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Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Bedford Sports Athletic

Competition League - Division One
Result Sandy 1st Team 5-4 Bedford Sports Athletic
Date Saturday 08 January 2011
Kick Off 2.00pm
Attendance15

Match Report

Bedford Road finally saw some football as Sandy returned to action after a 4 week winter break and the game certainly didn't disappoint. A nine goal thriller was the outcome of a hard fought game between two sides who are evenly matched each time they play.

Sandy handed first team debuts to their new signings Daniel Stafford and Rob Tapley signed from Great Barford over the Christmas break and Luke Morgan started on the bench also signed from Great Barford as part of the same transfer deal. Dean Hains and Charlie Seward were the others who missed out on a starting place this week.

The game couldn't of started any worse for the home side though as Bedford SA scored within the 1st minute. Some sloppy play from Sandy gave the ball to the visitors whose right winger crossed into the box for Richard Seldon to be out jumped at the back post by the Beds SA forward who headed home well. The goal came well before either team had settled into any sort of fluency in their play, but did seem to stun the home side into action and for the next few minutes they enjoyed a more composed passage of play. Rob Tapley and Dan Satfford were starting to settle in and Sandy began to create opportunities, and the new players both combined with Ian Hammett to pull the home side level. Tapley played a one two with Stafford, but his shot was blocked and it fell kindly to Ian Hammett who blasted the ball home into the roof of the net from 5 yards out.

It was then almost two as Staff and Hammett combined again, this time Staff was put through by Hammett but his shot was well blocked by the keeper. Then against the run of play Bedford scored again with an outrageous cross shot which lobbed Mark Pallister in the Sandy goal. Whether it was an intentional effort from the player but it found the only place in the goal that Pallister couldn't get too and out the visitors back in front.

From that point on though for the rest of the first half it was all the home side as Sandy dominated the play. JJ Pekszyc starting on the right was finding space on a regular basis and Rob Tapley was starting to pull the strings in midfield. Sandy also looked more settled at the back as they held their shape better, snuffing out all Beds SA attacks and not allowing them to threaten the goal again. It wasn't long before Sandy were level again as Staff's long range effort was allowed to slip through the fingers of the keeper, he managed to recover though and stop the ball on the line, but then in desperation he scooped the ball out rather than pick it up and Hammett was on hand to rush in and blast the ball home from a yard out. The two combined again this time with Staff releasing Hammett whose left foot shot trickled wide. Stafford then opened his account for Sandy after good work from JJ on the right found him in the box six yards out and he spun and shot powerfully home to give Sandy the lead.

Carig Baker then got in on the action as he made it 4 - 2. However some thanks had to go to the goalkeeper who fumbled Baker's 30 yards shot into the net, when really he should of done better as it wasn't exactly a thirty yard screamer. It was the fortune though that Sandy's play deserved and it could of been more as Baker and Tapley had long range efforts that went wide. Richard Seldon and Shane Pope where getting more involved in the game at full back positions supporting the attacks and Mark Jennings was breaking up play well in the centre of the park. With five minutes of the half to go it was 5 as Stafford's powerful run and shot was saved by the keeper, but Ian Hammett ran in to tap the ball home and make sure of the goal whilst completing his first half hat trick. It was no less than the home side deserved as they had blown their opponents away! Half time 5 - 2.

Sandy knew that the next goal would be crucial and having thrown away a two goal lead in their last game manager Ian Hammett was keen to stress at half time the need to kill the game off. However Sandy once again failed to do this and allowed the visitors back into the game. At the start of the half though they looked comfortable and it seemed that it would only be a matter of time before they added to their lead, but as tiredness began to set in, the final ball began to let the home side down.

Satfford was replaced by Charlie Seward and Rob Tapley was replaced by Dean Hains as they looked to freshen things up and shortly after coming on Seward was almost put through by Hammett, but the pass was just too heavy. Followng the changes a mad few minutes occurred where the visitors got back into the game and clawed it back to 5 - 4. the first gaol came from a neat finish after a well worked goal and the second came from some fine individual work in the box by the Beds SA forward who chested the ball down with his back to goal controlled it on his thigh and then turned and shot into the corner leaving Pallister with no chance.

It meant a tense last twenty five minutes for the home side as they withstood a barrage of free kicks and crosses. Man of the match Mark Jennings worked tirelessly in midfield closing everything done and shutting out attack after attack. Mark Pallister was dominant in goal as he came and collected several crosses under pressure, and punched well. He also made a good save from a long range effort with five minutes to go that could of drawn the visitors level. Luke Morgan came on in difficult circumstances to make his debut, and playing out of position in front of the back four he settled well heading away almost eveything that came his way.

Charlie Seward had the chance to make the game safe late on when an Ian Hammett corner found him free in the box, but his first time shot went wide. He also tested the keeper with a left foot effort, which the keeper almost fumbled straight to Craig Baker, but he managed to recover in time. With the clock ticking down Sandy defended for their lives and for what seemed like an age they defended free kick after free kick. Finally though the referee brought the game to a close and Sandy held on to take 3 points and extend their unbeaten run to five games. Final Score 5 - 4.  

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (8)
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 (8)
11. Craig Baker (8)
17. Phil Beall (8)

Subs:

2. Luke Morgan (8)
4. Charlie Seward (7)

Goal Scorers:

3 x Ian Hammett
1 x Daniel Stafford
1 x Craig Baker

Assists:

2 x John-Joe Pekszyc
2 x Daniel Stafford
1 x Rob Tapley

Man of the Match:

4. Mark Jennings

 

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