Sidley share points in amazing match

SIDLEY United clinched a 2-2 draw from an amazing Sussex Division One match at East Preston.

Supporters were treated to four penalties (including a twice taken spot-kick), another not given and three United injuries in the first half.

The penalties were the major bone of contention with Sidley's joint manager Andy Laskey hotly disputing the award of EP's first, the re-take of their second and the judgment not to give them a second unopposed shot from 12 yards.

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"He (the referee) missed the most blatant penalty I have ever seen in my life," he said with reference to Karl Tarrant being "hammered up in the air" on the stroke of half time.

What the officials, in this instance one of the referee's assistants, didn't miss, however, was Blues' goalkeeper Rob Wiley encroaching "10 centimetres at the most" when saving the second EP penalty in the second half. And the ensuing decision to enforce a re-take, which caused "uproar" in the Sidley ranks, was met with the reaction that "you could have had that penalty 100 times and no-one would make them take it again". Sure enough, EP changed the taker and Josh Biggs tucked the ball into the corner from where Wiley made the original save.

The other spot-kick, and least consequential as it was met with another stop by penalty king Wiley, was given even though Laskey "didn't even see anyone appeal".

The one that did go Sidley's way came after 25 minutes when Dave Ward "was tripped up" just inside the area and Graham Morris converted to hand injury, suspension and unavailability ravaged Sidley a shock 2-0 lead. Tarrant, who maintained his run of scoring in every game in which he has played this season, put them one to the good in the fifth minute, seconds after Ben White was helped off with ankle ligament damage.

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Keith Miles' problematical calf flared up once more mid-way through the half ending his afternoon and EP, third last season, pulled one back through Jim Smith after Wiley claimed to have been impeded.

Dave Ward was the third man to be withdrawn at half time but the brave performance of the youngsters warmed Sidley's indignant hearts.