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Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Meltis Albion

Competition League - Division One
Result Meltis Albion 1-7 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 28 April 2012
Kick Off 2.30pm
Attendance14

Match Report

Surprisingly Sandys last league game went ahead after some torrential rain in the area for the few days prior to the match, but the Meltis pitch was in a playable condition so both teams were able to complete there season and despite it meaning very little in the league, Sandy were keen to build some momentum ahead of their cup final.

Missing Phil Beall and Luke Morgan due to injury and Craig Baker due to work, Manager Ian Hammett shuffled the pack with Matt Evans and Jj restored at centre backs and Olly Banfield returned to the right wing. Meltis from the off didn't really look up for the game and they were trying to delay kick off as they waited for their two late players.

The referee was having none of it and started the match and Sandy immediately fell into some nice flowing football. They moved the ball well and kept possession, cutting through the home defence at will. Looking like it was only a matter of time before they broke through and it was as Banfield and Hammett made a nice exchange down the right before Seldon floated a ball over the top for Staf to chase. The Defender got there first but Staf was stronger and shrugged him off before sliding the ball between the keepers legs to give the visitors a perfect start to the contest.

Meltis were now back to their full compliment of players and 11 on 11 they managed to keep Sandy at bay without really threatening the visitors goal. JJ marshalled the defence well and he and Matt Evans looked solid. Pope and Seldon at the full back positions were also solid as Meltis were frustrated. Everytime Sandy poured forwards they looked very dangerous and it was a surprise that they took so long to add to their tally. This wasn't for the want of trying, but either the final ball let them down or the chances they did have were spurned. Staf was a little guilty of this and should of added to his tally on a couple of occasions, first he fired wide after weaving past two players in the box when he could of squared it to Hammett for a tap in, then he broked free of the back line after a flick over the top from Hammett but the keeper blocked the shot. Mark Jennings had the next chance as he latched onto a Hammett corner to the back post, but despite outjumping the defender he only found the side netting. Then from a Hammett free kick, Banfield headed powerfully wide at the back post whilst under pressure. 

Chris Nicholls was causing problems down the left and his quick burst and left foot cross agains almost found Banfield at the back post but the left back for Meltis did well to head the ball away for a corner. Both wingers were threatening and getting into decet positions with Nicholls probably the most frustrated as the final pass never found him in the space he had created. Hammett had the next best chance for Sandy as a Seldon cross was missed by everybody and found Hammett at the back post, but he snatched at his shot and dragged the ball harmlessly wide. The game was more about moving without the ball though and Meltis were failing to follow the Sandy runners, emphasised most by JJ who burst forwards from the back and then almost getting in behind after some lovely triangle football from the visitors. The Meltis Keeper though managed to clear the ball.

Finally the pressure paid off and a flowing move was finished well as Tappers found space on the edge of the box and chipped a lovely ball over the top to Staf. Staf beat the keeper to the ball, flicked it over his head and the spun and tapped the ball home into the empty net. It was no more than the pressure deserved and Sandy were looking comfortable. It was almost three soon after as Staf was agan involved, this time he tried an audacious overhead kick shot/cross that hit the bar and had the keeper worried for a few moments. Depsite all their pressure though 2-0 is always a dodgy lead and some last ditch defending just before half time was needed to keep the score in tact.

Pally who had a relatively quiet first half and was a vitual spectator other than collecting balls from throw ins and launching them forwards could do nothing as Meltis whipped in a corner which was met at the back post powerfully. the ball came through a crowd of players and looked to be heading in before JJ stretched out a telescopic leg and cleared the ball off the line with eveybody else beaten. It would have been unfair on the visitors if the home side had snatched a goal, but it was a warning that the game was far from over and that concentration was needed if they were to see game out. Half time 2-0.

Meltis started the second half with a little more urgency and seemed to be spurred on by the late showing in the first half that they had produced and once again as has so often been the story of Sandy's season they didn't start the second half well and allowed the hosts to get into the contest. Meltis pressured and won a succession of corners that Sandy defended well but couldn't seem to get out of their own half. Then finally the pressure told as from one such corner the ball was whipped in and the right winger rose unmarked to head home powerfully past Pally and give the home side a lifeline in the contest. It wasn't the start that Sandy wanted but they responded well and settled back down into the football that they had been playing in the first half. 

