Sandy Reserves: Match Report v Wootton Village

Competition League - Division Four
Result Wootton Village 3-4 Sandy Reserves
Date Saturday 10 December 2011
Kick Off 2.00pm

Match Report

Sandy were looking to get back to winning ways after two defeats in their last two games as they hit the road and travelled to mid table rivals Wootton Village who seemed to be much improved this year. This seemed to be a week where both the 1st Team and the Resrves were short on players and Tony had limited options at his disposal due to work commitments and injuries.


It was a bright clear afternoon almost perfect for football except for the fact that the large December sun was sitting ridiculously low in the sky, and Sandy started with the sun in there eyes, which meant that Phil Cooper in the Sandy goal was struggling to see what was going on for the most part.


Sandy tried to negate this from being a problem as they pushed forwards and the visitors attacks on the opposition were strong and causing them problems. Sandy should really of taken the lead when an early shot from leading scorer Johnny Stratford hit the cross bar, and then rebounded to Chris Gregory. Chris picked up the rebound only to see his shot hit the same point on the crossbar as Johnny had to the frustration of both players.


There was some strong midfield play from Danny Hoole and Matt Baines which helped Sandy to keep the play in the oppositions half, as they won challenges and kept the ball moving forwards. Wootton though did seem to come to grips with the visiting side though and Sandys defensive line began to come under pressure. Reece Pope was playing his first game for Sandy this season, and he as well as the rest of the back four were being kept busy as Wootton looked to attack with purpose. 


Ryan Burgess worked like a warrior as he looked after the right back slot, time after time Ryan chased the ball down, winning the tackles and sending the ball back up the wing finding Stratton. This helped to keep Wootton at bay but eventually they found their way through and opened the scoring. Sandy however stood strong and fought back finding the equaliser, but with the sun still very bright Wootton changed their play and started sending some long high balls through for their striker to run onto. Using the sun to their aid Wootton managed to use the advantage of Sandy being blinded by the sun, and had opened up a 3-1 lead by the time the first half whistle blew.


Manager Tony Gregory decided to keep the side the same and the same 11 players returned to the pitch now with the sun behind them and an added determination to bring the score back level.  


The Johnny Stratford and Chris Gregory partnership was working well as they attacked the sun dazzled keeper taking full advantage just as Wootton had in the first half. Johnny found two perfect crosses across the box which Chris put home bring the score level, the pace of the game was now raised to the full from both sides as the fight began for the winning goal and the reward of three valuable points.


A great team effort from all the players kept Sandy level, as Wootton pressed forwards with gusto. Sandy were found though to be defending at their very best today, with safe hands from keeper Phil Cooper ensuring the score line satyed level if and when the back four were breached. Cooper would then launch long balls upfield as he looked to start Sandy attacks again.


Even though the sun had now gone behind a cloud the long ball tactic seemed to work as Johnny escaped the back line and was through one on one with the keeper. Although this time the keeper could see the attack on his goal, Johnny was not phased by this and slotted the winning goal past him.


Manager Tony Gregory was  pleased with an excellent performance from all 11 players which resulted in a well earned result and three points.


Man of the match was awarded to Ryan Burgess for his solid performance as right back.

Match Stats

Starting Line-up:

5. Peter Rogan (9)
8. Chris Gregory (9)
13. Reece Stratton (9)
14. Matt Flynn (9)
15. Reece Pope (9)
16. Adam Hales (9)
17. Danny Hoole (9)
20. Matt Baines (9)
21. Jonny Stratford (9)
29. Ryan Burgess (10)

Goal Scorers:

2 x Chris Gregory
2 x Jonny Stratford


2 x Jonny Stratford

Man of the Match:

29. Ryan Burgess


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