Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Thurleigh

Competition League - Division Four
Result Thurleigh 4-0 Sandy Reserves
Date Saturday 26 November 2011
Kick Off 2.00pm

Match Report

Sandy's run of unbeaten away games was brought to an end as Thurleigh battled hard against the visitors to take all three points as they continued their push for promotion.


Thurleighs ground is not ideal at the best of times and this game was played at the highest point from the wash with a very strong galey wind, that was always going to trouble the players from both sides. Sandy started against the wind which unsurprisingly proved to be a difficult task, the extent of the play was to be found on Sandy's left side of the pitch, as the wind was holding the ball up on the floor as well as in the air, but this didn't stop the visitors holding the tough Thurleigh side back from scoring, wtih Phil Coopers fingertip saves being perfectly timed as he kept the score at 0-0. 


The tackles and decisions against Sandy never seemed to be fair, and the ref had a hard job dealing with the verbal abuse that was thrown toward him from Thurleigh's captain as and when they were not awarded a free kick as they claimed for everything going, even if there was nothing to call about. The abuse on the ref seemed to be paying off, as any claim that the home side made for a free kick or off-side was given, but none of this seemed to bother the Sandy lads as they continued to battle on against adversity. There was some excellent defending from Flynn, Rogan, Morgan and Burgess which held the attacking runs back.


Phil Cooper's biggest challenge was the wind as he fed the ball back into the field, but on most occasions the ball held up gaining height and not length, to then make matters worse the ball headed back toward our own goal regularly. Danny Hoole made excellent use of the width out on the right, but the wind suppressed balls were not always reaching him, and the on rushing Thurleigh attackers who's shirts were acting like sails were gathering up the passes as they fell short. 


Sandy managed to create some attacking chances but again the elements were against Sandy as when the ball was crossed across goal the wind caught hold of it giving it to the defending players, and then some 38 minutes into the game from a corner Thurleigh found the first goal with a header.


The game was far from over but we wanted to keep the score as it was, giving us a good chance with the wind behind us, Johnnie had now dropped back into the middle of midfield to add extra protection as we tried to keep the score line at 1-0, after another hard battle between the two sets of players the ref awarded yet another corner againist Sandy. Thurleigh whipped in another good ball which found a free head clinching the second goal for the home side, the first half was now over and the battle weary players headed to the side for a well earned drink. Half time 0-2.


The half time chat was very positive as to what had happened with the wind against Sandy and they fel that maybe the hard work had been done. Tony decided to make a change to the field, and brought Ryan Gregory on for Matt Baines, his thoughts were focused on bringing the impact of speed into the centre. Danny Hoole moved into the centre and Ryan took the right wing, Gedney and Rogan also swapped positions around, giving Pete Rogan a run in the centre of midfield. As we took positions on the pitch to start the second half, Flynn shouted across to the side line, typical the wind has stopped, this just summed up the Away sides afternoon.


Thurliegh took the centre to start the second half with the same strength as they had showed in the first half, Sandy top scorer Johnnie Stratford was now feeling the impact of being studded in the back of his leg, but still no free kick was awarded to us by the official who was still under constant pressure from the Hosts. However it turned out that the wind hadn't dropped it was just having a rest as we started, and with the wind still blowing hard the forward passes were now twice as long as normal and after being picked up by the curling wind and Sandy struggled to correct these as the ball was out often played to heavily and running out of play.


The second sub was made as Reece Stratton gave way for Adam Hales. With the game still in hand Sandy never gave up trying, some more chances were made but one chance in particular looked to get Sandy on the scoresheet. Johnnie found himself being chased as he headed toward goal he flicked the ball over the keeper but, and yes you guess it , the wind caught hold of the ball and it went wide.


There was just no luck for anyone in a Sandy shirt today, as again they headed towards goal and the shot was on, hitting the post and rebounding out, Hales lept onto the rebound but the ball was gathered by the Thurleigh keeper. Constant abuse was still being shouted to the ref by the opposition for all or nothing claiming for every free kick.


Sandy were still defending hard as the home side attacked but goal keeper Phil Cooper claimed the ball with confidence, and then with long goalie kicks he tried to release Johnnie who was often flagged for offside, some of which were very doubtful. As we defended in our penalty box Luke Morgan was penalised by the ref and a penalty was awarded, it was now 3 0, and Tony made a  final change to the field, with Pete Rogan giving way for birthday boy Anthony 'goal machine' Roberts to join into the midfield, with the midfield now 5 strong and Roberts pushing forward and dropping back we headed out attacking the oppositions goal.


The ball was intercepted by the opposition and a speedy run was headed our way attacking our right flank, their midfielder made a fantastic run just to the inside of the forward running player, as he called for the ball the pass was gathered and a brilliant left for curling shot hit the back of our net, Sandy were now 4 0 down as the game came to a tiring end.


Ryan Burgess was awarded man of the match for excellent work as the right back.


Sandy were unlucky not to get anything from the game, but it will be a valuable lesson in dealing with the elements. They will look to bounce back next week when they play struggling Kempston Athletic and manager Tony Gregory will hope that they return to winning ways quickly. Final score 0-4

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

5. Peter Rogan (8)
8. Chris Gregory (8)
13. Reece Stratton (8)
14. Matt Flynn (8)
17. Danny Hoole (8)
20. Matt Baines (8)
21. Jonny Stratford (8)
22. Matt Gednay (8)
29. Ryan Burgess (8)


16. Adam Hales (8)
31. Ryan Gregory (8)
69. Anthony Roberts (8)

Man of the Match:

29. Ryan Burgess


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