Rye United and Sidley United suffered away defeats in their final games of the league season on Saturday.
A 2-1 loss to East Grinstead Town meant that Rye finished fourth in Sussex County Football League Division One, while Sidley came 16th after a goal deep into added time consigned them to a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Arundel.
After a goalless first half, Rye opened the scoring through Sam Crabb, who was probably their most dangerous player on the day. But their lead was short-lived as George Hiller-Jones levelled minutes later with a twice taken penalty awarded for a contentious handball by Luke Woodley.
Playing their 10th game in just 22 days, Rye’s hectic late season schedule finally took its toll as they tired in the latter stages and Hiller Jones won it for Grinstead with a cracking strike five minutes from time. Rye have the consolation, however, of being the division’s highest scorers.
Sidley started their game slowly and went behind when they left a free kick for each other, allowing the ball to bounce into the corner of the net. Arundel failed to fashion another chance of note during the first half, though, and Sidley bossed the second period with the wind at their backs.
Sam Willett finally equalised following a succession of corners and at that stage the Blues looked the more likely winners only for Arundel to nab a 94th minute winner through Brad Lewis. It was Sidley’s fifth successive defeat, yet they will feel they were the better side in three of those games.
See Friday’s Observers for full reports and reaction. Several matches were played in the division this afternoon (Monday) and Chichester City stunned champions Peacehaven & Telscombe to move out of the three relegation places with Dorking Wanderers taking their place.
Sussex Division One standings (played 42 matches unless stated): 1 Peacehaven & Telscombe 94pts, 2 Redhill (41) 90, 3 East Preston (41) 85, 4 RYE UNITED 83, 5 Pagham 83, 6 Lingfield 76, 7 East Grinstead Town 69, 8 Ringmer 69, 9 Hassocks (41) 67, 10 Horsham YMCA 64, 11 St Francis Rangers 59, 12 Hailsham Town (41) 53, 13 Lancing 52, 14 Arundel 50, 15 Crowborough Athletic 50, 16 SIDLEY UNITED 46, 17 Shoreham 46, 18 Selsey 45, 19 Chichester City 42, 20 Dorking Wanderers 41, 21 AFC Uckfield 19, 22 Worthing United 16.