Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Bedford Panthers

Competition League - Division Four
Result Sandy Reserves 3-3 Bedford Panthers
Date Saturday 08 October 2011
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report


After picking up their first win the previous week, Sandy were going inot this match full of confidence hoping to add to their points tally. Once again Darren Gipson reinforced the squad from the 1st Team, however regular captain Adam Hales was missing from the line up. Olly Banfield was recalled to the 1st Team squad this week, so Manager Tony Gregory shuffled the pack and started Matt Flynn at centre back.


The match sprung into life from the off, with Sandy attacking with passion and commitment looking to build on their excellent performance last week, a long ball was played forwards and with a nice flick on ball from Johnny, Chris stepped up to open the scoring with his first goal of the game. Sandy applied pressure straight from the restart not giving the visitors a moments rest, Bedford Panthers attacked with the long lofted balls being played forwards, but the Sandy back line were solid keeping on their toes ensuring that they kept ball controlled and played it quickly back up the field.


Johnny and Chris continually worked hard against the defenders, and this resulted in a second flick on from Johnny which saw Chris sprint onto the ball. With great control and power, Chris beat the keeper for his 2nd goal. Almost immediately after going 2-0 up Sandy pushed forwards again, with yet another push from midfield finding the front men. One such attack resulted in Johnny being pulled down in the box and a penalty was awarded by the ref. Johnny stepped up to take the penalty, Sandy's 3rd goal and only 10 minutes into the game.


It had been a wonderful start for the home side but the weather was deteriorating and the fine rain made the pitch slippery which made it difficult to stay on your feet. This meant that many free kicks were given as players from both sides were penalized, this brought frustration into the game, as the players didn't agree with the decisions that the ref was making, and the ref didn't help matters as he  seemed to be free and easy with his cards if the players were to question a decision.


Gipson took a hard tackle and won a free kick, Flynn positioned himself on the ball and laid a beautiful ball in toward our players in the 18 yard box, the Panthers keeper pushed the ball out to Brad Dennis, but he fired his shot just over the bar. An excellent effort from the team, saw them holding onto the lead as the whistle blew for half time.


Tony only needed to have a quick chat at half time as the lads were positive with there work rate and a well earned position. However he stressed that the job was only half done. 


The visitors made some adjustments and changed their attacking pace, Sandy did well though holding the play up time and time again on the back line. Wingers Reece and Brad worked really hard and were dropping in to help dig the ball out and then ensuring that the home side could then begin working their way back up pitch.


Some slightly over hit through balls from Reece toward the front line, made it quite easy for their keeper to nick the ball and push it forward again as we were getting back. This allowed the Panthers to counter attack the home side and  a speedy approach from the opposition team, pushing the ball across our goal found their 1st goal. This was to be the only goal they made as the others came from soft penalty decisions that the ref controversially awarded. One in particular stood out where the player that was the victim of the so called foul, even told the ref that he hadn't been touched but the decision was made. Justice stopped there however as the opposing team still scored the penalty.


Our keeper Phil got to the 2nd penalty, but the ball slipped away under him. Sandy responded to their bad luck however and they pushed forward to be rewarded with yet another corner. Brad Dennis stepped up to swing the ball in from the corner, Flynn got hold of it for a fab shot just wide.


Bedford Panthers then looked to puch for a winner creating a couple of dangerous chances, and it was only some safe hands from Phil Cooper that kept the score at 3 a piece.


Depsite being under pressure and nearing the end of the game Sandy players were holding strong and a final attack was launched towards the oppositions end of the pitch. The ball came across for Chris who connected with his left foot, hitting it clean toward goal only to see it agonisingly just clip the post to deny him his hat trick and Sandy the winning goal that they deserved. Chris's stepped up performance earned him man of the match.


Only one sub was called upon during the game for Sandy, Nathan Morris came on the pitch for Baines, Manager Tony thought Matt was nursing a knock from a late tackle. It was good to see Nathan on pitch as he had been playing in goal for the first team for some weeks, the change for Baines in the centre of midfield was soon seen to be the wrong move as the strength of Baines was missed.


All in all though the teams performance should have been rewarded with the 3 points on the day, but some very good football was played for which the 1 point for the draw keeps pushing the points in the right direction. Sandy Reserves will look to extend their unbeaten run to three games when they visit Goldington Hammers in their next fixture.


Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

3. Darren Gipson (8)
5. Peter Rogan (8)
8. Chris Gregory (9)
13. Reece Stratton (8)
14. Matt Flynn (8)
16. Gareth Seldon (8)
20. Matt Baines (8)
21. Jonny Stratford (8)
31. Ryan Gregory (8)


9. nathan morris (8)

Goal Scorers:

2 x Chris Gregory
1 x Jonny Stratford


3 x Jonny Stratford

Man of the Match:

8. Chris Gregory


9. nathan morris
16. Gareth Seldon


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