Sidlesham can't go extra Mile - but give new boss hope
A 2-1 home defeat to Mile Oak was was not the start SidleshamÂ had in mind as they started the new SCFL division-one campaign under the leadership of former Selsey manager Steve Bailey.
But after a shaky first half the new-look Sids side came into their own and were really unlucky not to get at least a point.
Bailey fielded an entirely new squad, all 14 making their Sids debuts, and the home side looked comfortable in possession and under no real threat from the visitors.
On 27 minutes the game changed when a hopeful punt into the box was fumbled by home keeper Warren Boyt and the ball ended in the net, going down as an own goal.
Sids were shaken and Mile Oak went for blood. Boyt partly redeemed himself, diving low to tip one effort round the post as Oak pushed forward.
However the second goal came shortly afterwards as the impressive Callum Wells picked the ball up on the edge of the box and a clever turn gave him space to roll the ball into the corner of the net.
Sids were hanging on at this part as they struggled to steady the ship but skipper Rob Madden rallied his troops and the home side went in at half time just two down.
A half-time pep talk worked wonders and Sids were a different side in the second half. Able to dictate play and keep the visitors penned in for long periods.
Barney Hitchcock was a thorn in Mile Oak’s side all afternoon with his bursting runs and was unlucky not to score when he slid in missing by inches.
Undeterred, Sids pulled one back when Ben Mepham cut in from the left and smashed the ball into the top corner.
Mepham was unlucky again when his free-kick clipped the bar and another went narrowly over but it wasn’t to be and Mile Oak held on.
A defeat, yes, but there was enough on show to suggest Sidlesham will be able to hold their own this season.
Sids: Boyt, Low, Boulton, Madden, Dines, Agostinelli, Lynch, Mepham, Hitchcock, Kilhams, Gromett. Subs: Dean, Crees, Lillywhite.