Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Sandy 1st Team XI

Competition Friendly - Jess Piggott Memorial Trophy
Result Sandy Reserves 0-7 Sandy 1st Team XI
Date Saturday 27 August 2011
Kick Off 2.30pm

Match Report

In memory of Jess Piggott a long standing servant of Sandy Albion back when now Chairman Colin Osborne was just a boy (yes your right the 1800's) Sandy 1st Team and Sandy Reserves held a memorial match as their last pre season warm up game before the kick off of the 2011/12 season for the coverted Jess Piggott Trophy. A good crowd turned out to support the match and Jess's Daughter Maureen and husband Dave where in attendance to present the trophy to the winning side. With a BBQ cooked by chef for the day Alan Watson awaiting the players after the final whistle suffice to say football was the last thing on players minds.

With a few people absent due to the Bank Holiday weekend both sides were forced to make changes. Matt Gedney, Darren Gipson and Anthony Roberts were called up to the first team squad having played for the reserves in midweek with Gedney and Gipson handed starts by manager Ian Hammett. Olly 'The Kracken' Banfield also returned from tanning himself on a seaside holiday with the missus to slot back into the starting line up. Richard Seldon was given a chance of fulfilling his dream of scoring as he was given an attacking right wing role for the first half of the game. Mark Jennings due to injury became Sandy's number one for the afternoon in the continued absence of regular keeper Mark Pallister.

Tony Gregory again had a large squad of players at his disposal for the resreves and was again keen to try different players in different positions starting with Nathan Morris in goal and using the returning Jonny Stratford in a forward position. Matt Baines started the game at centre back with Garth Seldon given a chance to play left midfield.

The game sprung into life straight from kick off and the capacity crowd could see that they would be in for a fun afternoon. The game was end to end for the first few minutes as first the reserves pushed forward and then the 1st team settled into a rthym passing the ball around qucikly to put pressure on the reserves shape and positioning. It wasn't long before the 1st team had the upper hand as a free flowing move around the edge of the Reserves box ended with Rob Tapley chipping a ball into the path of Dan Stafford who finished with aplomb into the top corner leaving Nathan Morris with no chance. This early goal shellshocked the young reserve side for a while allowing the 1st team to dominate the encounter, but it was a defensive mix up that allowed Ian Hammett to extend the 1st teams lead as a long ball over the top caused a little bit of confusion between Morris and Jake Brown. Brown and Morris both tried to clear the ball but it rebounded off them into the path of Hammett who gambled and slotted the ball into the empty net.

Chris Nicholls and Rob Tapley were puling the strings in the middle of the park and Richard Seldong was rampaging down the right flank at every opportunity as the 1st team loked to play the ball out at every opportunity. Matt Gedney was once agin giving an assured performance at left back and was desperate to score his first ever goal for the club continually getting forward anf beyond left winger Hammett. However much to his annoyance he never received the ball in the box to get the chance to 'release the Kraken' as Banfield would say. Ryan Gregory and Jonny Stratford wher battling hard up front but a slight mismatch in size against Luke 'Gigantor' Morgan meant they were winning little in the air. However Stratford did break through on goal after a Danny Hoole pass over the top but he unfortunately dragged his right foot shot wide failing to test Jennings in the sticks.

Ryan Gregory did have a couple of speculative long shots, but both of these sailed wide. Tony Gregory made changes throughout the half trying to freshen things up and Reece Stratton once again put in a strong performance in midfield as he looked to get the game ticking over for the reserve side. In terms of goal chances though the 1st team were well on top and casuing all sorts of problems. Charlie Seward was finding space in between the back four and midfield and his range of passing was being utilised fully as Seldon, Hammett, and Tapley all got past him with runs. Seward created a chance for Staf to extend the lead further, as he chipped the ball into the box which staf met on the volley but could only hit the outside of the post. Seward then played a lovely one two with Hammett, only for Nathan Morris to save well from Hammett in the box. Staf then in his quest from free beers from Banfield attempted an audacious overhead kick from the edge of the box from a Rob Tapley through ball but it sailed high wide and handsome. Better luck next time Staf. Seward did though make it three though as Tapley found him in the box and he slotted the ball past Morris with calm precision.

Although Mark Jennings was having little to do in the Sandy goal he decided that now he didn't even want to take goalkicks and left this to Morgan and Banfield. Morgan obviously was missing the continental flair of Phil Beall at the back because from out of nowhere he pulled off what could only be described as a mid air Cruyff turn to blaze past a Sandy Reserve player and then decided that he would step out of defence and push forward much to the astonishment of Banfield who had never seen that sort of skill from the big man. His next show of skill was a step over which had the crowd gasping in amazement and again led to the chants of Beally who!! Not to be shown up Gipdon, Gedney and Banfield all went forward at times to try and match the feats of the big man.

