Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Marsh Leys

Competition League - Division Four
Result Marsh Leys 1-4 Sandy Reserves
Date Saturday 19 November 2011
Kick Off 2.00pm

Match Report

Having taken 3 wins and a draw from their last four away games, Sandy travelled to second in the table Marsh Leys full of confidence that they could continue their unbeaten run and yet again they rose to the challenge that faced them.

Straight away it was obvious the game was going to be a feisty encounter as the strength and vocal volume from the opposition March Leys was easily apparent. Sandy however settled into the game and began to come to terms with their opponent physicality. Ryan Gregory playing up front alongside his brother Chris soon found himself working on the edge of midfield as the attacking play was against the visitors pushing them back.

Powerful defense was in Sandys favour though with the fab four, Sheppard, Gedney, Morgan and Flynn, as they handled the strong attacking side well, giving them little if any opportunity. Sandy were kept on their toes, even when they pushed up field, as some tackles were seen even after the ball had been played but they seemed to go unotived by the referee. Nathan Morris returned in goal for the reserves in the absence of Phil Cooper and his goalkeeping skills were challenged but he pulled off some good saves, with confidence his kicks from the floor cleared the defensive lines, as Sandy were not going to give corners away, as the challenges came in.

Sandy’s centre midfield pairing of Baines and Rogan had their work cut out pushing the midfield battle back into Sandy's favour, and wehn they had control of the ball they either switched out to wings or up front to Chris and Ryan who made good runs to put pressure on the Marsh Leys defense and keeper.

On many occasions Sandys front men were taken out before they could get to the ball, especially with two handed pushes, these were not picked up by the ref as he said they fell over, a neutral spectator may have said that the ref was working for the home team if they didn’t know he had been league appointed. On one such occasion Chris was heading toward goal after latching onto an excellent goal kick from Morris, only to be slung round as if he was on a dance floor, and the ref inexplicably awarded a free kick the other way,(to everyones surprise).

Luke Morgan who was on loan from the first team squad was having an outstanding game and had been seen mopping up at the back with consumate ease. The height of his glory was as he cleared the ball off the line after the attacking players finally found their way passed Nathan Morris in the Sandy goal, what a cool head this young man has.

After a tremendous amount of work and battering the half time whistle blew. 0-0

The team took a few moments to gather themselves at half time, and with fire in their bellies and the motivation to continue, plenty of fluid was taken on board and the team re-joined the field for, as it would seem round 2 in a mightily physical encounter.

Sandy continued to play and battle against the odds, even though the ref seemed to dismiss any claim of a foul or free kick they could of gone their way, the visitors kept pushing and finally found themselves with a corner. A perfect weighted ball in by Brad Dennis, finding the head of Matt Baines clinched the first goal of the game. Now that Sandy were out in front they could see that the game was definitely there for the winning.  

This unsettled the opposition even more, and soon after Sandy broke forwards to attack again. During the passage of play Chris Gregory took a blow to the head, the ref stopped play and he was allowed some treatment, but after a couple of minutes Chris was able to continue. However this didn't last long as Chris who had been battered during the game by the defence asked to be subbed.

He was changed for Leading scorer Johnnie, who was now leading the front line, as Ryan Gregory dropped into midfield in more of a 4-5-1 formation. After a short while the ball was flicked out toward Johnnie, who was holding the front line well, he picked up the forward flick and ran the ball, chased by the oppositions defense, leaving him with only the goal keeper to deal with. The young lad kept a cool  

Head, and he flicked the ball over the head of the onrushing keeper for his First and Sandy’s second goal.

What a terrific impact the change had made as Johnny had only just joined the field. This really fired up the Marsh Leys and they attacked hard, Sandy's second sub Burgess joined the field for Sheppard as the game continued. The direct replacement for Sheppard was unnoticed as an equal charged up Burgess kept to the same work pace as Sheppard.  Yet again the ball was won and flicked forward, finding Johnnie he repeated his first run and flicked the ball past the keeper for his second and Sandy’s third. It was unbelievable, Sandy now 3 up and the crowd of Barry Mills and Jean Gregory could be heard from miles around!!

Even though they were behind the opposition didn’t give up as they pressured the back line Eventually after being pushed so hard Sandy couldn't resist any longer and Marsh Leys pushed the ball passed Morris in the Sand goal and despite Flynn stretching out hard as he slid on the floor reaching as far as he could,  he just couldn’t clear the ball away from the net. 1-3

Time was now ticking on and the attack was on again by the visiting side, this time two of Marsh Leys players got through and a goal was scored, but hold on the ref noticed the lino’s flag was up, the ref trotted across to see our lino and the goal was disallowed as the played was off-side handing Sandy a reprieve. The final action saw a free kick awarded to Sandy and the game continued, and with time running out yet another amazing run was made by top scorer Startford, and one on one with keeper he did it for the third time to complete his hat-trick.

Sandy were now 4-1 up with only minutes left and they tried to keep the ball, and at this stage the opposition didn’t see a way back, with the whistle blowing for an amazing away win. Top class lads, well done.

Morgan was awarded man of the match for an outstanding performance.

Sandy extended their unbeaten run to five games on the road now and will look to make it 6 when they travel to high flying Thurleigh in their next enocunter. Final score 1 -4.

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

5. Peter Rogan (9)
8. Chris Gregory (9)
9. nathan morris (9)
14. Matt Flynn (9)
17. Danny Hoole (9)
20. Matt Baines (9)
22. Matt Gednay (9)
31. Ryan Gregory (9)
50. John Sheppard (9)


21. Jonny Stratford (9)
29. Ryan Burgess (9)

Goal Scorers:

3 x Jonny Stratford
1 x Matt Baines


1 x Danny Hoole


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