Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Meltis Albion

Competition League - Division One
Result Sandy 1st Team 9-0 Meltis Albion
Date Saturday 29 October 2011
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Sandy welcomed mid table rivals Meltis Albion to the Rec today keen to record their second win in a row in the league and bounce back from the disappointing County Cup exit last week. Despite a strong performance against Christians in Sport, Manager Ian Hammett was forced into making some changes. Rob Tapley slotted back into the centre of midfield as he returned following a Hamstring strain, and Sandy FC welcomed back Craig 'Bad Boi' Baker and Brad Smith to the 1st Team squad as both players took their place on the bench.

Due to the strength in Depth of the squad Olly Banfield and Matt Gedney went with the reserves as did Mark Pallister who was making his return to playing action after a long lay off with a shoulder injury. The competition for places in the 1st team squad is now fierce and each player was reminded of this before the game as Manager Ian Hammett demanded a strong performance, stressing that anything but a win would be disappointing.

The home side started the game well, as they looked to impose themselves on the contest early on. Holding their shape well and pressing as a team they snuffed out Meltis Albion at every opportunity and domnated the contest from start to finish. Keeping possession well Sandy were able to launch attack after attack, but they couldn't find a breakthrough. The earliest chance fell to Ian Hammett as Staf cut into the box and shot towards the crowded goalmouth, Hammett tried an audacious back heel from four yards out, back across goal but the keeper saved well. Chris Nicholls was working hard cutting in from the right wing to become involved in the play and he was combining well with Richard Seldon down the right who was using the space to his advantage to push on from right back.

Matt Evans and Shane Pope were also working well down the left flank as the team looked balanced and strong. During the opening exchanges Sandy didn't really test the keeper further as long range efforts from Nicholls, Staf and Jennings went wide or over the bar but it seemed that inevitably Sandy would take the lead. Against the run of play Meltis did win a corner though and they almost took the lead as the corner curled in and clipped the top of the bar to the relief of Nathan Morris who had been a virtual spectator. Sandy then had a succession of corners themselves, that they couldn't quite convert until the 20th minute when their patience finally paid off.

Hammett drilled a corner into the box, finding Phil Beall six yards out who rose like a salmon to head home past the keeper who was routed to his line. 'Finally' Beally had scored and he was loving it and his return to form as for the rest of he game he decided to return to his Lucio like best. This goal galvanised Sandy and the football got even better. The second goal was to come from a flowing move that started with JJ at centre back and travlled the length of the field. Meltis weren't going with their runners and the ball found its way to Shane Pope who delievered a wicked ball into the box. As it bounced about 14 yards out Staf ran in and stooped to head the ball into the far corner past a stunned diving keeper who got nowhere near the ball.

Sandy were now fully in charge and were having a lions share of the possession. The back four were outstanding and Meltis weren't even able to have a notable shot on goal as JJ and Beally marshalled the back line. The only half chance for the visitors came when Sandy gacve the ball away, but Nathan was out quickly to close the ball down and won a goalkick in a strong challenge with the Meltis forward, other than that Morris was frankly bored in the Sandy goal. Some more flowing football created the third goal as Chris Nicholls and Tappers exchanged quick passes and then Chris switched the play to Matt Evans. Twisting and turning Evans then clipped the ball inot the six yard box. Luckily Beally who was somehow up front missed his header and the ball dropped to Hammett who controlled it perfectly with his shin before stabbing the ball home from 3 yards.

Sandy were rampant now and Mark Jennings was pushing forwards determined to win the ball high up the pitch. Tappers on his return seemed to adopt the holding midfield role as Jennings ploughed on. Staf was working hard as well with Hammett to close the defesive line down as they were abley supported by the rest of the squad. Chris Nicholls who was having an outstanding half then went on a mazy run down the right beating four players before sliding a delightful ball through to Staf who broke through and slid in to poke the ball past the on rushing keeper to give  Sandy their fourth goal of the game. Chris was so happy that he then dropped to his knees in a moment of overwhelming emotion having run so far.

