Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Lea Sports PSG

Competition League - Division One
Result Lea Sports PSG 1-1 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 17 September 2011
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Sandy travelled to newly promoted Lea Sports PSG with a skeleton squad, missing key players such as Rob Tapley, Mark Pallister, Matt Evans, Shane Pope, Brad Smith and some guy called Olly. Further trouble was to strike as Manager Ian Hammett left the changing to get warmed up only to find JJ Peksyzc laying on the floor like a tortoise on its back unable to move.

JJ's back had gone into spasm whilst getting ready for the game and although Hammett did his best to get him moving now he is over 30 rigamortice had obviously set in. The ever encouraging Sharon Seldon looked on sympathetically as JJ moved around moaning in pain. She was quoted as saying 'i'd love to see men have babies'.... thats told you JJ toughen up. This caused a reshuffle and impact plyaer Ryan Gregory made his first competitive start for the first team on the left flank. Charlie Seward was also given his first start of the season and Luke Morgan regained his centre back slot.

Playing against the wind in the first half was always going to be difficult against fast and tricky opposition, but for the most part the defensive back line looked solid. Morgan was winning headers and Beally was sweeping up well behind him. Seldon and Gedney were there usual solid selves and Nathan Morris went untroubled for large parts of the half.

Sandy were struggling to get into PSG's half and their football seemed to dessert them in the tough conditions. Despite this they should have taken the lead twenty minutes into the contest. After soaking up pressure from the home side, Matt Gedney found Charlie in space between the midfield and back four, he turned and slid a ball through into the path of Staf who got away from the back line for the first time. Unfortunately he placed his shot just wide of the far post when many thought he would of scored. Staf almost then turned straight into the villian of the piece as he tried an audacious back pass to Morris in the Sandy goal. The pass was way too short and the PSG forward got in one on one with Morris, who did fantastically well to stand up and save with his feet when the forward really should of scored. PSG then had a succession of corners and Morris again had to save well down to his left as the ball would of otherwise crept inside the post. Sandy weathered the storm though and again looked to assert themselves on the contest.

They couldn't quite force the issue though and their final ball was letting them down. Hammett did have a speculative left foot shot from 25 yards out that went well wide. Jennings went on one of his 'dancing delicate and graceful' runs picking up the ball on the edge of the box, but he was crowded out before he could pull the trigger. Then Staf tried to chase down the keeper but couldn't quite get there.

PSG were using the wind well and it was suiting their fast skilful players. Several times they almost sprung away from the backline, but one of the back four managed to recover to block any shot or threatening attack. At times the home side were also a little ambitious with their attempts that didn't trouble Morris. With the half ticking down and the score looking like being all square Morgan and Beally switched off for the only time in the half and a quick long clearance caught them out. The forward got onto the ball and as they both tried to recover Morgan stumbled and brought the player down, although there was hardly any intentional contact it was probably more the tremor of Morgan hitting the deck that made him lose his balance. The ref gave a penalty and booked Morgan. He would of sent the big man off, except he decided that he was too nice to do that. PSG despatched the penalty sending keeper Morris the wrong way and the home side led 1-0 at half time.

Sandy had the advantage of the wind in the second half and they adapted much better to the conditions actually establishing themselves in the PSG half and beginning to create opportunities. Chris Nicholls and Mark Jennings were getting on the ball much more in the centre of the park and the visitors seemed to find their short passing spreading the play well and moving the ball quickly.

The home side still had the best of the early exchanges though, with Morris forced into making a couple of excellent point blank saves. Phil Beall had to help him out with one though as the ball spilled back to the striker from close range, but Beally was there to block the second shot away. Sandy were able to keep a much higher line though as they were now with the wind and Morgan was winning more headers. Matt Gedney and Richard Seldon were getting on the ball and pushing forwards. This in turn seemed to give Hammett more space down the right flank.

Charlie Seward was trying to have an influence on the game dropping deep to link th play and get the ball, but as with many of the Sandy players he couldn't quite find the final pass. However it did look like it would be only a matter of time before the visitors were level. Winning the ball high they finally won their first corner about twenty minutes into the half. Hammett bent the corner in wickedly, and the keeper could only punch it into the net. Sandy thought they were level but the ref had spotted an apparent foul by Phil Beall which wiped the goal out. From the resulting free kick the PSG keeper scuffed his kick straight to Hammett who played the ball back into Staf first time. Staf took the ball on and fired into the net past the keeper who was rushing out to make up for his mistake to no avail.

This goal really stoked the fire in the visitors and they were then all over the home side searching for the winner. Seldon and Hammett were combining well down the right, with Hammett getting free and firing dangerous crosses into the box. The PSG defence were just managing to get them clear for corners or throw ins before Staf or Seward could get on the end of them. Jennings did have a chance of a long range shot but he fired wide.

With the clock ticking down Staf almost won the game with a moment of individual brilliance. Seldon and Hammett again combined well and Hammett whipped in a ball into the box. Staf connected with a spectacular bicycle kick, but the keeper just scambled across and managed to tip the ball around the post to deny Staf would could possibly have been goal of the season.

Staf then turned provider for Hammett as they played a neat one two and Hammett took the ball into the box. He then got caught in two minds as Charlie called for the ball, and ended up neither shooting or crossing and fired the ball well wide when he should of done better.

Despite their pressure PSG did have a few corners that Sandy needed to defend well, and their tricky forwards were getting away shots that needed to be blocked or saved. Morris was having a great afternoon and tipped one shot over the bar. Neither side though could find that final breakthrough and Sandy were to come away with a hard fought point. Final score 1-1

P.S before everyone moans at me, JJ gave me man of the match so i've have taken his totally unbiased view!!

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Daniel Stafford (7)
2. Richard Seldon (8)
2. Luke Morgan (7)
3. Ryan Gregory (7)
4. Mark Jennings (7)
4. Charlie Seward (7)
9. Ian Hammett (8)
13. Nathan Morris (8)
17. Phil Beall (8)
18. Chris Nicholls (7)


20. Darren Gipson (7)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Daniel Stafford


1 x Ian Hammett

Man of the Match:

9. Ian Hammett


2. Luke Morgan


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