Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Kempston Hammer Sports

Competition League - Division 1
Result Kempston Hammer Sports 1-4 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 06 March 2010
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

On a pitch that was less than suitable for flowing football Sandy managed to carve out a performance that ensured they took all three points from a tough encounter with the leagues bottom side. The win ensured that Sandy extended their unbeaten run to six league games and keeps their hopes of a top four finish alive.


The game started poorly for Sandy as they came out of the blocks slowly. They struggled to settle on an awful pitch that was full of divots, and the home side started brightly getting the ball out wide at every opportunity. However they failed to create any chances of note in this early period as Sandy’s defence looked ominously strong.


Against the run of play Sandy took the lead, as the Manager Daniel Bailey slipped a neat through ball to Ian Hammett, who had for once timed his run to perfection. Through on goal Hammett had all the time in the world to pick his spot and slide the ball calmly past the keeper.


This was the first piece of football that Sandy played in the match and they got their just rewards. Within five minutes it was two as another flowing move culminated in Chris Baines floating a curling ball into Niko Stanchev who controlled first time and slotted the ball home unchallenged.


Sandy were now starting to settle into the match and on twenty minutes it was three nil. As a well worked throw in allowed Daniel Bailey and Ian Hammett to play a one two for Bailey to cross and find Sam James at the far post who somehow managed to get the ball past the keeper, although there is some debate as to which part of his body he scored with.


Finally it was looking like being one of those afternoons for Sandy where they wouild fill their boots, but they failed to capitalise further on their first half dominance. However robust defending from Andrew Wren and Phil ‘Piglet’ Beall who were outstanding at the heart of the defence, allowed Richard Seldon and Shane Pope to get forward at every opportunity to bolster the attack, whilst maintaining a strong barrier in front of a relatively untroubled Mark Pallister in the Sandy goal.


Pallister was busy on occasion though as Kempston tried in vain to get back into the tie, but he stood strong and made good saves when called upon. Sandy did have chances to extend their lead, but were denied by a strong performance from the Hammers Keeper.  He stopped numerous efforts from Sam James throughout the afternoon, holding onto every right foot shot from the Sandy winger in an afternoon where his handling was immaculate.


In the first half he saved efforts from Ian Hammett, Niko Stanchev and Chris Baines ensuring that the score line was kept respectable. Hammett also managed to shoot over from five yards with the goal at his mercy after Stanchev had crossed, but thankfully it wouldn’t have counted as the linesman’s flag went up for offside. Half time 0 – 3.


The second half unfortunately for Sandy was dire, as they failed to extend their lead. They never really seemed to get going and Kempston Hammers changed their shape slightly which made them more competitive. In fact for a time it was backs to the wall stuff for the sandy defence as they had to repel wave after wave of attacks. It was only some last ditch defending from ‘Gadget legs’ Beall and Andrew ‘it is the Czech Republic shirt’ Wren which saved the day, and stopped Kempston getting back into the match.


Wren and Beall combined at the other end for Sandy’s best chance of the half, as Beall flicked on a corner only for Wren to head it against the bar. That was to go alongside an earlier headed effort from Wren which was cleared off the line by the man on the post.


With fifteen minutes to go Kempston got the goal they were looking for as Sandy failed to cut out a cross from the right wing, leaving the Kempston forward a simple two yard tap in past the helpless Mark Pallister.


This goal did spur Sandy into action and with 10 minutes left they extended their lead back to three goals. Hammett pressured the centre back into a mistake and robbed him of the ball. He then played it back to Sam James whose square ball was allowed to run by substitute Charlie Seward. Chris Baines ran onto the ball and rammed it past the keeper into the top corner to settle the nerves.


In the closing stages Ian Hammett had the chance to add to the lead but was denied twice, once by the recovering centre back who made a last ditch block of a goal bound shot to get it away for a corner and secondly by the keeper at his near post as Hammett tried to score from a tight angle.


However Sandy were happy to take all three points from a difficult match, and now move up to seventh place in the table with a strong chance of reaching sixth next week when they entertain Kemspton at Bedford Road. Final Score 1 - 4  

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (7)
2. Richard Seldon (8)
3. Shane Pope (7)
4. Mark Jennings (7)
5. Andrew Wren (8)
8. Sam James (8)
9. Ian Hammett (8)
13. Niko Stanchev (8)
15. Daniel Bailey (8)
15. Chris Baines (8)
17. Phil Beall (8)


4. Charlie Seward (7)
87. Dave Smith (6)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Sam James
1 x Chris Baines
1 x Ian Hammett
1 x Niko Stanchev


2 x Daniel Bailey
1 x Chris Baines
1 x Sam James

Man of the Match:

13. Niko Stanchev


4. Mark Jennings


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