Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Ickwell and Old Warden Reserves

Competition League - Division One
Result Ickwell and Old Warden Reserves 0-2 Sandy 1st Team
Date Tuesday 31 August 2010
Kick Off 6.30pm

Match Report

Sandy produced a wonderful display to pick up their first three points of the season away to local rivals Ickwell and Old Warden Res. With the home side going through a transitional phase, they managed to put out a strong team with 6 of the players that played in the 5 - 1 win over Sandy the previous week.

Sandy however set their stall out early in the game, playing a 4-4-2 formation to try and take the game to the home side. It was Ickwell who started well though testing the Sandy backline with some excellent passing moves. Sandy though stood strong as they defended with two banks of four, closing down quickly and snuffing out every attack. Phil Beall was once again outstanding at the back with his go-go gadget legs in full effect, having a near flawless game. Sandy caught the home side on the counter attack after fifteen minutes as Craig Baker put the visitors ahead. Mark Jennings played a perfectly weighted through ball which Baker collected, drifted inside the defender and then delicately flicked the ball over the advancing keeper for an excellent finish.

Baker was giving the Ickwell right back Dave Trundley a torrid time, and Sandy continued to play balls in over his head as he struggled to keep pace with their right winger. On the left Brad Smith was playing a much more defensive roll as he and Shane Pope constantly resisted the threat that came down Ickwell's right. Mark Jennings a doubt before the game with a thigh injury was once again robust in the centre of midfield breaking up attack after attack and allowing debutant Ray McKeating to try and pull the strings in the middle of the park.

It was McKeating who extended Sandy's lead on the half hour after a wonderful piece of play from Ian Hammett and Charlie Seward. A long ball down the line was well kept in by Hammett who passed the ball first time into Seward who flicked the ball round the defender into Mckeating's path. He then took a touch and then rifled a twenty five yard shot into the top corner giving Vinny Govoni in the Ickwell goal absolutely no chance. Had Sandy's final ball been a little better they may well have extended their lead as they grew more and more into the game.

It wasn't all plain sailing though as the home side had long periods of possesion and pressure, but Sandy repelled every attack. Mark Pallister in the Sandy goal claimed everything that came into the box and JJ Pekszyc formed a solid partnership with Phil Beall at the heart of the defence. Half time 0 - 2

Sandy knew that Ickwell would make changes and come out strong in the second half, but today they concentrated hard and didn't make any mistakes. For most of the half it was real backs to the wall stuff as they had to defend well to shut the home side out. This time most of the attacks came down the left flank, but Richard Seldon was up to the challenge, putting in a strong performance to win the ball over and over again. As an attacking force Sandy offered little in the second half initially, but as the game opened up the chances began to arrive. Brad Smith hit the post affter some good work from Craig Baker, and the Charlie Seward couldn't quite find Hammett at the back post with a delicate chip.

Hammett then forced Govoni into a smart save, with a curling left foot shot from the edge of the box. Brad Smith then had another shot from distance sail wide after he played a smart one two with Hammett on the edge of Ickwells box. These fleeting attacks provided some rest bite from the constant pressure that Sandy were under, but they never really looked in trouble and never looked like making an error.

Sandy were lucky on twenty five minutes to still have ten men on the field as Phil Beall tangled with Lee Threadgold, when Threadgold would have been through on goal, but the referee let Beall off with a warning, much to the dismay of the home side. Once again though from the resulting free kick the wall stood strong and blocked the shot.

With a full squad player manager Ian Hammett was able to freshen the team up with twenty minutes to go, bringing on Adam Hales and Matt Gedney to sure up the midfield as Sandy switched to a 4-5-1 formation to defend their lead. This move stifled the home side even more, as the energy of the new players in midfield forced them back. Brad Dennis then came on to pressure from the front and had the chance to extend the lead further as a good run from Craig Baker again created space for Dennis, but his first touch got away from him and his shot was blocked.

Mark Pallister had to make a smart save late on, as Nick Jones rifled a shot straight at him, but Pallister was equal to the effort as he palmed it into the air and caught the rebound. 

Sandy held on for a well deserved win against strong opposition. Hammett was ecstatic with the performance sying ' i don't think we could of played much better, splendid performance from the lads. Just shows what we can do with a full team.' Final score Ickwell 0 - Sandy 2. 

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (9)
2. Richard Seldon (9)
3. Shane Pope (8)
4. Charlie Seward (8)
4. Mark Jennings (9)
5. Brad Smith (9)
8. John-Joe Pekszyc (9)
9. Ian Hammett (8)
11. Craig Baker (9)
17. Phil Beall (9)
36. Ray McKeating (8)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Ray McKeating
1 x Craig Baker


1 x Mark Jennings
1 x Charlie Seward
1 x Ian Hammett

Man of the Match:

17. Phil Beall


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