Hollington edge another win - Sidley are hit for six
Hollington made it two Mid Sussex League wins from two - but Sidley let in six against Balcombe
After an impressive 6-0 win over Sporting Lindfield last time out, Hollington faced the challenge of Forest Row , who sat below Hollington in the league after drawing 1-1 with Sidley in the previous game.
The match was tense from the start with both sides cautious. Despite the first half being pretty even, Forest Row had a very good chance in the early stages but their striker couldn’t find the net from close range.
The home team also had chances to take the lead but couldn’t convert them into goals.
With a huge three points at stake, neither team could afford to slip up. Hollington looked in control of the second half and came close once again after Sam Crutwell volleyed just wide. Although they had the chances, the Lions couldn’t take them.
Eventualy the Lions got a deserved lead through a goal from Crutwell in the 75th minute. Crutwell had the ball on the left hand side of the box and fizzed a low ball through and after a deflection the ball found its way into the back of the net. Hollington saw out Forest Row’s chances in the last few minutes and got a deserved win.
Boss Scott Price said: “To get a side out today after Saturday was something I didn’t think we’d be able to do with so many players still missing. We’ve taken a bit of stick for signing two players although we have nine first team players absent. All I asked for was to give me what they had left after Saturday and to be fair everyone did that and it came down to that little bit of quality which we had.
"Sam Crutwell started and finished off a great move. Even with 10 men (which I thought was very harsh) we dealt with it. It was a tight game and, to be fair, they are a decent side but I thought we were better. We now have four days' rest before we go again and I have no idea who’s available or even if I’m available as we all have families who have been locked away too and, like the players, that comes first still.”
by Jake Lovell
Balcombe 6 Sidley United 1 - MSFL Premier Division
Sidley United's hopes of winning the MSFL this season took a huge dent as they suffered a heavy defeat at Balcombe.
On a bumpy, lopsided pitch Sidley could have felt aggrieved at another soft penalty decision going against them when the referee gave a handball. But this time Phil Hawkins was unable to keep the spot kick out as Will Howes netted on nine minutes.
Sidley did draw level though when Josh Elliott-Noye headed home a corner on 18 minutes but that turned out to be as good as it got for the Blues. Balcombe went back in front on 26 minutes as a ball through the centre of the Sidley defence found Howes and he slotted home via the inside of the post.
And Balcombe made it 3-1 before half time as left back Ted Hoare somehow got through a number of Sidley players to slot past Hawkins. The nearby Zumba class may have distracted the referee who bizarrely chose to blow for half time a minute early.
The second half didn't offer any shift in momentum and the game was effectively killed off on 62 minutes when a long kick from the Balcombe goalkeeper bounced all the way through to Howes who headed over Hawkins to complete his hat-trick.
Further gloss was added to the score as Brandon Pugh netted a terrific free kick from easily 25 yards on 71 minutes before Tom Tolfrey curled in a left foot finish on 85 minutes from just inside the area to round off the scoring for a fully deserved home win.
It was a tough afternoon for the Blues who now find the title charge out of their control. Sidley will welcome Sporting Lindfield to The Pilot Field on Saturday.
Sidley: Hawkins, Clifford, Walker, Whybourne, Elliott-Noye, Bristow, Thompson, Foster, Ellis, Carey, Baldwin. Subs: McEniry, Elphick, Ranson, Funnell.