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Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Henlow

Competition League - Division 1
Result Henlow 4-3 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 03 April 2010
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

For the second successive Saturday Sandy were left feeling frustrated by a linesman and a referee as once again they were robbed of at least one point and possibly more. Forced into changes due to the absence of some key players the away side were still hopeful of leaving Groveside with some points, for the third week in a row they came away empty handed.

 

Sandy started the game well and immediately settled into some good passing football, using the wide expanses on Henlow’s pitch and enjoying the excellent playing surface. However the curse of the set piece struck again as Henlow took the lead against the run of play. Phil Beall was lucky to stay on the pitch after bringing down the Henlow centre forward after a coming together when he was the last man, but it didn’t matter as a clever free kick routine caught Sandy napping and Henlow took the lead.

 

The goal stunned Sandy, but they quickly tried to re-establish themselves in the game. On twenty minutes they were almost level, when Sam James broke down the left and cut the ball across the box to Ian Hammett. Hammett scuffed his left foot shot, but the keeper fumbled the ball and Hammett reacted quickly only to see his second shot cleared off the line by the covering defender.

 

It wasn’t long before Sandy were level though, as after a period of pressure they capitalised on their possession. Charlie Seward’s corner was knocked into Chris Baines path by Mark Jennings, and Baines coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

 

Shortly after drawing level the visitors were to suffer their first piece of misfortune of the afternoon. The Henlow forward who had been giving the makeshift centre back partnership of Phil Beall and Mark Jennings a torrid time caused more havoc down the left. He cut inside Beall and Dave Smith who was filling in at left back, but then as he entered the area he clipped his own feet and fell. Smith was adjudged by the referee to have fouled him and a penalty was given. The forward picked himself up and sent Mark Pallister in the Sandy goal the wrong way.

 

Other than these two efforts though Henlow had posed very little goal threat and Sandy could feel aggrieved that they were behind again. The biggest moment of controversy came two minutes before half time. Sam James sent a long throw into the box which the Henlow Keeper misjudged, and he could only palm the ball out from under his crossbar as two defenders jumped with him. The ball fell to Daniel Bailey who dragged his volley straight to Ian Hammett who tapped in from five yards out. As Hammett wheeled away to celebrate the linesman put his flag up and the ref blew. After consultation with the Henlow linesman the ref disallowed the goal and awarded Henlow a free kick. Sandy were fuming as the decision was apparently for offside against Hammett, which was amazing as there were three Henlow players stood on the goal line. For the second week in a row Sandy had been robbed by a cheating linesman. Half time 2 – 1.

 

Despite the injustice Sandy knew that they could turn this tie around and started the second half strongly, pressing for the equaliser. Again though Sandy were to suffer from a poor refereeing decision. Phil Beall made an excellent tackle to win the ball, but was adjudged to have brought down the Henlow player 20 yards out. As had been the trend of the afternoon Henlow scored from the free kick.

The task now looked all the more difficult but Sandy responded with some flowing stacking football. Dave Smith was having s strong game at left back and it was he that created Sandy’s second goal. He played a one two with Sam James and then drifted past two Henlow defenders taking the ball to the byline. He then cut the ball across the goal were Ian Hammett was waiting to tap the ball home.

 

Five minutes later and Sandy were level. Sam King playing in the centre of midfield due to the reshuffle, hit a looping shot that hit the underside of the bar and appeared to have crossed the line. However the ball bounce out and Mark Jennings reacted first, latching onto the ball and pulling it back across to Phil Beall who cheeky little flick finish brought the game level.

 

After all their hard work, Sandy felt they were back in the game but a lapse in concentration caused Henlow to strike back within minutes. Daniel Bailey’s pass was intercepted in the middle of the park and Henlow then counter attacked down the left flank. Despite Dave Smith covering the winger still got the cross in and the Henlow forward was allowed to turn and finish well.

 

Sandy toiled but despite further efforts from Seward, King, Baines and James they couldn’t work the keeper again and failed to find the elusive equaliser. Whilst Sandy can certainly feel annoyed with the decisions from the officials, they only have themselves to blame as again at crucial points in the game they lost concentration and allowed Henlow in. They will also feel annoyed that three set pieces cost three goals and will look back on this game as three points lost. Final score 4 – 3.

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (6)
2. Richard Seldon (7)
4. Charlie Seward (7)
4. Mark Jennings (6)
8. Sam James (6)
9. Ian Hammett (7)
15. Daniel Bailey (6)
15. Chris Baines (7)
17. Phil Beall (6)
87. Dave Smith (8)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Chris Baines
1 x Ian Hammett
1 x Phil Beall

Assists:

2 x Mark Jennings
1 x Dave Smith

Man of the Match:

87. Dave Smith

Booked:

4. Charlie Seward

 

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