Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Westoning

Competition League - Division One
Result Westoning 0-3 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 24 September 2011
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Sandy entertained Westoning for the second time in two weeks after the contest had to be switched to Bedford Road due to a family fun day being held at Westoning's Greenfield road recreation ground. Despite missing several key regulars, Sandy were still able to field a strong squad with Rob Tapley and JJ Pekszyc both making welcome returns from injury. Darren Gipson was handed his first start of the season in the absence of Matt Gedney and Shane Pope.

Manager Ian Hammett knew that his side needed a win today so that they could really kickstart their season and maintain their unbeaten start to the league campaign. Sandy started well and looked solid from the outset. Westoning were a much changed side from the 4-4 draw two weeks ago, stronger and more competitive as well as far better organised. This meant that the home side were going to have to be at their best to get a result. At the heart of the defence Phil Beall and Luke Morgan were more vocal and with Richard Seldon organising from right back the back four looked solid. Gipson slotted into the left back position well and gave a composed defensive performance as well as trying to get forwards as often as possible.

The home side were playing some good football through midfield with Chris Nicholls busy and creative at the heart of it all. He and Mark Jennings were spreading the play well and getting Ian Hammett and Matt Evans involved on the flanks. It was Hammett who had the first real shot of the game, as both Seward and Stafford put pressure on the home defence. A scuffed clearance found Hammett on the edge of the box but his side foot shot from the right went straight into the keepers arms. Matt Evans was creating no end of problems down the left flank as he continually went on mazy runs that committed the defenders. One such run eneded with him slotting Staf through on goal, but staf could only poke the ball wide of the far post with the outside of his foot.

Staf then had another opportunity as Jennings played the ball into him, he flicked it over the defender and was away from the back line. As three players rushed to close him down and the keeper came out, he could only again steer it past the far post. Seward was also enjoying his second start in a row and was having a good first half. He did have the chance to open his account for the season as Beally went on a trademark Lucio like run from the back beating four players and then delivering the ball on a plate to Charlie who could only volley the ball over from about 8 yards out. Beally then had the chance to score himself as he had a free header from a Hammett corner, but he could only guide the ball over from 3 yards out when he should really of done better. For the second week in a row Staf tried a bicycle kick although not as succesful as last week. After some good play between Hammett and Evans the ball looped into the box and Stafs kick was just wide.

Sandy were playing some nice football, but also defending well as a unit. They stopped Westoning from playing and Nathan Morris was untroubled in the Sandy goal for a majority of the half. The home side repelled several corners and free kicks with ease as Jennings, Morgan, Evans and Beally won everything in the air. It was only going to be a matter of time before Sandy took the lead and it was only a fine save from the Westoning goalkeeper that kept the scores level at half time. Chris Nicholls recieved the ball on the right side of the box, spun his defender then fired a wicked shot goalwards, which somehow the keeper tipped onto the post and away. Half time 0-0.

Sandy were keen to build on their first half performance and they started the second half strongly. They took the lead with only a couple of minutes gone as Charlie played a lovely cross field ball to Hammett, who took the ball into the box and then cut it back to Chris Nicholls who took a couple of touches and then fired the ball powerfully through a crowd of players and into the net. This was no more than the home side had deserved and they looked to continue to dominate the match.

Westoning then enjoyed their best period of the game as they looked to respond. Sandy's defence stood firm though and protected Morris in the Sandy goal well. JJ and Tapley game on with 35 minutes to go as Hammett looked to bring in some fresh legs, replacing Morgan and Gipson who had both given strong performances. JJ almost made Hammett regret the decision as within seconds he gave the ball away and was out of position as he looked to step out of defence. However Seldon and Beally saved him and he was to settle in to his usual calm and assured performance.

With Tapley's return Nicholls shifted out to the left wing and Matt Evans moved to full back. Rob was making good runs and Chris almost found him after combining well with Hammett, but the pass was just overhit. Westoning then came close to equalising and it was only a fine save from Morris who tipped a twenty yard free kick onto the bar and away to keep Sandy in the lead. Straight after the save came the knockout blow from the home side. Charlie recieved the ball on the right and held it up well before laying it square to Hammett. Hammett dinked the ball through into the path of Tapley who took the ball first time on the bounce firing it over the keeper and into the roof of the net to double the home sides lead. 

Moments later the roles were reversed for Hammett and Seward as Hammett latched onto a sloppy pass across the back four to lay Charlie in down the left hand side. his square ball found Jennings whose left footed shot took a slight deflection and flew past the helpless Westoning keeper. With twenty minutes to go Sandy were coasting and looking very strong. The visitors were struggling to even get out of their own half as the home side continually pressed. Staf was determined to get a goal for the afternoon and went on a couple of powerful runs down the left flank, each time choosing to shoot rather than square it to Charlie who i'm sure would of loved a tap in.

Sandy remained dominant for the rest of the contest with Ryan Gregory coming on for Charlie to provide fresh legs down the right. The home side could probably of had a couple more goals, except their final ball just let them down on occasion. Staf did have a long range free kick that the keeper saved and a few long range efforts were blocked. However Sandy always looked comfortable and recorded a fine win to extened their unbeaten run to three games and lift them into the top six before their tough match next week against Ickwell and Old Warden who have recorded three wins from three. Final score 3-0.


Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

1. Daniel Stafford (8)
2. Richard Seldon (9)
2. Luke Morgan (8)
3. Matt Evans (9)
4. Mark Jennings (8)
4. Charlie Seward (8)
9. Ian Hammett (8)
13. Nathan Morris (8)
17. Phil Beall (9)
18. Chris Nicholls (9)
20. Darren Gipson (8)


3. Ryan Gregory (8)
7. Rob Tapley (8)
8. John-Joe Pekszyc (8)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Mark Jennings
1 x Rob Tapley
1 x Chris Nicholls


2 x Ian Hammett
1 x Charlie Seward

Man of the Match:

18. Chris Nicholls


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