Sidley United 3 - 2 Hawkhurst United - Division One
Sidley United dug deep to survive a late Hawkhurst onslaught as they battled to a well earned 3 - 2 win to move up to fourth in the table.
With strong wind behind them in the first half Sidley took control of this match and were rewarded when goalkeeper Adam Skelton's long kick upfield found Dave Carey and he unleashed a great strike over the Hawkhurst goalkeeper to give Sidley the lead on 17 minutes.
There was some quite hostile attitude from the Hawkhurst number 3, firstly towards his own supporter, then towards the referee and finally towards the Sidley management. Not quite sure why but everything seemed to get his back up! And his day was about to get worse.
Skelton then went one better on 33 minutes. His long kick upfield bounced once and the wind carried it over his opposite number and into the net to give Sidley a 2 - 0 lead. The Blues maintained control of this game in the first half with Hawkhurst not registering a shot at Sidley's goal and they were visibly frustrated at the referee and their own players.
Familiar faces were in attendance from former Sidley glories and they hopefully would have been impressed by the home side's attacking play. From similar positions though Sidley have often conceded at the start of a second half but it was they who extended their lead on 50 minutes as good work from Lewis McGuigan on the left was rewarded when James Bailey's cross back into the box saw Keith Miles finish with a crisp strike to put Sidley 3 up.
The inevitable wind-assisted onslaught arrived shortly afterwards and Hawkhurst pulled a goal back on 70 minutes as a free kick from the left was headed home by the unmarked Daniel Mcgahan.
There was then a flashpoint as a bad foul on Dave Carey went unpunished and Carey reacted by pushing out at the Hawkhurst player. The visiting side wanted Carey sent off for raising his hands but the referee chose not to take action against either player, although he could have chosen to punish both players.
The visitors further reduced the arrears on 85 minutes as the goalscorer cut inside and curled the ball home with his right foot from the edge of the penalty area. Sidley dropped deep to try and hold on as Hawkhurst used the wind to their advantage but they could not find an equaliser and Sidley held on for the win.
Another good team performance in difficult conditions and a pleasing way to sign off at home for the season.
Sidley team: Skelton, Carroll (T Funnell), McGuigan, Chandler, Eldridge, Day, Bailey, Sanderson, Cochrane (Briscoe), Carey (Holland), Miles.