The Wembley dream is over for another season for Sidlesham after they lost out in a very tight FA Vase first-round contest to high-flying Chatham Town.
Making the first round proper has been a major achievement for Sids, a club in transition but most definitely on the rise. But the game itself was a step to far.
In front of the biggest crowd seen at Sidlesham for many a season, spectators enjoyed a really good game. The visitors enjoyed the best of the early possession but were restricted to long-range shots as the Sids defence held firm.
Sids started to control proceedings and thought they had taken the lead when a long throw was forced home by Joe Gromett but the referee judged a foul on the keeper and the goal was ruled out.
Sids pushed on and went agonisingly close when Joe Manners unleashed a ferocious left-footed drive which was cleared off the line.
The visitors weathered the storm and went in at half-time break slightly fortunate to be level.
After the break Chatham changed their shape and caused Sids more problems and were rewarded when a quick throw was controlled and finished in style by a Chatham forward.
The visitors went for the kill but Sids held firm and came back into the game going close to an equaliser with efforts from Gromett and Corell.
But Chatham rode the storm and secured the tie with the last kick – as Sids pushed forward a long clearance was converted to finish the game.
Sids: Boyt, Low, Boulton (Dines), Madden, Bunker, Corell, Chittock, Agostinelli, Manners, Mepham (Lee-Smith), Gromett (Dean).
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* Selsey manager Daren Pearce admitted his side weren’t good enough in the first half despite their thumping home victory.
Pearce’s side beat Billingshurst 6-0 on Saturday as Ryan Morey and Tom Jefkins both got two.
Pearce said: “We weren’t great in the first half. The tempo wasn’t there. The lads didn’t pass the ball well enough, so we had a few harsh words at half-time, and then they responded in the right way.
“We used the ball a lot quicker, and they did exactly what we asked them to do, and they had the fruits of what they deserved in the end.
“If they carry on with what they’re doing, they’ll end up with the ball in the back of the net, which they did very well in the second half. With a good crowd, it’s always nice to score a few goals, because we owed them one.”
It was Selsey’s first win in five league games and pushed them in to eighth place in division one of the SCFL.
It took 41 minutes for the opening goal and it was an own goal. But goals in the 67th, 69th, and the 70th minute from Morey, substitute John Phillips and Jefkins made sure of the victory for the hosts.
Three minutes from the end, Jefkins claimed his second along with Morey, who scored in injury time, to get Selsey’s sixth of the game.
Selsey will travel to Mile Oak on Saturday in the league.
Selsey: C Kelly, Mockford-Allott, T Kelly, Hambleton, Higgins-Pearce, Atkinson, Dowdell, Jefkins, Bennett, Bassil, Morey. Subs: Phillips, Bush, Britton.
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* Midhurst lost 3-1 at home to unbeaten leaders AFC Varndeanians. Scott Packer put the East Sussex side ahead before Liam Dreckmann levelled.
A second-half double from Matt Waterman sealed the win for the visitors, who have dropped only two points in their first ten games.
The Stags are at home to Littlehampton on Saturday.