A brace of second half goals from Kevin Rose earned Sidley United a much-needed 2-1 win at home to Lancing tonight (Thursday).
Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray made a one-off appearance for the Blues to get some game-time under his belt following a four-match suspension, but it was his central defensive partner Rose who grabbed the headlines as Sidley overturned a half time deficit.
Both sides had half chances during a fairly even first half-hour. Chris Agutter and Ricky Martin had efforts saved for Sidley, and Jason Taylor shot wide of the far post, while at the other end, Greg Nessling just about kept out Darren Boswell’s shot at the second attempt and Jack Cooper did enough to put off Wayne Joseph following a dangerous cross from the Lancing right.
Sidley enjoyed a decent spell during the latter part of the first half. Rose saw a header from Taylor’s right wing corner saved and Sidley couldn’t quite turn home the rebound, while Matt Darby latched onto a great throughball from Ray but squared across goal to nobody when a shot might have been the better option.
The Blues fell behind against the run of play on the stroke of half time when a low cross from the Lancing left was turned into the bottom corner by the left boot of Will Berry.
Kicking down the slope in the second half, Sidley looked certain to equalise in the 64th minute only for Terry Payne’s close range header at the end of a slick move involving Chris Agutter and Taylor to be blocked on the line by Lancing skipper Adam Hunt.
They again came close moments later as Dean Boyd’s free kick from the byline on the left was deflected goalwards and cleared off the line. Martin then saw a well struck goalbound effort deflect just wide.
The goal Sidley had been threatening finally arrived in the 72nd minute. A cracking long range strike by captain Agutter came back off the crossbar for Rose, now playing up-front, to slam home the rebound. Rose also bagged the winner with another rebound 12 minutes later after Ray’s header from Boyd’s left wing corner was blocked on the line.
Lancing substitute Curt Foster then headed home from close range only to be flagged offside. In a dramatic period of added time, Rose went through after a fine tackle from Ashley Darby but didn’t get enough height on his chip and Ash Elms hit the crossbar at the other end seconds later.
Sidley’s second Sussex County Football League Division One victory since mid-November moved them up a place to sixth-from-bottom and gave them a four-point cushion over the three relegation places.
Sidley: Nessling, Cooper, Rea (Hales), Rose, Ray, Agutter, Taylor (Brown), M. Darby, Payne (A. Darby), Martin, Boyd. Subs not used: Cruikshank, Vinall.