It wasn't though team play that created Sandy's third and restored their two goal cushion but a moment of class from their leading scorer Staf. He picked up the ball just inside the Meltis half and ran at the opposition driblling past four players he burst into the box, but with Seldon sprinting forwards from right back hoping for a tap in and yelling don't shoot square it, Staf drilled the ball low into the bottom corner for once again a late contender for Goal of the Season. Seldon was deflated as he still searched for his first goal of the campaign but Staf was celebrating his hat trick. This seemed to galvanise the visitors again and break the resistance of the home side as they begam to get very disjointed and their play was all over the place. Sandy took full advantage and pressed forwards, a nice exchange between Staf and Banfield almost released Hammett , but the Meltis keeper got to the through ball first. Then Nicholls attacked down the left and his square ball from the byline was just cut out by the defenders before it would reach Staf or Hammett. Pope and Seldon were now also pushing forwards more down the flanks and Pope was curling in crosses that were being cleared with some last ditch defending.

One such cross was headed away for a corner. Hammett swung the ball in and although Jennings missed the near post header the ball anded right to Staf two yards out. He had a slice of luck that the ball hit him and fell to his feet, but he didn't waste the opportunity and stabbed the ball home for his fourth goal of the afternoon. Despite the dominant scoreline JJ and Matt Evans were still having to defend solidly as Meltis counter attacked and Pally was forced into an incredible save from the left wing as the Meltis winger fired the ball goalwards, in the wind the ball swerved al over the place but Pally juts got a hand to it which was enough to divert it onto the post and thankfully it rebounded out to be cleared for a corner by Seldon.

Seward replaced Banfield who had picked up a knock in the first half, and shortly after coming on both he and Staf had the chance to score a fifth goal. Hammett found Staf with a ball over the top and he was through one on one with the keeper. He flicked it past him, but agonisingly the ball was going wide. Seward did his best to get on the end of the ball, but he couldn't quite make contact to steer the ball into the net as he slid in. This was Stafs last action as he was replaced by Nathan Morris having done his job. Morris and Charlie Seward now the two new forwards looked to make an immediate impact both with fresh legs and the impetus to prove themselves. Like Seward Morris almost scred with his first touch as a long free kick forward from JJ was flciked on by Jennings. Morris latched on and fired the ball into the top corner of he net with a classy finish, but he was offside by a good three yards and hence the goal was scrubbed off. 

Sandy were now playing some lovely football, winning the ball high and then knocking it around. Tappers was getting on the ball plenty in the midfield and starting off moves looking to release Morris when he could. Seward was also dropping off and linking the play well bringing the wingers into the action. Seldon was rampaging forwards at every opportunity often leaving Hammett at right back and his desperate search for a goal continued and it was he that created the fifth goal. He won the ball on the edge of the Meltis box and burst through, but his low shot was saved by the keeper who could only push it into the path of Nathan Morris who slid the ball into the empty net from a couple of yards out. Once again Seldon had been denied but Sandy had added to their tally.

Inspite of the great football being played it was a long ball that led to the sixth as Hammett fired the ball crossfield for Nicholls to break the offside trap. He broke down the left and then cut in, crossing to find Jennings at the near post. Jennings chested the ball down, turned on a sixpence (a big sixpence) and fired the ball low into the the far corner. This was now starting to turn into a rout and Sandy were hungry for more. The 7th came as Yossi added his second from a poor goal kick from the opposition keeper. Yossi stole between the centre backs and gettng the ball out of his feet fired it past the keeper to round off a convincing performance.  

The performance was excellent all round from all 13 players and Sandy rounded their season off in some style. Hoepfully this will given them some momentum going into their cup final on Friday 4th May vs league winners Ickwell. Final score 7-1. 

   

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Daniel Stafford (10)
1. Mark Pallister (8)
2. Richard Seldon (8)
3. Shane Pope (8)
3. Matt Evans (8)
4. Mark Jennings (8)
7. Rob Tapley (8)
8. John-Joe Pekszyc (8)
9. Ian Hammett (8)
13. Olly Banfield (8)
18. Chris Nicholls (8)

Subs:

4. Charlie Seward (8)
13. Nathan Morris (9)

Goal Scorers:

4 x Daniel Stafford
2 x Nathan Morris
1 x Mark Jennings

Assists:

2 x Richard Seldon
1 x Ian Hammett
1 x Rob Tapley
1 x Chris Nicholls

Man of the Match:

1. Daniel Stafford

 

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