Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Caldecote Res

Competition Cup - East Beds Charity Cup Round 2
Result Sandy 1st Team 1-1 Caldecote Res
Sandy 1st Team lost 8-9 on penalties
Date Tuesday 13 September 2011
Kick Off 6.00pm

Match Report

On a blustery evening at Bedford Road, Sandy were to entertain local rivals Caldecote Reserves in the 2nd Round of the East Beds Charity Cup. Having lost to the same opposition at the same stage of the competition for the last two years the home side were keen to make amends.

After a disappointing result at the weekend manager Ian Hammett made a couple of changes to the side, with JJ returning at the heart of the defence and Chris Nicholls returning to the midfield after saturdays 'needle gate' incident. Ryan Gregory was also called up to the first team and took his place on the bench alongside Charlie Seward and Luke Morgan.

Keen to make up for a poor performance Sandy started well and signalled their intent right from kick off. Chris Nicholls and Ian Hammett combined to carve straight through the visiting side, but Chris's touch was a little too heavy as he tried to burst through meaning the ball ran to the keeper. Just as they had been asked the team organised themselves well and settled qucikly to the task at hand. JJ at the heart of the defence organised and marshalled the back line well, with Phil Beall returning to his usual solid form. Both centre backs worked well to cut out long balls and stifle the threat of Caldecote's front men.

Nicholls was pulling the strings well in midfield spreading the ball around well and Sandy looked like a much improved side. Despite the strong football they couldn't quite find the clear chance that they needed. The best of the early chances came through a succession of corners taken by Hammett which were begging to be stuck away. The fourth corner in a row should of seen Sandy score as Hammett drilled the ball in and somehow Staf couldn't get anything on the ball rueing the chance to have scored with a diving header. Staf was not having the best of luck in front of goal during the game as chances fell his way. Hammett was running the channels well and Matt Gedney found him down the left. Hammett's square ball was on a plate for Staf, but unluckily he stepped on the ball and then couldn't recover to slot the ball home. He did find the target shortly after with a shot from a tight angle that the keeper saved well down low.

As the half wore on the home side dropped their pace a little and let Caldecote back in. The visiting side played some nice football, but were finding it hard to break down the home side who were well organised. Richard Seldon and Shane Pope were strong again at full backs and Matt Evans and Matt Gedney were working well on the flanks to provide support. Nathan Morris in the Sandy goal had very little to do other than take goal kicks as Caldecote failed to trouble him other than from the odd corner or free kick. 

The referee was again struggling to keep up with the pace of the game and both sides were the victim of poor decisions that stopped the flow of the game. Sandy resisted the pressure that Caldecote put on them and towards the end of the half they once again were in the ascendancy. Some excellent football was being played but again they couldn't capitalise. Staf had another shot that went just wide, then he and Matt Evans just failed to get on the end of a Hammett free kick. Hammett himself then fired a free kick into the wall. Shane Pope was getting into the contest at left back and his cross almost found Matt Evans in the box, but he missed the header by millimetres. With the ref only playing 35 minute halves the visitors were pleased when the whistle blew for halftime as they were under the cosh. Halftime 0-0.

Sandy started the second period with confidence but were to concede a freak own goal just 60 seconds into the half after Shane Pope had given away a free kick on the edge of the box. The ball was whipped in dangerously with JJ, Beally and Nathan all going for it under pressure from Caldecote players. The ball hit Beally and looped up into the air, for a second nobody knew where it had gone. Morris turned to face his own goal and as he reached to gather in the dropping ball it hit his shin and he kicked it into the net accidently. This was harsh on Sandy who had defended so well.

Keen to make up for the error Sandy tried to lift their heads and pressure the opposition. Mark Jennings was demanding that they win the ball high and the team were pressing well, keeping the shape and again making it hard for Caldecote. Morris was called into action to keep the score at 1-0 shortly after as he made a fine save to tip the ball around the post from long range.

Despite some good play again it was the home sides final ball that was letting them down as they couldn't find the opportunity to test the keeper. Staf did have one individual run down the left flank cutting into the box and firing at the goal from a tight angle but the keeper smothered it well. he almost got away on a couple of other through balls, but the ball just held up in the wind and wouldn't quite sit for the Sandy striker. His best chance of the second half came when Hammett was released down the right by Matt Evans. Hammett crossed again finding Staf in the box, but he fired his first time shot over the bar.

Searching for the goal that would draw them level manager Ian Hammett made a couple of changes with Ryan Gregory and Charlie Seward replacing Matt Evans and Matt Gedney. Gregory almost made an instant impact as a corner was cleared straight to him on the edge of the box, but he fired over from 18 yards out. Seward was trying to get the ball down and play cross field balls to switch the angle of attack.

With the clock starting to tick down Staf finally found his goalscoring boots as Gregory released him down the left flank, he beat two defenders and then rolled the ball past the keeper into the far corner of the net. This galvanised Sandy and they pushed forward looking for the goal that could give them a deserved win and avoid the dreaded penalty shoot out. However they ran out of time and couldn't force an effort on goal meaning that we would now come down to the lottery of penalties to decide the contest. Score at final whistle 1-1

JJ, Staf, Hammett and Charlie took and scored the first four penalties and converted them all in style gving the keeper no chance. For Caldecote Dupey, Basta, Cookman and Giles replied to keep the scores level, although Morris did get hands to Giles penalty kick but couldn't keep it out. Ryan Gregory then stepped up but his kick was well saved by Ben Welch and Andrew Spiers then stepped up to try and win the tie for Caldecote. Nathan Morris though had other ideas as he made a splendid full length save to tip the ball away and keep the match alive.

Now into Sudden death it was Pope, Beally, Morris and Nicholls that stepped up and scored Sandy's next four spot kicks. Pope trickled his penalty into the corner and then Beally fired his into the roof of the net when many thought it would go over. For Caldecote Gower, Kemp, Endersby and Aris replied to make the score 8-8, with Morris not able to get near any of the kicks. This meant that the less than confident looking Richard Seldon had to step up for Sandy and his kick was saved by Welch, who then stepped up himself to send Morris the wrong way and win the match for Caldecote.

It was a tough result to take for the home side who had been by far the better side throughout and most neutrals would have agreed they deserved to win. However it wasn't to be and they will look to bounce back on Saturday with a trip to Lea Sports PSG. Final score 1-1 (8-9 pens).        

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

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


3. Ryan Gregory (7)
4. Charlie Seward (7)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Daniel Stafford


1 x Ryan Gregory

Man of the Match:

18. Chris Nicholls


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