Sidley United go through thanks to extra-time volley from Elphick

A terrific extra time volley from Ash Elphick sent Sidley into the Second Round of the Sussex FA Intermediate Cup and a trip to former County League rivals Southwick.
Extra Time Hero Ash ElphickExtra Time Hero Ash Elphick
Extra Time Hero Ash Elphick

The Blues gave a debut to recent signing Steve Hickman-Smith with Josh Elliott-Noye pushing into midfield. The first half was a tight affair with Sidley shading both the play and the chances whilst the home side looked mainly to use the threat of the pacy Baz Ajala on the break.

On 39 minutes Sidley took the lead as a Rotherfield player tried to shepherd the ball out for a throw on the left hand side and Charlie Cornford robbed him, drove into the penalty area and found the far corner of the net with a powerful low finish which Sidley took to the break.

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Another competitive half of football followed in the second period in which Rotherfield drew level on 56 minutes. Blues goalkeeper Michael Platt made a good save from a strike from just outside the area but a few moments later he couldn't keep out a very similar effort by Alan Haugh.

Both sides pushed for a winner although there seemed an inevitability of the match going to extra time, despite a very strong late shout for a Sidley penalty which was waved away and a good chance at the far post for Sean Baldwin which went over the bar.

The first additional period passed with little major activity but on 111 minutes Sidley were back in front. Lee Carey did well on the right and the cross into the middle was met with a hooked volley by Elphick which flew into the top corner.

There was still time for Platt to make an excellent save to tip a Rotherfield free kick onto the bar before the ball was cleared but Sidley saw out the final moments to book their place in Round Two.

Sidley Team: Platt, Clifford, Walker, Hickman-Smith, Whybourne (McEniry), Elliott-Noye, Wells (Thompson), Foster, Cornford (Ellis), Carey, Baldwin (Elphick).