Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Clifton

Competition Friendly - Pre Season Friendly
Result Sandy 1st Team 2-1 Clifton
Date Saturday 11 August 2012
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Sandy continued their pre season preparations by entertaining Clifton at Bedford Road in what turned out to be an evenful afternoon. Missing several players again manager Ian Hammett was forced to rotate the team with Dan Bailey and Craig Baker both injured and Andrew Wren and Nathan Morris unavailable. Mark Pallister returned for his first game in between the sticks and Richard Seldon and Shane Pope returned to the full back positions. Olly Banfield returned from injury and Chris Nicholls was also available for selection.

It was a hot afternoon and keeping the ball was going to be the order of the day. Clifton though seemed to settle the best at the start of the contest hurrying the home side into errors as they tried to force the ball forwards instead of being patient. Sandy were trying to do as manager Hammett had instructed but the ball wasn't sticking and they weren't moving it quickly enough, however with new styles of play these things take time to instill in the team. Exactly the purpose of the pre season friendlies.

Clifton were finding space in the midfield and moving the ball snappily around, however they weren't really troubling Pally at al in the Sandy goal. JJ and Morgan were stoic at the back and snuffed out most attacks. Even though they had the early pressure it was Sandy who showed their class on a counter attack that led to their first chance and an immediate goal. Playing the ball out from the back, Banfield found Nicholls, who rode a challenge and then motored forwards committing defenders and drawing the final centre back towards him, he then laid the ball across the front of the box were Dan Stafford side footed it first time past Josh Thomas in the Clifton goal to cap off a wonderful counter attacking move.

Sandy would of hoped that this would of settled them into the football that they wantde to play, but Clifton responded well and pressed the home side back into there half. A couple of long range shots passed harmlessly by the Sandy goal and then they had to defend a couple of corners were Clfiton tried to use their height to dominate. However it was a swift passing move that created the equaliser as the Clifton forward burst into the box and JJ didn't time his challenge right, giving away a penalty. Pally guessed the right way but couldn't prevent the kick from nestling in the back of the net and it was all square at 1-1.

The rest of the half proved to be a bit scrappy as both teams struggled in this early pre season to dominate the contest. Sandy showed flashes of brilliance, but they were few and far between. They almost did take the lead following a quick free kick, where they moved the ball and Richard Seldon slotted a ball down the side of the defence to Staf who burst clear, but he dragged his shot just wide of the upright. Staf was involved again soon after as Ian Hammett won a challenge on halfway and Staf latched onto the ball, pulling away from the back four only for Josh to save well down low to his right after narrowing the angle.

Clifton were enjoying the lions share of possession but not really looking like adding to their tally and they were unluckily punished towards the end of the half as Staf latched onto a long ball over the top and his effort took a wicked deflection to loop over the helpless Josh in the Clfiton goal and give the home side a 2-1 lead.

With the half coming to a close the drama of the afternoon unfolded as Captain Richard Seldon and Manager Ian Hammett suffered a nasty clash of heads. Seldon had called for the ball and Hammett had attempted to take evasive action but got a little nudge from the Clifton player and carnage ensued. Torrents of blood poured from both players and the game was stopped for several minutes. Seldon and Hammett were both unable to continue and had to be taken to hospital for treatment. Both are ok other than suffering nasty cuts and a broken nose.

Ryan Gregory and Darren Gipson came on to get extra pitch time and were probably actually thankful for the collision. Especially Gippo who had apparently paid Seldon to 'take out' Hammett after all the banter he receives!! This matter is still to be investigated.

Sandy finished the game with 9 men as both JJ and Banfield suffered injuries, but they managed to hold on by all accounts for a 2-1 win. The football was good in the second half as Clifton tired, and strong performances by both Gippo and Gregory meant that Sandy looked solid throughout. Sandy will continue their pre season preparations this thursday against Arlesey Town Reserves and will hope to sustain no more injuries which will effect there pre season plans. final score 2-1. 

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Daniel Stafford (7)
1. Mark Pallister (7)
2. Richard Seldon (6)
2. Luke Morgan (7)
3. Shane Pope (7)
4. Mark Jennings (7)
8. John-Joe Pekszyc (7)
9. Ian Hammett (6)
13. Olly Banfield (7)
16. David Gill (7)
18. Chris Nicholls (7)


3. Ryan Gregory (7)
20. Darren Gipson (7)

Goal Scorers:

2 x Daniel Stafford


1 x Chris Nicholls


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