Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v AFC Kempston Town and BC Reserves

Competition League - Division One
Result Sandy 1st Team 2-0 AFC Kempston Town and BC Reserves
Date Saturday 15 October 2011
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

After two disappointing results Sandy were looking to bounce back and give their season a bit of a kick start in what has become a very competitive league already this year. Missing a few players Manager Ian Hammett shuffled the pack handing Olly Banfield a start on the right wing and Shane Pope was given the nod at left back. Nathan Morris also returned from injury to take his place between the sticks, meaning that defender Luke Morgan was relieved of the shot stopping duties and dropped to the bench.

The home side had a bit to prove after they capitulated in the second half last week and they started the game at a high intensity as they looked to establish their superiority on the visitors. Closing down quickly they weren't giving AFC Kempston a chance to settle and within minutes they were ahead. After some nice football down the right hand side the ball was switched out to the left, where Shane Pope marauded forwards into the space. He curled in a delightful cross which found Staf at the back post who steered his header into the bottom corner of the goal, leaving the keeper no chance.

It was just the start that Sandy wanted and it immediatley settled the nerves. Starting to find the free flowing football that had been missing for a few weeks they moved the ball around well and then closed down as a team when they lost the ball. JJ and Phil Beall returned to form at the centre of the Sandy defence clearing up everything that was thrown at them and allowing Sandy to play footbal in the opponents half. Shane Pope was enjoying his return to the starting line up and gave the Kempston right winger no space or time allowing Matt Evans to push on and create problems down the left flank.

Richard Seldon and Olly Banfield were also working well down the right flank again shutting down the opposition but also getting forward well. Seldon curled in a couple of good crosses himself but although Staf won the header each time he couldn't quite direct his efforts towards goal. Banfield tried to find Hammett with a diagonal through ball, but Hammetts touch let him down and the ball got away into the arms of the keeper. From one such cross on the right hand side Staf almost made it two nil as the ball dropped to him on the edge of the area. He struck it first time and it looked to be flying into the top corner, only for the Kempston keeper to make a full stretch diving save to tip it round the post. 

Rob Tapley was exerting his influence on the game as he continued his return from injury to once again form a strong partnership with Mark Jennings in the middle of the park and even though they were outnumbered they coped well and ensured Sandy kept a solid look about them. AFC Kempston didn't offer much threat in the first half and were reduced to crosses and through balls from a long way out, most of which were over hit and able to be gathered in easily by Nathan Morris. They only really troubled Sandy when the home side gave away the ball themselves, but everyone was recovering well and the team snuffed out any danger.

Half chances were being created, Hammett found Jennings at the back post from a free kick, but he couldn't quite stab the ball goalwards and ended up being penalised for handball. Then Phil Beall headed just over from a Hammett corner, and it was looking like it was only a matter of time before they would double their lead. However the second goal didn't come until a minute before half time. Staf burst down the right handside and then looked to square the ball to Hammett. The Keeper palmed the cross away but it fell to Tapley in the box. Tappers scuffed a left foot shot under the keeper and into the net after running about fifty yards to catch up and was so tired he couldn't even celebrate properly. It was no more than the home side had deserved and demonstrated their dominance of the first 45 minutes. Half time 2-0

Kempston came out strongly at the start of the second half and after a good attack from Sandy they immediately countered and put some pressure on the home sides goal. There final effort was poor though as they fired the ball over the bar. Sandy then had the perfect chance to make it 3-0 and end their opponents chances as Staf went on a mazy run into the box and then was pulled down just as he was about pull the trigger. Hammett stepped up to take the kick, but although he sent the keeper the wrong way the usually reliable penalty taker hit the outside of the post and to Kempstons relief the score stayed the same.

This did seem to galvanise them somewhat though and they enjoyed their best spell of the game. Morris was required to make his one and only save of the contest as he was tested from long range, but he was more than equal to the task with a little showboating for the camera's (Although Sharon Seldon forgot to bring hers!!!). Morris spectacularly tipped the ball over the bar, although it wasn't as good as the Kempston keepers save in the first half. Sandy were staying solid though as the back four worked hard to clear everything and did a very good job.

Staf was still trying to find a second goal, but again the keeper denied him as Matt Evans slotted him through on goal, but from close range the keeper blocked. Staf then also went on a run from the left hand side cutting in field and then firing the ball just wide from the edge of the area. Hammett then thought he had made up for his missed penalty as Pope curled in his second good cross of the game. Hammett got in front of the keeper and headed the ball into the empty net, but to his amazement the ref had called play back for an offside decision when he had clearly run through the defence.

The home side weren't about to allow this to stop them though and Hammett brought on Matt Gedney and Luke Morgan to sure up defensive shape of the team. Rob Tapley moved into a more advanced role and was enjoying the freedom of playing just off Hammett. They were combining well and Tappers got through only to have his shot blocked away for a corner. Beally then headed wide from that corner.

Kempston kept pushing to try and find a way back into the contest but Sand had a formidable unit on the pitch and headed or cleared everything away. The team conentrated well and worked hard to keep a clean sheet. Even Club Chairman/linesman Colin Osborne was having an excellent game. Known for the odd controversial decision he had a solid game and can be proud of his performance. 

Manager Ian Hammett was happy with the sides performance and said the team to could look forward to a run of games over the next few weeks where they may pick up a few more points. Final score 2-0.  


Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Daniel Stafford (8)
2. Richard Seldon (8)
3. Matt Evans (8)
3. Shane Pope (8)
4. Mark Jennings (8)
7. Rob Tapley (8)
8. John-Joe Pekszyc (8)
9. Ian Hammett (7)
13. Nathan Morris (8)
13. Olly Banfield (8)
17. Phil Beall (8)


2. Luke Morgan (8)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Rob Tapley
1 x Daniel Stafford


1 x Daniel Stafford
1 x Shane Pope

Man of the Match:

3. Shane Pope


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