Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Stevington

Competition League - Division 1
Result Stevington 5-3 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 14 November 2009
Kick Off 2.00pm

Match Report

Some of the worse storms of the year were battering the country and the harsh weather was not avoiding Stevington. Strong winds and driving rain prior to kick off, ensured that many people thought the game would be called off. However the pitch seemed to be in good condition and the game went ahead with Sandy feeling confident that they could get something from the afternoon.

Sandy started the game well despite the horrendous conditions, they settled quickly and passed the ball around with confidence. Assistant manager Iain Alderson in charge for the day in the absence of manager Daniel Bailey stressed before kick off that he wanted the team to hold a high line and press the opposition back into their own half.

The strong winds were making this difficult but Sandy's backline was well marshalled by Andrew Wren in the opening stages. This ensured that the midfield could get on the ball, although the only route of attack seemed to be cross field balls as the head wind made forward balls nigh on impossible. The opening exchanges produced no goalmouth action of note as both teams looked to gain the upper hand in the contest.

With their first shot of note Sandy took the lead. Richard Seldon played a ball down the right hand side, which floated over the full back of Stevington. Ian Hammett took the ball into his stride first time and then played a firm ball across the edge of the box, Sam James connected first time with the cross to slot the ball home from 18 yards out. This goal was the springboard that Sandy needed and they pushed forward despite the wind looking for a second. James and Hammett were involved again as this time the roles were reversed. James was released on the right, and his driven cross skidded dangerously between keeper and defenders in the penalty box. Hammett threw himself at the cross, but couldn't quite reach the ball with his slide.

Craig Baker then had a shot/cross from the left hand side of the box as Hammett brought the ball down and teed it up nicely for him, but his effort went wide. Sandy were dominating te game and despite the help of the wind Stevington couldn't seem to get out of their own half. Mark Pallister in the Sandy goal just seemed to be busy taking goal kicks as every through ball sailed through comfortably to him.

Brad Smith was then brought down on the edge of the Stevington box, and the defender was lucky to escape without a caution. Chris Baines stepped up, and his effort was spilled by the Stevington keeper. Unfortunately the rebound didn't fall to either Mark Jennings or Ian Hammett as they followed in and Stevington managed to clear.

30 minutes in and Stevington struck their first blow. After Sandy had conceeded a free kick on the left had side of their box. The kick was driven in and Mark Pallister spilled it straight to the waiting striker who slotted into the far corner. This goal was against the run of play and it seemed to give Stevington confidence. Sandy then spent the next fifteen minutes trying to get out of their half as the wind was so strong, every kick just held up. Sandy had also stopped knocking the ball around and were losing the aerial battle against their opponents. At one point the wind was so strong that Andrew Wrens goal kick actually went out for a corner. Sandy did however manage to hang on till half time. Half Time 1 - 1.

Now with the wind Sandy still felt confident that they could go on and win the game, and within 10 minutes it was 2 - 1. Chris Baines played a lovely through ball inside the left back which Sam James latched onto. James then played a lovely ball across the box, for Ian Hammett to slide in and put Sandy in front. This was no more than Sandy deserved and many felt that they would go on and win.

It should have been three shortly after when a ball from Andrew Wren was flicked on by James, the bounce eluded the defender and Hammett latched onto it. His delicate cross though somehow managed to evade both Craig Baker and Brad Smith at the back post and squirt across the face of goal for a goal kick. Craig Baker then also had a shot from the edge of the box that sailed over the bar from 18 yards out after good battling work from Chris Baines.

Andrew Wren then had a glorious chance to extend Sandy's lead when he connected with a Sam James corner, but coudn't quite keep his header down as he missed from 8 yards. Following this the afternoon seemed to go downhill. Stevington started to cope with the weather well and once again against the run of play equalised, when a player found himself unmarked 3 yards out at a corner to head home past the stranded Pallister.

Craig Baker had a glorious chance to restore Sandys lead as he was put through by Charlie Seward, one on one with the keeper he tried to place his shot and the keeper guessed right to save his tame effort. Stevington then took the lead with twenty minutes to go as the forward latched onto a through ball to shot low and hard past Pallister once again.

Substitute Charlie Seward did bring the scores level once again with 15 minutes to go when a burst from Mark Jennings took him past two players and into the box, his square ball was then turned home by Seward at the back post. The final fifteen minutes saw the weather deteriorate further along with Sandy's performance as again Pallister spilled the ball from a Stevington free kick only to see their forward react quickest and tap the ball home. With five minutes to go the game was over as Stevington added a fifth.

A most disappointing afternoon for Sandy and a result that leaves the team looking the wrong way at the table. Full time 3 - 5.

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Mark Pallister (6)
2. Richard Seldon (6)
3. Shane Pope (7)
4. Mark Jennings (6)
5. Andrew Wren (6)
5. Brad Smith (6)
8. Sam James (7)
9. Ian Hammett (7)
11. Craig Baker (6)
15. Chris Baines (6)
17. Phil Beall (6)


4. Charlie Seward (6)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Sam James
1 x Ian Hammett
1 x Charlie Seward


1 x Sam James
1 x Ian Hammett
1 x Mark Jennings

Man of the Match:

8. Sam James


4. Charlie Seward
5. Andrew Wren


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