Sidley stunned by late winner
EASTBOURNE TOWN 2 SIDLEY UNITED 1
SIDLEY United's terrific run of only one defeat in 12 league and cup games was arrested by a goal four minutes from time on Wednesday night.
Former Hastings United and Eastbourne Borough ace Danny Simmonds struck in the 87th minute to send Sidley home empty-handed from a Sussex Division One game which they briefly led.
Joint manager Andy Laskey said: "It was a bit of a sickener really and the players were absolutely gutted afterwards.
"Considering the injuries are mounting up all the time, we did alright. We matched them and I would have said a draw would have been a fair result really."
Simmonds rather mishit his shot from a cross by substitute Nathan Millroy, but it deflected off a United defender past goalkeeper Jon Saunders.
The scorer was also the provider of Town's first goal, delivering a wicked free kick from the left in the 50th minute which was glanced home by the free-scoring Liam Baitup.
But the decision to award the free kick in the first place angered Laskey, who lamented "it was never a free kick in a million years".
Sidley had only taken the lead a few minutes beforehand when Steve Morris converted a penalty after Sean Brownall was adjudged to have brought down Scott McDonald.
The Blues, for whom Mickey O'Callaghan turned in an industrious performance in place of the injured Peter Baker, were slightly on top during the first half.
And they almost took the lead on 20 minutes, but McDonald's 35-yard effort was underhit after some hesitant defending left Greg Nessling well out of his goal.
Town rallied and were unlucky not go ahead on 37 minutes, however, when a low free kick by former Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton & Hove Albion star John Piercy was touched against the post by Brad Manton.
Laskey added: "At the beginning of the season they were everyone's tip to win it, but when we've got a fully fit squad, we're not a million miles away from them."
Sidley: Saunders, L. Wood, Willard, Temple, Witham, Weedon (G. Morris), Watson, Weston, McDonald (J. Wood), O'Callaghan, S. Morris. Subs not used: Aston, Brown, Lusted.