Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Leighton United

Competition League - Division 3
Result Leighton United 1-2 Sandy Reserves
Date Saturday 02 May 2009
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Sandy spoilt Leighton Uniteds double winning party with a fantastic team performance. The result ruined Leighton's season long unbeaten streak at home, and boosted Sandy's confidence for their two remaining games following the heartbreaking result at Caldecote earlier in the week.

If there ever was a good time to play the league champions it was today. Following their cup final last night that went into extra time they were forced to rest some players, and with nothing to play for on the day as the championship was already in the bag Sandy felt that they may be able to get a result.

The game started brightly with both teams battling hard in midfield to establish some superiority. Chances were few and far between in the early stages as neat play from both sides fell down. Both defences were strong but Andrew Wren at the centre of the Sandy defence stood out as he headed everything away that was thrown at him.

20 minutes in, Sandy took the lead with their first shot of the match. Dean Hains played a long ball forward down the right which Ian Hammett managed to run onto and keep in play, his cross was headed away by the Leighton defence and the danger appeared to be over only for Dan Bailey to control the ball and then strike it from fully 30 yards straight over the leighton goalkeeper and into the net, for what is possibly the best goal he has ever scored.

Leighton were stunned, and Sandy tried their best to take advantage. Several free kicks were launched into the Leighton box as Sandy tried to make their aerial superiority tell. 30 minutes in Dan Bailey's shot was palmed away by the goalkeeper, and as Ian Hammett tried to follow up the defender got there first to clear for a corner. Sandy then made it 2-0 with 5 minutes to go before the half as a lovely diagonal ball from Brad Dennis inside the leighton left back, allowed Dean Hains to run in and slot coolly home past the keeper with his now legendary near post finish. Half time 2-0.

As expected Leighton made changes at halftime and began to press for the goals that could get them back into the match. Sandy fought hard with Matt Baines and Andrew Wren again heading away every long ball that Leighton fired at them. Sandy's resistance was broken 15 minutes in when from a corner, a Leighton player beat Jamie Bellingham to the ball and headed past Matt Couldridge in the Sandy goal. The last 30 minutes proved to be back to the wall stuff from Sandy as Leighton pressed, but outstanding goalkeeping from Matt Couldridge kept the game at 2-1 as he made save after save.

Richard Seldon did have a chance to make it three, as he went on a rampaging run from right back, beating four Leighton players to shoot left footed only to see the keeper tip the ball round the post for a corner. 10 minutes from time Ian Hammett had a chance to make the game safe after a lovely through ball from Dan Bailey, found him on the left side of the area. Unfortunately his first touch narrowed the angle and his shot was well saved by the legs of the Leighton keeper who stayed big. Sandy continued to try and counter attack as a long ball from Dean Hains found Ian Hammett who held the ball up well and laid it back to Dan Bailey who again tried his luck from 25 yards, only for the shot to sail wide.

Sandy managed to contain Leighton after that and reduce them to few chances as the team defended strongly. Sandy gained a well earned three points against a tired and frustrated opponent, but none the less this was still a good win over a very good side.

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

3. Jamie Bellingham (7)
6. Matt Couldridge (8)
8. Daniel Bailey (8)
10. Dean Hains (8)
19. Andrew Wren (8)
20. Matt Baines (8)
23. Richard Seldon (8)
30. Dave Smith (8)


18. Shane Pope (7)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Dean Hains
1 x Daniel Bailey


Man of the Match:

19. Andrew Wren


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