Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Blunham Reserves

Competition League - Division One
Result Blunham Reserves 2-2 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 13 November 2010
Kick Off 2.00pm

Match Report

It was derby day for Sandy FC away to local rivals Blunham Reserves and it proved to be an afternoon that lived up to the occasion. In respect to the thousands that have lost their lives protecting the country an impeccable minutes silence was held by both teams prior to kick off due to it being armistice day on Sunday. This was to be the calm before the storm though as once the whistle went to signal the beginning of the game both teams were down to business.

Blunham started the better and took the lead in the opening minute. A long ball over the top caught out Mark Pallister in the Sandy goal allowing forward Darren Ashpole to nip in and tap the ball past him. This goal shell shocked the away side and Blunham tore into them trying to force another error. Pallister was called upon to make a couple of solid saves geting his confidence back and then looking solid for the rest of the game. Despite the shaky start from the rearranged back four due to the abscence of Phil Beall slowly but surely they began to settle down and looked more and more assured. 

Sandy finally began to get a foothold in the game and on 15 minutes the home side should have been down to ten men as Craig Baker was hauled down on the edge of the box after being put through on goal. The referee decided that he wasn't the last defender and that it wasn't in the box and Ray Mckeating on his return to the team after injury curled the free kick just over. This signalled the start of a period that Sandy dominated, cauing the home side no end of problems. Charlie Seward had a chance to be one on one with the keeper after being put through, but due to the undulating pitch he just fell over before getting to the ball. However it was Seward who got the equaliser with his second goal in two games. From a Dean Hains throw Seward and Ian Hammett combined to give the ball to Craig Baker on the edge of the box, Baker then slipped the ball through to Seward who muscled between two defenders to finish well at the near post.

Sandy were now pressing to take the lead, but they couldn't find the break through. Some excellent footbll was being played by the side and they were all over their Blunham opposition. They had a chance to take the lead when Hammett squared the ball from the left flank but as it eluded Seward at the near post no one was following up!! However the home side took the lead again on thirty minutes as again Ashpole had some luck with the ball breaking to him off Pallister and allowing him to tap home into the empty net. Sandy though as demanded by their manager didn't drop their heads and immediatley began to get back into the game. Two minutes before half time they were level as Ray Mckeating slotted a ball down the line finding Ian Hammett who had timed his run perfectly. Hammett advanced into the box and drew the keeper before squaring to Craig Baker for him to tap the ball home into the empty net. It was no less than Sandy deserved and meant the scores were level at half time 2-2.

At half time Manager Ian Hammett demanded a performance from his side and they responded cutting out their mistakes and dominatng the home side for 45 minutes. Mark Pallister hardly had a save to make as Phil Beall who had arrived at half time slotted back into his usual position giving Sandy their first choice back four that looked superb. Adam Hales moved out to the left wing as Hammett withdrew Ray Mckeating due to a knee injury to protect him. Even without the influential McKeating the away side looked strong. Although for the first twenty minutes the chances didn't come as the final ball let them down.

Phil Beall and Matt Evans were looking solid at the back with both Shane Pope and Richard Seldon looking untroubled at Full Back and Mark Jennings playing a solid role in front of the back four. This meant that Sandy had a strong platform on which to build and they looked the better team for most of the contest.

It was to be only a matter of time though before the pressure told and it was Richard Seldon with the first chance as the right back played a lovely one two with Dean Hains only to be flagged offside as he deftly chipped the ball home. Ian Hammett then made a break down the left but his square ball couldn't find Seward or Hains who were trying their best to get into the box. Hammett himself was then releasde by Richard Seldon down the left and as he got into the box his left foot shot whilst under pressure was well saved by the Blunham keeper. Sandy were pushing and finding more and more space in which to play as they pressured the Blunham back four into errors.

Dean Hain should of given Sandy the lead with 15 minutes to go when he as put through by a Charlie Seward flick, but his shot was straight at the keeper. Ian Hammett then had two chances to win the game, the first he was put through by Mark Jennings and when one on one with the keeper sliced his shot wide. The second he was put through by Dean Hains down the right flank. He cut inside but dragged his shot wide of the far post when he should of done better. These were the two chances that Sandy had been waiting for, and Hammett was visibly frustrated that he failed to take either of them.

It was harsh on the away side that they couldn't find the goal that would win them the game as it was what they deserved, however unlike previous weeks Sandy looked solid until the final whistle and never looked like conceeding again to their opponents. It was a performance that they could be proud of and meant that for the first time this season they have gone two games unbeaten. They will hope to take this form into next week as they entertain Caldecote Reserves at Bedford Road. Final Score 2-2.




Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (8)
2. Richard Seldon (8)
3. Shane Pope (8)
3. Matt Evans (8)
4. Charlie Seward (8)
4. Mark Jennings (8)
9. Ian Hammett (7)
11. Craig Baker (8)
36. Ray McKeating (8)


17. Phil Beall (8)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Charlie Seward
1 x Craig Baker


1 x Craig Baker
1 x Ian Hammett

Man of the Match:

11. Craig Baker


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