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Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Marston Shelton Rovers

Competition League - Division One
Result Sandy 1st Team 1-1 Marston Shelton Rovers
Date Saturday 28 January 2012
Kick Off 2.00pm
Attendance38

Match Report

Sandy looked to bounce back from last weeks shock defeat against Luton by entertaining Marston Shelton Rovers in a top of the table clash. Manager Ian Hammett had decided to make some changes to the formation and way that they would approach the game, but the plans were thrown a little into disarray when leading scorer Dan Stafford withdrew during the warm up because of a knee injury. Everyone at the club will be hoping that it isn't too serious and he can return next week.

Hammett decided to stick with his plan and play five in midfield though with Baker, Chris Nicholls and Jennings filling the middle and Banfield handed a well deserved start on the right wing. The home side knew that they would have to start fast and put pressure on the visitors who love to play the ball around the park.

Marston matched their hosts by playing five across the middle as well, but during the early exchanges it was the home side that were to prove the most dominant. The midfield five were winning the battle against their counterparts and Sandy were looking solid all over the pitch. The back four had also returned to it's usual robust self with JJ and Beally winning everything in the middle and Seldon and Pope keeping a grip on the tricky wingers that Marston had. Goal opportunities in the early stages were few and far between though, although Sandy were having the better link up play as Hammett was giving a good option as the lone striker and allowing the home side to play off him. This meant that Baker and Nicholls could push forwards and make clever runs. Banfield and Evans were also getting forwards down the flanks and it was Banfield who produced the first chance of the game.

A nice flowing move by the home side saw Banfield released down the right hand side. He pushed forwards into the space and then delivered an excellent cross into the box to find Mark Jennings at the back post, but under pressure he could only steer his header just wide. his was a warning to the visitors that Sandy meant business today. Banfield then almost released Baker into the box, but Baker was harshly adjudged to have pushed the keeper as they challenged together and a freekick stopped the chance. Another good move culminated in a long shot from Chris Nicholls which the keeper held well. Sandy felt they should of had a penalty half way through the half, when Hammett was clipped. however it seemed his dive was a bit too theatrical and the ref gave a goalkick.

Marston were having their fair share of possession but Sandys compact shape was stopping them from playing through the middle of the park. Pally was relatively untroubled during the first half in the Sandy goal mainly taking goalkicks and collecting overhit through balls. This seemed to be the visiting sides main threat as they played several cross field raking passes inside the full backs. Only once was Pope caught a little bit off guard, but the winger could only steer his effort wide. Other than that the Sandy backline worked as a solid unit and caught the visitors offside on several occassions. Pally did make a couple of strong punches away from Marston corners as Sandy held firm.

The home side were pressing high up the pitch as Jennings was making crunching tackles and everyone battled hard to win the ball. The opening goal came as a direct result of this pressure which forced a mistake from the top of the table side. Baker and the midfield pressed high forcing Marston back towards their own box. Baker then charged down the defenders clearance and it broke into the box. Hammett was the first to react as Keeper and centre back hesitated. he nipped in and rounded the keeper and then from a tight angle stabbed the ball goalwards. Looking as if it was going to hit the post Banfield slid in at the back stick and made sure tucking the ball into the net for his first Sandy goal.

This was no more than the home side deserved and they saw out the rest of the half in and around the Marston box, winning a succession of throw ins and trying to find another opportunity to add to their tally. Half time 1-0

Sandy knew that the second half was going to be a battle as both sides were beginning to tire from working so hard. Marston came out and tried to up their game. Passing the ball around well they were trying to get it wide to their left winger who was giving Seldon a tough time down Sandy's right flank. However as usual the experienced Sandy Captain was up to the task flying into tackles and letting the winger know he wasn't going to have it all his own way. Beally and JJ again stepped up the defensive effort and snuffed out everything through the middle with Shane Pope also working hard to complete the unit.

Chris Nicholls and Jennings were really working hard through the middle too as they won numerous challenges and Sandy looked dangerous when Baker broke from midfield. Banfield and Evans were quieter in the second half as they came under more pressure to defend and keep the visitors at bay. Sandy were coming under intense examination and were holding firm still with Pally not having a save to make until a contentious refs decision about ten minutes into the half cost them their lead. Martson had a succession of corners that the defence cleared well and Pally was again dominating his area punching well. This time though the visitors had a freekick and they swung it into the back post. Pally looked to have the ball in his sights until he was bundled into by the big Marston centre back. the ball then feel kindly for him to stab the ball home into the net with Pally laying helpless on the floor and the Sandy defence screaming at the ref for a freekick. However strangely the ref turned his back and jogged back to restart the game. This was harsh on the home side but they reacted well.

Sandy made a couple of changes to bring fresh legs into the team with Robe Tapley coming on and five minutes later he was followed by Brad Smith as Matt Evans and Olly Banfield gave way after working their socks down the flanks. Hammett was becoming a little isolated up top and Sandy were struggling to get out of their half so a shift to 4-4-2 was made and once again the home side managed to establish some dominance in the contest and looked the more likely to get that all important third goal. Rob Tapley pushed up alongside Hammett which gave the home side better balance especially as Marston looked to match their formation.

With the game reaching its final stages Sandy had the best of the chances, the first fell to Hammett who captilised on a mistake by the centre back to steal the ball on the edge of the box, with the second central defender closing him down though he tried to bend his shot into the bottom corner but cureld it too much into the keepers hands. The next chances were created by Lucio like runs from Phil Beall who was again having an outstanding game. The first he broke forward and then looked for Hammett. Hammett then back heeled the ball into the path of Brad Smith but the ball just took a bobble that allowed the defender to make a challenge before he could get the shot away. The second came as Beally found Tapley, but as Tappers treid to lift the bal over the on rushing keeper he somehow managed toget his arms up and block it. to rub salt into the wound he then beat Tappers to the rebound as well.

As the game was ticking down, player manager Ian Hammett almost fell over in surprise when the ref Neville Stone paid Sandy linesman Colin Osborne as massive compliment. The opposition right back was just about to throw so undeserved abuse in Colins direction, to which the ref responded with 'dont you abuse him, he is one of the best linesman i've officiated with!'. Colin was so pleased to hear this after the game that we feel it should be included in the match report!! Well done Ozzy!!

With five minutes left a mistake by the Marston backline let Tappers in one on one with the defender. He unselfishly looked to square the ball to Hammett but his pass was a little too heavy and the keeper rushed out to smother the ball on the edge of the box. Sandy were pressing and in those closing stage both Tapley and Baker picked up a booking for frustrations, but Sandy couldn't quite find the winner that they probably deserved. Final score 1-1. 

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (9)
2. Richard Seldon (9)
3. Matt Evans (9)
3. Shane Pope (9)
4. Mark Jennings (9)
8. John-Joe Pekszyc (9)
9. Ian Hammett (9)
11. Craig Baker (9)
13. Olly Banfield (9)
17. Phil Beall (9)
18. Chris Nicholls (9)

Subs:

5. Brad Smith (8)
7. Rob Tapley (8)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Olly Banfield

Assists:

1 x Ian Hammett

Man of the Match:

8. John-Joe Pekszyc

Booked:

7. Rob Tapley
11. Craig Baker

 

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