Ticehurst 0 - 4 Sidley United - Sussex FA Junior Cup
A first half hat-trick from left back Gary Hempe helped Sidley through to the quarter finals of this cup competition.
With the game switched to Sidley's home ground on Friday night due to the state of Bell Field, the Blues began with an intent to make home advantage count and they started strongly, with plenty of pressure on the Ticehurst goal.
Blues were facing goalkeeper Ryan Hunt again in the Ticehurst goal, who almost single handled denied Sidley earlier in the season and initially there was some concern that he would again prove difficult to beat as he denied Lee Roberts in the first few minutes and kept out a few Sidley corners as they dominated the play but failed to break though.
But the Blues went in front in spectacular style on 30 minutes. The ball was worked out to Hempe on the left and from a tight angle he drilled a powerful strike into the far corner to give Sidley a deserved lead.
Hempe would then have the chance to double his and Sidley's lead on 40 minutes. Chris Sanderson danced through a couple of challenges before being hauled down in the area and Hempe stepped up to smash the penalty home.
And he completed his hat trick 4 minutes later. Roberts was played through on goal and as he rounded Hunt, the Ticehurst goalkeeper brought him down. Another referee may have chosen to issue the red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity but the ref chose not to punish Hunt. Hempe this time went down the middle and scored with confidence to round off a 14 minute hat-trick.
Sidley thought they had a fourth before the half time whistle as Ian May's strike from distance came through to Ashely Elphick who tucked home, only to see the offside flag controversially deny him as he seemed to come from some way back to get to the ball. However they went to the break 3 - 0 up and in control.
Ticehurst were unable to exert much pressure on the Sidley goal and the second half lacked some of the competitiveness of the first as Sidley somewhat took their foot off the pedal and the game became a bit more stretched.
Some substitutions livened up Sidley, with the fresh legs of Scrace posing Ticehurst another problem. The fourth goal though came from the boot of John Carey who struck from the edge of the area on 80 minutes to put some gloss on the score.
Bailey went close to adding a fifth goal late on but in the end Sidley had to settle for the 4 goals. Blues into the Quarter Finals and await to see who they will face in the next round.
Sidley Team: Rogers, May, Hempe, Eldridge, Aston, Carey (Day), Sanderson, Cochrane (Corke), Elphick (Scrace), Bailey, Roberts.