Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Riseley Sports Reserves

Competition League - Division 3
Result Sandy Reserves 4-3 Riseley Sports Reserves
Date Saturday 03 October 2009
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

After two defeats to open the season as well as a difficult pre season Sandy Reserves finally got their season up and running with an excellent performance against Riseley Reserves. On a blustery afternoon at Bedford Road, Sandy took all three points from an encounter that constantly ebbed and flowed and could have gone either way at times.

Manager Graham Ward made several changes to the starting line up this week, some were enforced due to player availability and others to try a freshen up the team following their opening defeats. The most notable absence was that of captain Shane Pope who was called up to make his full debut for the first team, but with a large squad to choose from Ward had several options at his disposal and the result shows that he made the right choices.

The afternoon started anything but well for Sandy when Graham Ward scored an own goal after thrity seconds. The ball was driven in from the the left wing and it took a wicked deflection off of Ward's knee and flew past a helpless Phil Cooper in the Sandy goal and into the top corner. The goal did seem to galvanise Sandy and Riseley would probably agree that it came to early in the game to make a telling difference. Sandy pushed forward and on fifteen minutes Ward made amends for his own goal. Matt Gednay won a free kick and from fully forty yards Ward dispatched the free kick into the top left corner.

Despite all of their first half pressure Sandy failed to take the lead at any point as chances went begging, and Riseley were to punish Sandy 5 minutes before the end of the half as they restored their lead. Half Time 1 - 2.

Sandy started the second half with some renewed vigor as they serached for an equaliser. Matt Baines failed to equalise when he had a swing and a miss from a Dean Hill corner, but was later to make up for it as he connected with a Hill corner after fifteen minutes to direct the ball past the Riseley keeper. Unfortunately as with the first half Riseley managed to restore their lead as Sandy were caught at the back affording the Riseley striker to much time and space to finish well past Cooper. Other than that Sandy had been resolute at the back with once again Jamie Bellingham having a splendid game and leading the back line well as they defended strongly. Graham Ward had also brough some calm reassurance to the Sandy midfield as he stroked the ball round with authority and experience, building a platform for all of Sandy's attacks. 

During the second half sandy made changes and brough on Kevin Fage who has returned to Sandy football club this season from Great Barford, and Dean Hains who was playing for the reserves due to him being unable to travel with the first team. These changes seemed to ensure that Sandy became more of a threat and shortly after Sandy equalised. The ball was delivered into the box to Charlie Seward who flicked the ball up and started juggling it, the Riseley defenders stood off, fearful of bringing him down. Seward chipped the ball over the defender to create space and then slotted the ball home coolly past the Riseley keeper.

Brad Dennis then gave Sandy the lead as he finished off a fantastic move down Sandy's left flank. Dean Hains delivered the ball into Dennis who slot home well. In the last five minutes Dennis should then have sown the match up, as Hains once again put him through. Dennis's pace took him clear of the backline and through one on one with the keeper, but with both at his mercy he shot over from 8 yards.

It didn't matter though as Sandy comfortably saw out the last few moments of the match to take a richly deserved three points away from the tie.

Manager Graham Ward was ecstatic with the team's performance as well as the contributions of his substitutes when they came on. Final Score 4 - 3.

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

3. Jamie Bellingham (9)
12. Dean Hill (7)
14. Matt Flynn (7)
15. Reece Pope (8)
20. Matt Baines (7)
21. Charlie Seward (8)
22. Matt Gednay (7)
24. Graham Ward (7)
29. Peter Norman (7)


7. Kevin Fage (7)
10. Dean Hains (8)
15. Marcus Tait (7)

Goal Scorers:

1 x Charlie Seward
1 x Graham Ward
1 x Matt Baines


1 x Dean Hill
1 x Matt Gednay
1 x Dean Hains

Man of the Match:

3. Jamie Bellingham


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