Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Luton Boys Seniors

Competition Friendly - Game changed to friendly - Luton Boys have folded
Result Sandy 1st Team 4-2 Luton Boys Seniors
Date Saturday 19 October 2013
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

After returning to winning ways last week away from home, Sandy returned to Bedford Road with the aim of making it a fortress again after slipping up against Goldington on their previous home match. Having already played Luton 30 days ago and gotten a draw, this would be a good opportunity to get them out of the way with a win against a team that might take points off the other teams at the top of the table. Gilly came back into the side at centre back and Jennings moved out to right back as Pete was rock climbing. The rest of the team stayed the same with the 2 Toms in the middle, the 2 Ryans out wide, and Liam and Johnny upfront. Sandy didn't start as well as they had hoped and the first opportunity of the match fell to the Luton number 9 as the ball came over the top, Beally missed his clearance but fortunately for Sandy this was put wide.

Sandy did have the width advantage as they were playing 4-4-2 vs Lutons 3-5-2. This allowed Burgess a lot of space to run into and it was something Sandy were trying to take advantage of. Both teams were getting chances to test the goalkeeper and Luton did have some decent moves that were followed up by long range efforts but they never managed to trouble Pallys goal. Then they had a couple of dangerous corners, one in which the number 10 had a header that just went wide. Then after 35 minutes Luton won a free kick after a foul from Ryan Gregory. The ball was played over to the far post and many of the Luton players had gotten free, Beally managed to get a foot on the ball hoping to take it away from a Luton player but instead the ball was layed it into theLuton players path and they hit the ball right between Pallys leg to take the lead.

Sandy dusted themselved down and went straight on the offensive, moving the ball forwards quickly, Liam got the turn on his defender and played Johnny through one on one, Johnny let the defender run past him as he stopped the ball, and with a quick look up he fired an arrow of a shot past the goalkeeper and into the far corner to equalise. An excellent strike to make it 1-1, game on. With only 5 minutes left of the half Johnny went down holding his ankle and so Sandy were forced to finish the half with 10 men whilst they assessed Johnnys injury. Sandy coped well with the disadvantage but they didn't expect such a gift from Luton as they completely switched off. Ryan Burgess headed the ball forward and it appeared it had gone to nobody, however Luton never reacted to the ball and it was left for Liam to run onto, with the goalkeeper rushing out to try and make up for his defenders mistake, Liam simply darted to the right to leave him with an open goal, and this time he finished the move off with a tidy finish into the empty net. 2-1 and it was now half time.

Barry was not happy enough with the performance in the first half and gave the team a good dressing down to ensure they marked their opponents better in the second half and also took more advantage of the space that Burgess had. With the half time team talk done Sandy were about to go back onto the pitch but Johnny couldn't continue and so the change was made that Adam would come on to replace him. As the sun started to shine unexpectedly Sandy kicked off with intent, aiming to play some slicker football and put Luton under pressure. In a flash it was now 3-1 to Sandy, whether this was down to Barrys team talk or Liam having scored just before half time, only he will know, but he picked up the ball from Burgess after he cut inside from the wing and drove at the Luton defence, he laid it off to Liam, who struck the ball straight into a defender, however the ball fell back down to him and this time he unleashed an unstoppable right footed shot into the top corner, it was a surprise the net didn't disintegrate. Buoyed by this goal Sandy really started taking the game to Luton. The introduction of Adam also gave Sandy that extra control in midfield as he was dropping off deep off Liam to receive the ball from the rest of the midfield, in fact it also gave them more defensive solidity as it stopped the number 4 getting so much space on the ball. This meant Sandy began to dominate for longer periods in the 1st part of the second half.

Sandy though still did need to be well organised as Luton did have some very good players and they were bound to get opportunities still. Although Sandy should have made their dominance count they couldn't quite get the ball in the net. Some good work down the left from Tommy McGhee and Shane gave Ryan Gregory some space, he looked up and crossed the ball into Liam who beat his man, but instead of getting a great connection he only got a decent connection on the ball therefore it went just went wide of the far post. Ryan also tried to lob the goalie straight from the Luton goalies free kick and Adam tried a pop shot but it was wide. Sandy did lose concentration for a split second and this allowed Luton a way back into the game when it looked like their hopes were fading quickly. They played the ball forward to number 9 who turned Gilly, and before Beally could close him down he played the ball accross to the winger who cut back inside Jennings and fired past Pally into the far right corner, though he possibly should/could have got a hand to it. 3-2 and it was now quite a tricky game for Sandy again.

Luton now had something to fight for again and it almost looked like they might steal away the victory from Sandy as they forced Sandy into some last ditch blocks and clearances, one in which the ball rebounded off a Sandy defender and looked as though it may end up in a repeat of Lutons 1st goal. However it was cleared away in the end but only to the Luton winger, this then led to a series of controversial decisions, firstly Beally won a header from the cross that came back into the area and was fouled, but the referee waved on play. Then Burgess jumped over the top of a Luton player but play was again waved on. Liam was put clean through with only a covering defender and the keeper, the keeper rushed out and took out Liam way outside of his area, but the referee only deemed it worthy of a yellow card.

In the end though it was all signed sealed and delivered by Adam as Luton flooded all their players forward, the ball broke in Sandys favour and Adam spotted the keeper off his line and struck a Yankee-Doodle of a shot to catch the goalie off his line from 40 yards out to send Sandy to cloud 9. With the scores at 4-2 the only fight left in the Luton team was from their captain who was really giving his all to try and give his team hope again. With the win in the bag Sandy were hoping for Goldington to slip up against Woburn but they also continued their winning streak to keep them 4 points above Sandy. Sandy need to keep going as Goldington will surely slip up eventually. Next week they go to Marabese Ceramics who are a bit of an unknown after scoring highly in their last few games, but if Sandy put in another shift like they did in the second half it will be hard to see Marabese getting anything from the game. Sandy must ensure they are focused for every game to keep up with Goldington.

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (1)
3. Ryan Gregory (1)
3. Shane Pope (1)
4. Mark Jennings (1)
7. Ryan Burgess (1)
8. Tom Mcghee (1)
9. Liam Brophy (1)
10. Jonny Stratford (1)
11. Tom Burton (1)
16. David Gill (1)
17. Phil Beall (1)


8. Adam Grimshaw (1)
18. Ian Jakes (1)

Goal Scorers:

2 x Liam Brophy
1 x Adam Grimshaw
1 x Jonny Stratford


2 x Liam Brophy
2 x Ryan Burgess


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