Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Royal Oak Kempston

Competition Cup - Watson Shield Round 2
Result Royal Oak Kempston 1-0 Sandy Reserves
Date Saturday 19 March 2011
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

Sandy reserves travelled to Hillgrounds to face third division Royal Oak in Round 2 of the Watson shield. With several players missing Graham Ward was forced to reshuffle his team significantly to try and field a competitve side.

The first half of the contest was scrappy at best as both teams struggled to come to terms with the sun baked surface which was causing uneven bounce. There were few chances at either end with Reece Stratton making his first start for the club feeding on scraps up front for Sandy.

Royal Oak did threaten occasionally on the break during the first period, but the defence marshalled the opposition well for the most part. Dan Grinstead was feeling unwell for most of the game, and he didn't feel any better when his back pass was too soft, allowing the Kempston forward to nip in and steal the ball off Phil Cooper's toe, and then tap the ball home into the empty net.

Other than this the home side had little to show for their higher league status and any neutral spectators would of been hard pressed to pick out much difference between the two sides. The visitors however struggled to threaten the home goal though in the first half and only had a Marcus Tait booking to show for there efforts.

Starting the second half more positively Sandy made changes with Dean Hill and Alex Bailey coming on for Grinstead and Tait. Matt Baines lotted into the back four and Dean Hill moved into the centre of midfield alongside Brad Smith. Alex Bailey went up front with Reece Stratton.

Sandy suddenly became more threatening and had some chances to equalise. Matt Baines played a lovely long ball to Bailey, who played the ball into the box first time, unfortunately nobody was gambling on the cross. Matt Gedney pushed forward as well stepping out from the back four to try and commit defenders and create spaces. He did have a long range effort that went wide.

Royal Oak were still dangerous on the counter attack though and did have the ball in the net a second time only to see it ruled out for offside. Phil Cooper also made several outstanding one on one saves to keep Sandy in the game and keep the scoreline at 1-0. 

With time running out Graham Ward threw on Anthony Roberts who during the week recorded his 1000th training goal with a shinned effort. Ward was desperate for a competitve goal from Roberts and hoped this could be the day.

Roberts was involved in the move that created a chance for Stratton as he flicked the ball to Bailey who played the ball through. Stratton turned inside his defender and shot from the edge of the box, but it sailed over. Sandy whilst pushing for the equaliser just couldn't find the final ball that would get them in.

Gedney went on a stroming run but chose to go alone when he should of squared the ball to Bailey and he ended up slicing his cross out of play. In the very last minute though Gedney connected with a Bailey corner, but headed it just wide of the far post. The visitors on the balance of play deserved to take the game into extra time, but Royal Oak held on for the win. Final score 1-0 

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

2. Liam Evans (6)
13. Reece Stratton (6)
15. Marcus Tait (6)
15. Reece Pope (6)
16. Adam Hales (6)
20. Matt Baines (6)
21. Adam Jakes (6)
22. Matt Gednay (6)
26. Brad Smith (6)
33. Dan Grinstead (6)


12. Dean Hill (6)
69. Anthony Roberts (6)


15. Marcus Tait
26. Brad Smith


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