Matt Baines was having a solid game at the heart of the reserves defence, but he could do little about the next two goals as Chris Nicholls found Rob Tapley with a ball over the top and although he looked a touch offside the flag never went up and he fired the ball past Morris. Sandy 1st Teams fifth goal was certainly the goal of the half, as a free flowing football move went the length of the pitch and gave Richard Seldon the chance for a moment of exquisite wing play. Morgan and Banfiled played the ball out of the back to Gedney who linked with Hammet playing a neat one two. The ball was then switched out to Seldon on the right who broke forwards. Hammett and Banfield then offered support to Seldon as he squared the ball. unfortunately for the 'The Kracken' it was just behind him, but Hammett connected well and Morris could only palm the shot into the roof of the net to give the first team 5-0 lead. 

Just before the half time whistle came the reserves best period of the game as they won a couple of corners and casued some threat to the 1st team box. Reece Stratton whipped in a great cross that no one could get on the end of, Danny Hoole fired wide with a long range effort and then Garth Seldon almost whipped in a corner at the near post except for Darren Gipson getting in the way and doing his job on the post. However the first team kept their clean sheet in tact and at half time it was 5-0.

The half time break gave Tony Gregory the chance to talk to his reserve side and he shuffled his pack again with Matt Balls going back in goal and Nathan Morris moving up front, Danny Hoole was moved out to the right wing to try and stop the attacking threat of Hammett and Gedney and the reserves certainly had a stronger look about them from the outset of the second period. They pressured the 1st team into giving the ball away and overplaying and on a couple of ocassions Stratford almost got in on goal except for last ditch blocks by Richard Seldon and Olly Banfield. Ryan Gregory aain had a long range effort that sailed wide and Danny Hoole was causing problems down the right whipping in crosses which could well have been converted into goals.

Their best chance came after some good work down the left by Stratford who cut into the box and fired the ball across goal but somehow neither Nathan Morris (who was now upfront) or Chris Gregory could turn the ball into the net and get the reserves on the scoresheet much to the disappointment of the the watching public.

Against the run of the play the 1st team added a sixth goal as Charlie Seward collected the ball in the middle of the Reserves half, he held onto the ball unchallenged and then slotted the ball into the path of Staf who scored his second of the afternoon steering the ball past Balls in the Reserves goal. Unlike the first half the reserve team responded better and still tried to play some flowing football. Ryan Gregory was getting more on the ball and Adam Jakes was linking well with Danny Hoole. Mark Jennings was almost tested with a Nathan Morris free kick and then Luke Morgan deflected the ball against the far post past a sprawling Jennings as the ball came in form the right. 

Matt Balls was having a quiet second half in the Reserves goal and was only tested from long shots from Seward and Tapley. Anthony Roberts was trying his best to get into the game and was the victim of one or two close offside decisions that would of seen him through on goal and with the chance to fulfill his dream of a goal for Sandy 1st Team. It was however a moment of magic and a deft flick from Roberts that created the 1st teams 7th goal as he released Rob Tapley who again fulfilled his boyhood dream of lobbing Balls (something he has practised every week at training without success) and scoring to make it 7-0.

This goal was harsh on the reserves who had given a strong performance in the second half that will encourage manager Tony Gregory before the start of the season next week. For the last ten minutes Morgan decided that he would go up front and try to get on the scoresheet, but unfortunately he was offside more times than Hammett usually is (which must be some sort of record some thought impossible!!). He did almost score from a Hammett cross, but as good as his control was to bring the ball down on his chest his shot sailed high over the bar as he got all over excited. Banfield also tried to get in on the act, but dwelt a little too long on the ball when he should of released 'the Kracken' and he was crowded out. Seward tried to add a second goal of his own in the dying moments but Balls held onto the shot well.

The ref brought the game to a close with the reserves on the attack and they can be proud of a very good second half performance. Matt Baines and Rob Tapley were awarded MOTM for the respective sides and Maureen presented the trophy to winning captain Richard Seldon before the inevitable dash for the BBQ began. Following the match it was good to see the clubhouse packed for an hour or so as everyone enjoyed the social occassion and a special mention should go to Sharon Seldon who was amazingly still standing after 11 bottles of alcohol having been egged on by Jean Gregory to get drunk! However there was a great atmosphere at the ground and the clubhouse and the cub would like to thank everyone for creating a great afternoon in memory of Jess Piggott. Final score 7-0.  

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

8. Chris Gregory (7)
9. nathan morris (7)
14. Matt Flynn (6)
16. Gareth Seldon (7)
17. Danny Hoole (7)
19. Harry Barham (6)
20. Matt Baines (7)
21. Jonny Stratford (7)
25. Jack Brown (6)
31. Ryan Gregory (7)


13. Reece Stratton (7)
16. Matt Balls (6)
21. Adam Jakes (6)

Man of the Match:

20. Matt Baines


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