Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Caldecote Reserves

Competition League - Division One
Result Sandy 1st Team 4-2 Caldecote Reserves
Date Saturday 19 November 2011
Kick Off 2.00pm

Match Report

Sandy went into the local derby against Caldecote in search of their 5th league win in a row, however they expected a tough battle as the visitors first team didn't have a game and also they had recently signed a couple of players from last years second placed side Potton Wanderers. With Morgan, Gedders and Nathan Morris all playing for the reserves this week, manager Hammett was handed a selection dilemma to start with as Chris Nicholls was struck down by a particularly virulant strain of man flu and couldn't get out of bed. Sadly it is a hazard all us men face.

This meant that Craig Baker was handed a start on the right of midfield and Matt Evans returned to left midfield as Shane Pope slotted back in at left back. Hammett despite struggling with a hip injury started the game as he wasn't sure how long he would last and Both Charlie and Olly were keen for Hammett to break down so that they could come on.

Sandy knew that they would have to work hard against a usually well organised side and straight from the off they signalled their intention as they pressed high up the pitch denying the visiting side time on the ball and forcing them into errors. The surface was skiddy and wet which made the ball zip about and several of the visiting players struggled to get the ball under control. Staf almost made the Keeper pay for one such error as he closed down a miscontrolled back pass but the ball broke kindly for Caldecote and they managed to clear. Despite dominating the early possession and looking the most likely to score it was Sandy who fell behind as Jack Gabbitas picked up the ball on the right hand side, dribbled into the box and then found Tom Dupuy. Dupuy curled a cross to the back post which he completely misdirected and it sailed into the far top corner of the net leaving Pally and the defence no chance at all.

This goal was totally against the run of play but Sandy responded well and immedaitely fought there way back into the contest as they pressurised the visitors into an error. Hammett closed down the centre back and nicked the ball off his toes, steering it straight into the path of Staf. Staf took the ball into the box, cut inside the last defender and the slotted the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner. This took the wind out of Caldecotes sails and Sandy pressed on. The team were keeping fantastic a shape and working hard to deny the opposition any time on the ball. reducing Pally in the Sandy goal to a virtual spectator. Caldecote did have a couple of speculative shots but they went high and wide. 

It wasn't long before Sandy took the lead, as Mark Jennings won a header in midfiedl from a Caldecote goal kick. Hammett latched onto the header and in a straight foot race between him and the keeper he got there first to deftly lob the ball over the on rushing juggernaut to give Sandy their second goal. This was no more than the team deserved, however they were to suffer a setback almost immediately as Rob 'made of glass' Tapley's injury hit season continued as he pulled his hamstring. Although trying to soldier on there was no way he could and Olly 'Turbo Charger' Banfield came on to replace him with Craig Baker moving into the centre of midfield.

Baker seemed to relish the switch though and immediately began to cause havoc. He almost added a third as he got on the end of a flowing moving to advance into the box, however the keeper saved well down low for Sandy's first corner. Hammett drilled the corner into the box, but Banfield could only direct the header over as the ref blew for a foul. Sandy were now dominating the contest and looking solid at the back. JJ and Beally were coping well with the Caldecote frontline and Seldon and Pope were equally unforgiving at the full back positions. It wasn't long before Sandy had another chance as Matt Evans found Hammett, who then floated a ball over the top for Staf. The ball sat up nicely for the Sandy forward, but he could only volley wide much to the relief of the keeper.

Sandy were playing some excellent football but the visitors were always going to cause problems and they did force a succession of corners that the home side defended very well. The did again find an equaliser though against the run of play as a diagonal ball found Gabbitas in space and he eluded Beally for the one and only time of the game, but made Sandy pay with a quality lob over Pally again leaving him no chance at all. Caldecote then could of made it 3-2 just before half time as their right winger missed from close range after Pope couldn't quite clear the ball, however Beally threw himself in front of the shot, and with the Caldecote players screaming for a pen the ref gave a goalkick.

The only other exciting action of the first half saw Staf get a yellow card for telling the ref that he should 'F' off!! but other than that the teams went into half time all square. 2-2.

Sandy knew that they were in a battle today and the visitors started the second half strongly as Sandy defended Stoically. JJ and Beally were heading everything away and Seldon seemed to win every challenge that he went for. Shane was also working hard at left back, and with Jennings and Baker breaking up play in the middle Sandy looked solid. Despite the Caldecote pressure Sandy had the best chance at the start of the half as Matt Evans cut in off the left flank, but fired his right foot shot wide of the goal. Ten minutes in Hammett finally limped out of the game and Charlie came on to bring fresh legs to the front line.

After half time instructions from his manager Olly 'Turbo Charge' Banfield used his pace against the left back at every opportunity as he was confident that Seldon would win everything he could push on. Baker was also pulling the strings in the centre of midfield alongside Jennings and it was Jennings wdho would pick up the assist for the third goal as he played the ball into Staf on the edge of the box after combining well with Seldon and Banfield. Staf then took up the mantle to hold off a defender and slot the ball past the keeper and in off the post.

Charlie the had a chance to add a fourth as a Seldon cross found him at the back post, but as he brought it down and volleyed towards goal his shot was blocked for a corner. Sandy had a couple of corners in quick succession and the ball pinged around like a ping pong ball at times with the visitors desperately blocking shots as first Staf, then Baker and then Matt Evans were denied from adding to the scoring. Caldecote now under pressure were trying to push men forward but the solid defence allowed Sandy to break regularly. Baker who was having an influential game then plaed a great ball inside the full back for Banfield to tear it up. He blew past the defender like he wasn't there, but then his legs were going so fast that he got excited and fired his shot wide of the mark.

andy knew that they would need a fourth goal to kill this game off as the visiting side were coming close with crosses. Pally had to palm a couple away as they looked to be sailing in and then there were a succession of last ditch blocks and clearances as Caldecote desperately looked for the equaliser. However again with Seldon and Banfield involved, Jennings played the ball forward to Staf who again used strength and composure to hold off the defender and slide the ball home to make it 4-2.

Baker then almost got his name on the score sheet as he broke through the middle of the defence and he tried to chip the ball over the keeper who made an excellent one handed save to deny him his second goal of the season. The defender then recovered well to clear the ball away when Baker would have had an easy tap into the empty net. with the clock ticking down Banfield escaped down the right using his electric pace to good effect, he then delightfully shifted the ball past the full back and whipped in a dangerous ball that somehow the defender didn't head into his own net, but managed to get it away for a corner.

Staf and Charlie also had shots blocked late on as did Baker. Sandy were not exactly holding on, but they knew that if Caldecote got a third goal it could get tricky and the team defended superbly as nobody stopped running the whole game. Caldecote did have a late free kick that Beally blocked away and they did have a couple of shots that didn't trouble Pally. However this was always going to be Sandy's day as they managed to succesfuly pick up their fifth league win on the bounce and cement fifth place in the league. Well playedd lads it was a superb performance from everyone. Final score 4-2. 


Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

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


4. Charlie Seward (9)
13. Olly Banfield (9)

Goal Scorers:

3 x Daniel Stafford
1 x Ian Hammett


3 x Mark Jennings
1 x Ian Hammett

Man of the Match:

11. Craig Baker


1. Daniel Stafford


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