Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Kempston Hammers Sports

Competition League - Division 1
Result Sandy 1st Team 2-0 Kempston Hammers Sports
Date Saturday 24 October 2009
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Sandy managed to get their season back on track with a much improved performance against Kempston Hammers at Bedford Road. After only managing to take one point from their last four games, this really was a must win game for the club, and win it they did. Although last week sresult had been disappointing manager Daniel Bailey felt that the team had shown glimpses of improvement and hence stuck with the same starting line up.

Poor weather conditions in the first half ensured that it was to be a tricky afternoon for both teams, as the surface was made slick and slippery by the rain. Sandy did however seem to settle the better and were immediately on the front foot playing some good short passing football and making Kempston Hammers work very hard to regain possession.

Mark Jennings and Chris Baines were imposing themselves well on central midfield as Baines's wide range of passes was suited to the large Bedford road pitch. Switching the play nicely Baines was able to constantly involve both Full backs in Sandy's attacks and ensured that the team was constantly on the move. However it was Craig Baker who created the first half chance of the game as he played a floated through ball into the path of Ian Hammett. Hammett reached the ball before the keeper, but his touch took him too wide to shoot. Hammett tried to cut the ball back into the path of Charlie Seward who was arriving late in the box, but the defence recovered to clear the danger.

Sandy didn't have to wait much longer before making their pressure count, as a succession of thow ins from the left hand side brought there reward. The ball was launched in by Craig Baker only to be cleared to Shane Pope. Pope played the ball into the box straight to the feet of Hammett. Hammett turned inside and then as a defender closed him down, played it between the defenders legs to Mark Jennings who was free on the edge of the box. Jennings took one touch and then lashed the ball home past the diving Kempston keeper from fully 20 yards out. The keeper did manage to get to the ball, but could only push it onto the post before it went in.

It should have been two shortly after when a lovely move between Baines and Hammett contrived to find Baker free in the box. Baker though inexplicably hesitated before shooting and was closed down by keeper and defenders when he should have done better. Hammett then almost made it two himself when Baines switched play to Brad Smith on the right wing. Smith beat his defender and the floated a lovely ball into the box. Hammett rose to meet the ball, but couldn't quite elevate high enough to get over the ball to direct it down and his header crashed against the bar.

Kempston Hammers were offering little threat to Mark Pallister in the Sandy goal as once again Sandy's now settled back four seemed to find their form and concentration as they snuffed out every attack with ease. However despite all of Sandy's possession they couldn't add to their lead before half time. Baines had a speculative volley that went wide and Sandy did manage to work several opportunities to deliver good crosses but failed to execute any of them. Half time 1 - 0.

Sandy knew that the next goal would be vitally important and they started the second half with urgency as they looked to try and make the tie more comfortable. As well as the attacking flair that the team were showing, the defensive strength that Sandy have was providing an excellent platform to work from. Andrew Wren and Phil Beall were commanding the backline and ensuring that the Kempston forwards had nothing to work with. This also allowed Richard Seldon and Shane Pope to push on and provide good attacking options.

Again despite a large amount of possession and pressure Sandy failed to find that killer ball that afforded them the opportunities to add to their lead, but they never looked like surrendering their lead.

Chris Baines finally gave Sandy the second goal that they were looking for about 20 minutes into the second half. Mark Jennings won a hard earned free kick on the right side of the box about 20 yards out. Baines stepped up and with all Sandy's big boys at the far post, he curled the ball over the keeper who was off his line and into the far corner. When asked if it was a cross.. Baines confirmed it was definately a shot.

The second goal seemed to help Sandy's momentum and Ian Hammett almost extended the lead with a left foot shot on the turn after good work from Charlie Seward, but the shot curled just wide. 20 minutes from the end saw assistant manager Iain Alderson make his competitive debut for the club as he replaced Seward up front. He was immediatley into the action as his strong hold up play ensured that he won a succession of free kicks in and around the box. From one he almost opened his goalscoring account for the club as another wicked delivery from Baines beat the defence and Alderson through himself at the ball, but failed to get a good connection on the ball.

More good news for Sandy saw the return of Steve Jakes to 1st team action as with 10 minutes to go he replaced Craig Baker on the left flank. Jakes who has been out for the whole of the season so far with an ankle injury is a welcome addition to manager Daniel Baileys options in the coming weeks. 

Daniel Bailey had the chance to wrap the game up with moments to go when great play by Hammett and Pope on the left wing allowed Pope the time to whip in a great cross to find Bailey who had drifted in between two defenders for an open header. His header was well saved by the keeper but with the goal at his mercy and the keeper on the floor he failed to put the rebound away and the keeper managed to clear the ball.

Despite the miss, Baileys mood could not be dampened as Sandy held on comfortably for a 2 - 0 victory that was well deserved.

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (7)
2. Richard Seldon (7)
3. Shane Pope (9)
4. Mark Jennings (9)
4. Charlie Seward (8)
5. Andrew Wren (8)
5. Brad Smith (7)
9. Ian Hammett (7)
11. Craig Baker (7)
15. Chris Baines (9)
17. Phil Beall (8)


12. Steve Jakes (6)
15. Daniel Bailey (6)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Chris Baines
1 x Mark Jennings


1 x Ian Hammett
1 x Mark Jennings

Man of the Match:

3. Shane Pope


5. Brad Smith


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