Meltis were struggling to live with the hosts, but Sandy made the most of it. Usually the home side have been known to drop to their opponents level, but today the flowing football and hard work showed through as they gave a worthy first half performance to take a well deserved 4-0 lead in at half time. 

The home side were keen to build on their lead and they started the second half as they ended the first. Meltis did try and restore some pride as they pushed forwards early in the half but again Seldon, JJ, Beally and Pope were solid at the back that they didn't even get a sniff of the goal. In the second half they were again reduced to scraps and only had two shots to mention but both flew wide not even testing Morris in the Sandy goal. They did have a couple of corners as well but the home side cleared them without any trouble.

It wasn't long before Staf had his hattrick and Sandy had their fifth goal. Shane and Mark Jennings combined well to find Hammett down the left wing. Hammet shifted the ball back to his right foot then curled the ball to the back post, where Staf rose infront of an excited Richard Seldon to head the ball back into the far corner again giving the diving keeper no chance. Sandy were then flooding forwards again and it could of been six shortly after as Matt Evans stole the ball off the right back, but instead of squaring the ball he shot and the keeper tipped the ball around the post. From the resulting corner JJ got the chance to come up from the back and his header was agonisingly cleared off the line by the man on the post.

Beally was determined to score a hat trick today as he decided that it was too broing being a defender and rampaged forwards at every opportunity. He took the ball past players at will, but seemed to panic everytime he got near the box because he had so many options. Usually he ignored Tappers but one one occassion he exchanged passes and was in on goal. The keeper rushed out to make the save, but the ball fell kindly to staf who steered the ball inside the post past the man on the line to grab his fourth goal.

Sandy were now 6-0 up and there were still 30 minutes to go, so Hammett decided to rest Matt Evans and Staf who wasn't to amused as he wanted ten goals. Baker and Smith were given the opportunity to stake a claim for places. The subs made strong impacts in the game as they added fresh legs against a demotivated Meltis side. Craig Baker went on a run through the middle of the back line, his touch was a little heavy though as the keeper rushed out to close him down, but the ball broke kindly for Hammett who steered the ball home into the empty net to make it 7-0.

Meltis were now under seige as Sandy poured forwards. Nicholls, Smith and Baker were desperate to score as was Rob Tapley who was becoming increasingly frustrated by his lack of a goal or an assist. Tappers almost got his chance when he laid the ball wide to Hammett and then went for the return only for the defender to just get in the way of Hammetts square ball. Sandy were then winning corners at will and Nicholls had a header cleared off the line as he flicked the ball on at the near post, but it just seemed destined for him not to add to his teams tally.

It was Baker who added the eighth as another corner was put into the box and Meltis failed to clear. Beally challenged for the ball and it broke to Baker who volleyed the ball into the net through a crowd of players. Then Brad Smith added number nine as Hammett went down the right and his square ball found Baker in the box. Baker somehow got the ball through to Brad at the back post and he stabbed the ball home as both subs then had scored on their returns to the team.

In truth it could and probably should have been more to the home side, Phil 'Lucio' Beally went on a couple of strong runs and instead of squaring either of them he fired the ball straight at the keeper who saved well. Even though he had let in nine goals the Meltis Keeper was clearly their best player and kept the score to single figures. As the game neared a conclusion the football got a little ragged as Meltis had given up hope and Sandy lost shape as their legs tired. Hammett had a couple of opportunites to find Baker and Smith in the box, but his passes didn't find their marks.

However it was a strong performance and most notbaly the Home side ensured that the visitors didn't even have a shot on target. to he point where Morris was so bored that he was asking to come out on pitch and play up front just so he could touch the ball. Sandy though were keen for their second cleen sheet in a row in the league and they duely got it completing an excellent 9-0 win, which everyone except Tappers was ecstatic with. Final score 9-0. 

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

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


5. Brad Smith (9)
11. Craig Baker (9)

Goal Scorers:

4 x Daniel Stafford
2 x Ian Hammett
1 x Craig Baker
1 x Phil Beall
1 x Brad Smith


2 x Ian Hammett
1 x Shane Pope
1 x Craig Baker
1 x Chris Nicholls
1 x Matt Evans

Man of the Match:

1. Daniel Stafford


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