Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Flitwick Eagles Sunday

Competition Friendly - Pre Season Friendly
Result Sandy Reserves 2-8 Flitwick Eagles Sunday
Date Wednesday 24 August 2011
Kick Off 6.30pm

Match Report

Sandy entertained Flitwick Eagles in their third pre season match with Manager Tony Gregory being given a last chance to look at each and every player within his reserve team squad with 20 players available to him for selection it was always going to be a fine balancing act.

The opposition was always going to provide a tough test as they possessed some of Sandy 1st teams regulars within their ranks, but the reserves relished the challenge. Danny Hoole made his first appearance of pre season alongside Reece Stratton in central midfield and Garth Seldon also returned to Sandy starting at left back.

The game started scrappily with both teams struggling to find any fluency. Stratton and Hoole where working hard in the middle of the park to create opportunities and get the game flowing the right direction, but Luke Morgan and Olly Banfield wheer solid at the heart of the visitors defence. The visitors took the lead with a long ball over the top of the Sandy backline and as Matt Balls rushed out to try and claim the ball, Jack Farthing directed the ball over him and into the empty net whilst under pressure from Garth. Sandy then found themselves two nil down as familiar faces Ian Hammett and Charlie Seward combined for Flitwick on the edge of the Sandy box for Charlie to fire a shot straight under Matt Balls from 18 yards.

This did however spur the home team into action and they put the Eagles under some pressure. Ryan Gregory caused a few problems down the right and Chris Gregory was finding space up front but the opportunities to score were few and far between. Scott Dougal though did grab his first goal for the club as he latched onto a mistake by Jack Farthing to fire the ball low and hard into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box leaving Steve Webb in the Eagles goal no chance and to put the reserves right back into the game. This was just the motivation that the home side needed and they looked more confident for the minutes that followed until against the run of play they went 3-1 down as Ian Hammett found space in the box from a long throw to fire the ball home past a helpless Matt Balls.

Matt was having a torrid evening in the Sandy goal and it was his error that led to Fltiwicks 4th goal. Having had problems with his kicking all night he took a free kick and hit it straight to Chris Jennings who returned the ball straight into the empty net from thirty yards leaving Balls with no chance of recovering from his wide position. Flitwick then added a fifth before half time as Hammett squared the ball to another Sandy regular Dan Stafford to slot the ball home.

Manager Tony Gregory had made several changes during the first half as he tried many different combinations. Matt Gedney brought some much needed experience to the back line and youngsters Harry Barham and Jake Brown were afforded opportunities at Full back. John Sheppard also made his return to the club as did ex manager Graham Ward. Sandy did have the odd chance to pull another goal back before half time but Chris Gregory fired over from the edge of the box, Nathan Morris tried an ambitious bicycle kick which went well wide, and Ryan Gregory didn't connect properly with a near post cross failing to trouble the keeper. Danny Hoole also had a long range effort that sailed wide. Half time 1-5.

Tony made several changes for the second half and Sandy settled much quicker, playing some nice football and tearing into their opponents. Nathan Morris changed with Matt Balls at half time in the Sandy goal and within minutes he pulled off a spectacular save to deny Charlie his second goal for flitwick. From close range Seward fired the ball goalwards but Morris tipped it over with a strong hand.

The hosts also tried to play some more settled football and move the ball around to make the visitors work hard. However Sandy conceeded two almost identical goals on the counter attack as Eagles broke down the right hand side first with Dan Stafford and secondly with Matt Cornes , who both unselfishly squared the ball to Hammett to complete his hattrick for the visitors and give Eagles a 7-1 lead with two simple tap ins. 

Following these goals Sandy enjoyed their best period of the game and Danny Hoole pulled a goal back with a fantastic long range strike from 25 yards out again leaving Steve Webb with no chance. Hoole was playing some neat football in the cenre of the park and trying to thread through balls into the two forwards. Graham Ward was also trying to start some attacks from the back as he worked well with Matt Gedney at the heart of the defence.

Flitwick grabbed a late eighth goal through Seward, but other than that Sandy had a much improved second half which will give manager Tony Gregory some encouragement against some strong opposition. He was pleased to have had the chance to give everyone a run out and see both their strengths and weaknesses so that he can begin to work on those during training. With each friendly Tony is learning more about the players and the team and has much optimism for the season ahead.

The team will now play in a exhibition match against the 1st team on Saturday for the Jess Piggott Trophy as their final warm up game before the start of the season. Final score 2-8.  

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

8. Chris Gregory (6)
13. Reece Stratton (7)
14. Matt Flynn (6)
16. Adam Hales (6)
16. Matt Balls (5)
16. Gareth Seldon (6)
17. Danny Hoole (7)
19. Harry Barham (6)
29. Ryan Burgess (7)
31. Ryan Gregory (6)


3. Darren Gipson (6)
9. nathan morris (6)
20. Matt Baines (6)
21. Adam Jakes (6)
22. Matt Gednay (8)
24. Graham Ward (6)
25. Jack Brown (6)
50. John Sheppard (6)
69. Anthony Roberts (6)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Ryan Burgess
1 x Danny Hoole



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