Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v AFC Turvey

Competition Friendly - Pre Season Friendly
Result Sandy 1st Team 1-0 AFC Turvey
Date Wednesday 10 August 2011
Kick Off 6.15pm

Match Report

Ex Sandy manager Daniel Bailey brought his Division 2 side AFC Turvey to Bedford Road as both sides looked to continue with positive pre season preparations. It was to prove to be an unhappy return though as the home side produced some excellent football throughout to keep their third successive clean sheet and pick up the win.

Sandy welcomed back Rob Tapley and Mark Jennings from injury, as both were strapped up and full of nurofen. This meant that Luke Morgan and Olly Banfield were to drop to the bench and JJ moved into centre back alongside Phil Beall.

The home side started qucikly and settled well, pressuring the visitors high up the pitch and then using the ball well once it was in their possession. There was an air of calm composure about Sandy where as at times against Elstow they had looked rushed, they took their time to create openings and made Turvey struggle to get into the contest. Sandy passed the ball around well with each player vocal and supporting each other.

Despite Sandy's early pressure they didn't create any clear cut chances as Turvey's backline held firm, and it was the visitors that produced the first chance of note, as a freekick was cleared to the edge of the box. Turveys right winger cut inside and looped a shot towards goal, the wind caused the ball to dip and Pally had to be at his best to tip the ball over.

Sandy's defence was proving to be more than a match for everything that Turvey could throw at it, as they defended as a unit and restricted the visitors to shots from outside the box. Mike Stephenson had a couple of long range efforts for Turvey that sailed well wide.

Sandy took the lead about twenty five minutes into the contest when from a trademark long throw from Matt Evans, the Ball was cleared out to Shane Pope who had been enjoying a lot of space at full back. Pope whipped the ball first time into the box and Turvey defender Andrew Wren misjudged the flight of the ball. Staf nipped in behind him took a touch and then fired the ball past the Turvey keeper who was routed to the line. It was no more than the home side deserved and they looked to increase the pressure.

Turvey were only having joy when the home side gave the ball away and they did have a couple of dangerous freekicks and corners during the first period. Andrew Wren glanced a header just wide under pressure from Phil Beall, and Mark Allen curled a free kick wide. Pally was once again called into action to make a good save down to his left as the ball looked destined for the bottom corner, but he was in sparkling form. Minutes later he again saved the home side with a good one on one save, and then was relieved to see the rebound fired into the side netting even though Phil Beall had the near post covered.

Sandy almost made it 2-0 when Hammett swung a corner into the back post, where JJ connected well with the ball, it took a defelection as it sailed towards the net looping up before being cleared off the line from under the cross bar by the man on the post. Staf then had his second clear chance of the game as Phil Beall made one his trademark Lucio type bursts from defence. His splendid reverse pass, slipped through Staf on goal but he dragged his left foot shot just past the far post.

Sandy then won a freekick in a dangerous position and Hammett played it to Jennings who had pulled out wide and he found Staf at the back post, but as he tried to square the header it was cleared away. Richard Seldon then created a chance for Rob Tapley as he delivered a wicked ball into the box, but the Turvey keeper was again routed to the spot and was relieved when the ball bounced into his hands a little too far in front of the stretching Tapley.

Seldon and Pope where enjoying the space to get forward and linking well with the midfield. Chris Nicholls was getting involved in the play well and encouraging Pope to get forward as well as helping Tapley with play making. Jennings despite struggling on one leg, was his usual destructive force breaking up play and then rampaging forwards to support Hammett and Staf who worked hard to press the Turvey backline into mistakes. For all their good football though they couldn't find the second goal before half time and the scoreline remained at 1-0.

Turvey made slight changes to their formation at half time and started the second half much stronger, settling into some passing football and for the opening ten or fifteen minutes really tested the Sandy backline. JJ and Phil Beall though were marshalling the defence well and limited the chances of the visitors again to long range efforts and set pieces. Pope and Seldon weren't able to get forward as much but their strong tackling was also discouraging the Turvey players. Each one of the back four had some stand out moments as they won their personal battles with the players that they were up against and this proved to be frustrating the visiting side.

After suffering a heavy tackle from Andrew Wren, Rob Tapley was replaced to protect his ankle on 55 minutes, with Chris Nicholls moving into centre midfield and Olly Banfield coming on the left flank. Sandy though have good strength in depth this season and coped with the loss well as Nicholls linked the play beautifully with his clever pass and move football. Banfield also started to cause problems with his athleticism, and he almost had a chance to open his account for the club as he supported Staf and then weaved his way between three players in the box, unfortunately the ball was taken off his toe just as he was about to shoot.

Sandy were coming back into the contest now as they searched for that second goal that would effectively kill off the game. Mark Jennings dragged a shot wide from the edge of the box, and Staf almost picked up his second goal with a spectacular strike that sailed just wide. Under pressure Turvey were starting to give the ball away again in dangerous positions and some more intricate football from the home side created a couple of shooting chances from Chris Nicholls who fired over with one and forced the keeper into a save with the other.

Sandy then lost man of the match Pally to a shoulder injury after a Turvey player fell on him whilst he collected the ball after another good save. Luke Morgan jumped to the rescue and went straight in between the sticks, making a fine save himself from a Turvey corner, tipping the ball against the bar and preserving Sandy's clean sheet.

Phil Beall again decided he was Lucio with a burst down the left wing, carrying the ball right into the box. He laid it into Staf who couldn't turn and shoot, and the ball the fell back to Beally to who slide the ball across the open goalmouth and along the line, but there was no Sandy player close enough to tap the ball home. Beally was then again involved as he flick headed a Hammett free kick over the bar and then the two combined again from a corner but again Beally's header flew over the bar.

Hammett himself almost added a second from a free kick, but his high looping effort crashed back off the bar, evading the Sandy players in the box and being cleared by the visiting side. On the balance of play the home side probably deserved a second goal, but it was the team play that brought the most encouragement. In a very good game the home side held on and came through with a strong 1-0 win against a decent Turvey side who will challenge for honours in div 2 for the coming season.




Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (9)
1. Daniel Stafford (8)
2. Richard Seldon (9)
3. Shane Pope (9)
3. Matt Evans (8)
4. Mark Jennings (9)
7. Rob Tapley (8)
8. John-Joe Pekszyc (9)
9. Ian Hammett (8)
17. Phil Beall (9)
18. Chris Nicholls (9)


2. Luke Morgan (8)
13. Olly Banfield (8)
20. Darren Gipson (8)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Daniel Stafford


1 x Shane Pope

Man of the Match:

1. Mark Pallister


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