Sandy 1st Team: Match Report v Woburn Athletic

Competition Friendly - Pre Season Friendly
Result Woburn Athletic 6-3 Sandy 1st Team
Date Saturday 25 August 2012
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Worringly only a week before the 2012/13 season is due to start Sandy struggled to field a side. Reserve team manager Tony Gregory had already cancelled his game for today as he had only been able to find 7 available players and this allowed the 1st Team riddled with injuries and absentees to field a team. Joe Lunt once again made the step up to go in goal and Jonny Stratford, and Ryan Burgess made their first appearances in the squad. Jonny was handed a start up front after impressing for the reserves and Burgess had to settle for a role off the bench.

Dan Bailey who had become available at the last minute slotted in at right back for the 1st half with Richard Seldon shifting to left back. It was a real shiffle for the side that has been anythig but settled throughout the whole of pre season. Possibly this was also going to prove to be one friendly too many for the limited squad against a strong Woburn Athletic side who find themselves unbelievably plying their trade in division 2 this season after dropping down two divisions following relegation from the Premier division last season.

It was obvious from the off that Woburn were a very good side and Sandy struggled to get any sort of flow to their play constantly giving the ball away and playing little if any successful football. The home side inevitably took the lead within ten minutes as a huge gap opened up at the heart of the Sandy defence and a lovely threaded ball carved them open. Bailey tried to track the runner but couldn't quite get there and the striker finished with a deflected effort that looped over Lunt in the Sandy goal. They almost made it two shortly after as Woburn hit the bar from a corner following confusion in the visitors defence.

Woburn were out working sandy and seemed to pick up every loose ball and win every challenge. They also appeared to have extra time in the ball emphasised by an excellent second goal as the Woburn centre mid had all the time in the world to bring the ball down and fire a rapier like shot into the far bottom corner from fully thirty yards out. Lunt did well to get a hand to it but he couldn't keep it out. 

Finally the second goal seemed to kickstart and straight from the kick off they finally strung a passing move together that moved the ball from left back all across the pitch to the right flank where Ryan Gregory and Chris Nicholls combined to deliver the ball that Jonny Stratford couldn't quite get onto. Stratford had been ploughing a lone furrow up front chasing down with little reward although he had the odd sniff of getting in behind. It was Gregory though that had a chance to pull a goal back as he closed down well on the right win the ball and played a one-two with Nicholls before pulling his shot wide of the far upright.

This was all Sandy had to show though and Woburn made it three just before half time as again they cut through the Sandy defence and midfield for their striker to slot home whilst one on one with Lunt who tried to make himself big to no avail. It had been a poor and torrid half for Sandy and there were likely to be string words from manager Ian Hammet. Half time 0-3 

Sandy had a shuffle at half time with Ryan Burgess handed his debut at left back. Bailey was pushed back into midfield with Jonny moving to the left. Banfield made way. The visiting side did then start stronger and Burgess immediately settled winning several 50/50 balls and upping the energy levels of the team. Bailey also created more options in the middle of the park. However it was route one that saw Sandy get on the scoresheet early as Joe Lunt punted the ball forwards. His long clearance caught out the Woburn centre half who missed the ball and Nicholls gambled running on and flicking it passed the keeper and into the bottom corner to continue his rich vein of form in front of goal.

Jennings was now threatening to win the ball high up the pitch more and Gregory and Stratford had more space on the flanks. Still though the visiting side gave the ball away far too easily and from a Woburn corner they failed to clear and Woburn scored with a shot that went straight through the unsighted Lunt to restore their 3 goal cushion. It was seemingly going to be one of those days for Sandy as the second half followed the same pattern as the first.

Ryan Gregory though again narrowed the deficit as Jennings found him on the right he took a touch past the defender and then slotted the ball between the keepers legs and in off the near post. It had capped one of the bright performances from the Sandy side as Gregory continues to impress and catch the eye. That brought the score back to 4-2 and Sandy were now trying to narrow it further as Jonny Stratford cut in from the left from a corner and fired a shot in to the near post that the Woburn keeper did well to keep out. 

Woburn were still enjoying the lions share of possession and moving the ball around far better than Sandy. Darren Gipson came on at left back with Ryan Burgess moving forwards and Olly Banfield came on for Seldon as Sandy experimented for their captains suspension at the start of the season. Woburn added a fifth after a mix up and then a sixth as well making the scoreline look reflective of the aparnet gulf between the two sides. Jonny returned to the action late on and latched onto a Mark Jennings pass to deflty lob over the advancing keeper and score his first goal for the 1st team, but it was too little too late for Sandy who found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-3 drubbing.

Notbale performances came from Ryan Burgess, Jonny Stratford, Ryan Gregory and the usually solid Chris Nicholls but other than that Manager Ian Hammett will be hoping to forget abotu most of that game and be looking for a vast improvement from his players come Wednesday evening when they open their season in the East Beds Charity Cup against Division 1 rivals Shillington. Final score 3-6. 

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

2. Luke Morgan (6)
2. Richard Seldon (6)
3. Ryan Gregory (7)
4. Mark Jennings (6)
5. Andrew Wren (6)
10. Jonny Stratford (7)
13. Olly Banfield (6)
15. Daniel Bailey (6)
16. David Gill (6)
18. Chris Nicholls (7)


7. Ryan Burgess (7)
20. Darren Gipson (6)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Ryan Gregory
1 x Chris Nicholls
1 x Jonny Stratford


2 x Mark Jennings


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