Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Pavenham

Competition League - Division 1
Result Pavenham 3-1 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 22 September 2012
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Sandy travelled to unbeaten Pavenham looking for their third win on the bounce which was always going to be tough based on their hosts early season form. Preparations weren't helped with half the team getting stuck in traffic and only arriving with half an hour before kick off, but with a full squad Sandy were hopeful that they could get something from the game. 

Phil Beall returned to the starting line up after injury at the expense of Luke Morgan and Craig Baker was asked to perform he lone strikers role in the abscence of Chris Nicholls. Ian Hammett returned to the bench as he began his comeback from injury and Dave Lenton was again available at Half time. Sticking with their new formation this season Sandy started the stronger of the sides and were immediately on the attack. Ryan Gregory picked up the ball on the left flank, cut inside and beat a couple of players befor firing a shot goalwards which the Pavenham keeper held well. 

The hosts were pinned back in their half and Sandy dominated the early minutes of a scrappy game and Sandy had another half chance as aker launched a long throw inot the box which found Dan Bailey, but his header lacked power and again the ball feel straight into the keepers arms. Both teams were struggling to find any sort of flow to their football as defences dominated proceedings. Sandy were pressing well as a unit and Pavenham played the ball out of play consistantly. However there back four and holding midfielder were shutting everything down and Sandy were feeding on scraps. The visitors did have a genuine penaly claim on ten minutes as Burgess cut inside from the right, turned the left back inside out and then appeared to be brought down as he went past the defender, but despite the appeals the ref waved play on.

Pavenham then started to settle and created an overlap down the right only for Gilly to recover and block the ball away for a corner. Pope then cleared the initial cross, but from the second corner Pavenham had their first sight of goal as their tall centre back had a free header that he placed well over the bar. Sandy then gifted the home side another chance as Wrenny lost the ball trying to play out from the back and the Pavenham number 9 raced clear, bearing down on goal from a narrow angle. Pally cut off the near post and stayed big though, saving brilliantly with his feet to keep the scores level.

Minutes later though Pavenham scored as they worked the ball into the box from the left hand side, their number 11 was afforded to much space in the box and he brought the ball down turned, shuffled and fired the ball into the roof of the net leaving Pally with no chance and giving them the lead. Sandy were furious as they felt the ball had gone out of play on the far side but the linesman didn't flag and the goal stood. Picking themselves up Sandy responded and tried to find a way through. There was some nice football but the wrong choices were being made and Sandygave the ball away too easily. Baker wasn't enjoying his time as the lone frontman and looked out of place somewhat however he did work hard trying to track back.

It was left for a moment of magic to get Sandy back into the game as Phil Beall found Ryan Gregory in the centre of the park, he beat a man and drove forwards into the middle of the half before from Fully 30 yards out unleashing an absolute thunderbolt of a shot that flew past the keeper and into the net stunning the home side. It was certainly an early contender for Goal of the season and was a wonderful individual effort that was well deserved by the young winger. 1-1

The goal kick started the visitors and they were then pushing forwards. Baker and Bailey were involved in a nice exchange which resulted in Bailey curling an effort just wide from the edge of the box, but other than this Sandy were failing to create goalscoring opportunities. Both sides again were cancelling each other out and it wasn't until the closing stages of the half that Pavenham threatened again. The number 11 who had been having a stormer turned Wrenny and then fired a low shot which looked destined for the bottom corner except for a full length save from Pally who tipped it round the post. From the corner Pavenham then had three free headers with the third rattling the bar before being cleared. The ref brought the half to a close with the game all square. Half time 1-1.

This was always going to prove to be a close game and Sandy knew that they must keept things tight as the team that blinked first would possibly lose this match. However the 2nd half couldn't of started any worse as Sandy failed to clear an attack and Phil Beall scuffed a clearance which fell straight into the path of the Pavenham player who burst into the box and coolly slotted the ball past Pally who had no chance. 2-1. This was not what the visitors had wanted and were now again facing an uphill battle against a strong side.

Manager Hammett decided on early changes and brought himself and Dave Lenton on to replace Craig Baker and Ryan Burgess, and initially the changes seemed to work as Sandy dominated the next few minutes of play. They moved the ball around nicely and worked themselves into dangerous positions but it was the final ball that was letting them down as they couldn't get through the robust Pavenham back line. Depsite being in the ascendancy though it was the hosts that added a third after 55 minutes as a cross from the left found an unmarked player at the back post and he headed home from five yards. Sandy couldn't of started the half worse.

Phil Beall who had then been playing well was struggling with fitness though and was replaced by Luke Morgan who slotted straight back in alongside Wrenny for the remainder of the game as the visitors looked to recover and get back into the contest. Lenton was proving to be a nuisance and Hammetts movement up front was creating some space as the chances started to come. Hammett and lenton had a nice exchange that released the latter down the right wing he cut into the box and then dinked the ball back into he back post but Pavenham just cleared when Hammett and Gilly were ready to pounce. Jennings then couldn't quite recover the loose ball.

Then Hammett was involved again as Bailey burst down the right flank and cut the ball back into the Sandy strikers path. He took a touch and then fired the ball goalwards but a flying block from the Pavenham holding midfielder took the sting out of the shot and although almost sent the keeper the wrong way he had enough time to recover and gather the ball. Sandy were now looking dangerous again and Lenton and Gregory were running at their hosts with every opportunity. Lenton felt that he had a couple of really good shouts for a Penalty as first he was clipped by a defender retrieving the ball and then he was taken out by the goalkeeper as he got to a ball first laying it back to Hammett. To Sandy's amazement though neither were given as the ref decided they were just collisions, make of that what you will.

Lenton did have a half chance to pull a goal back as Bailey found him in the box but he didn't quite catch his shot and the keeper saved easily. Pavenham were still looking threatening though as space opened on the counter attack. Seldon gave the ball away and Pavenham delivered a wicked cross into the box which came to nothing and then Morgan gave away the ball on half way and put the striker through one on one, however he panicked after Pally had narrowed the angle and Seldon recovered brilliantly to clear the ball away and stop there being a fourth goal.

Depsite the effort Sandy failed to breakthrough and get back into the game and the hosts held on for a win. For Sandy it was a bad day at the office and manager Hammett will hope for a better response next week when they travel to Henlow. Final score 1-3 

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (7)
2. Richard Seldon (6)
3. Ryan Gregory (7)
3. Shane Pope (7)
4. Mark Jennings (6)
5. Andrew Wren (6)
7. Ryan Burgess (6)
11. Craig Baker (6)
15. Daniel Bailey (6)
16. David Gill (6)
17. Phil Beall (7)


2. Luke Morgan (6)
9. Ian Hammett (6)
24. Dave Lenton (6)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Ryan Gregory


Man of the Match:

3. Ryan Gregory

Match Photos - Match Action: Sandy vs Pavenham 22/9/2012

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