DESPITE dominating both the possession and chances, AFC Uckfield came home from their trip to Sidley last night empty handed following a 3-1 defeat.
Having played Sidley in the FA Vase and at home in the league, Wednesday’s meeting was the third between the two teams this season.
Due to an accident on the A27 at Firle and many of the AFC players coming from the Brighton area ,kick-off was postponed until 8pm.
Uckfield management had a full squad to choose from with Andy McDowell and Brad Manton back into the starting line-up.
The visitors won the toss and opted to defend the slope first half. It was evenly balanced in the early minutes with the first real action coming from the home side on seven minutes with two consecutive corners.
AFC’s first real chance came on nine minutes with a shot across the face of goal while United’s first decent chance to score resulted in a goal on 15 minutes from an AFC mistake.
The ball played square on the switch from Brad Manton to James Rhodes saw Rhodes dispossessed and an aerial ball was played into the box for Lewis Hole to knock down for Scott MacDonald to slot home from the left.
In response Ucks mounted an attack down their right, resulting in a curling shot by Drew Greenall just wide of the left hand angle.
After 23 minutes a heavy tackle in retaliation for an earlier incident by Mark Munday on Brad Manton saw the felled played jump up to take the freekick from just outside the D, forcing the Sidley keeper into making a stretching save just under the bar.
The last 15 minutes saw the visitors with a large amount of possession and they tested the United keeper on a number of occasions but failed to level before the break.
AFC came down the slope second half and were straight on the attack with a couple of good chances in the opening minutes.
On 51 minutes though, totally against the run of play a long ball over the top to Lewis Hole was the home side’s first venture out of their half. The player skipped between the Uckfield centre halves and shot past the advancing keeper to give Sidley a 2-0 lead.
On 58 minutes the visitors got their just rewards for their effort when Jack Divall broke down the right on a solo run, cut in, skipping the challenge and dispatched the ball low in the left hand corner.
The game was then played at a high tempo by both sides with Ucks pushing hard for the equaliser and United defending deep.
AFC threw men forward into attack and with 20 minutes remaining the visitors had their best chance of game when Rhodes rolled the ball across the goal for Gould only for Mark Munday to throw himself at the ball in a last ditch block to deny them.
The AFC chances continued in the final stages with the Utd keeper seemingly having the game of his life before, with four minutes remaining the sucker punch came from the hosts with a third from a corner as Sidley made it three wins from three against AFC Uckfield.
Uckfield will hope for better luck at home to Arundel on Saturday.