made up of hat-tricks from the evergreen Peter Heritage, who also tucked away four two days previously playing a veterans' match for Little Common, and 16-year-old upstart Dean Boyd. Blues, who have now won four of their six games, entertain Hailsham Town tonight (Friday), kick-off 7.45pm.