Match Report

Ickwell and Old Warden Reserves

10 Apr 2010   2.30PM   Division 1

Sandy 1st Team 4-3 Ickwell and Old Warden Reserves

In a pulsating encounter at Bedford Road, it was Sandy who were to maintain their unbeaten home run and gain revenge over local rivals Ickwell who defeated them two weeks ago. It was a crucial game for Sandy as having lost their last three matches they had slipped down the league and were in danger of dropping further if they failed to get a positive result this afternoon.


Sandy knew that they needed a fast start and were immediately on the front foot, keen to reverse their fortunes of the previous weeks and get back to winning ways. Having the better of the possession in the early stages they forced Ickwell onto the back foot and were looking dangerous.


Chris Baines formed a new forward partnership with Ian Hammett and they immediately clicked, linking well together and bringing the midfield into play. It was Baines who created the first opportunity of the afternoon with a lovely cross field pass from left to right to Steve Jakes, but Jakes shot over from 15 yards. Hammett and Richard Seldon then combined down the right flank to create a chance for Baines, but his bicycle kick was tipped round the post. Phil Beall then had a header from the resulting corner that was superbly tipped over the bar by the Ickwell keeper.


Finally it was Sam James who broke the deadlock with a rasping twenty five yard drive. James latched onto a knock back from Ian Hammett who had laid off a Mark Jennings cross to the edge of the box, and James’s shot went in off the foot of the post.


Sandy had been in the ascendancy much of the game, but they were to be punished for a lapse in concentration as Lee Threadgold found himself one on one with Andrew Wren. Wren was adjudged to pull Threadgold down in the box, and Ickwell were awarded a penalty. Threadgold converted the spot kick to bring Ickwell level; only moments after Sandy had taken the lead.


Sandy however recovered well from this setback and pushed forward looking to restore their lead. For the third week running Ian Hammett had a goal ruled out for offside, then Chris Baines hit the post after a turn and shot in the box. Sam James was to restore Sandy’s lead on 30 minutes when he charged down a clearance leaving him one on one with the keeper to slot the ball home inside the near post. Shortly after Sandy were cruising as they scored their third goal. Sam King whipped a wicked ball into the box, and former Sandy player Dan Threadgold headed into his own net to extend Sandy’s lead.


Lee Threadgold did hit the bar for Ickwell with a cross/shot but other than that Sandy’s defence stood strong. Half time 3 – 1.


It was the second half that was to bring all the drama in this game, as everybody thought that Sandy were cruising and would go onto to win the game comfortably. Ickwell had other ideas though. Sandy did start well but 10 minutes in Ickwell had pulled a goal back as Dan Threadgold made amends for his own goal, by squaring the ball for his brother Lee to tap into an empty net.


Despite the setback Sandy still looked dangerous and their two goal lead should have been restored fifteen minutes into the half. Chris Baines header was saved on the line by an Ickwell defender who saw red for his deliberate handball, and Wren stepped up to take the resulting penalty. His kick however was saved by the keeper down low to the right, and then the keeper recovered well to save the rebound again from Wren.


The setback of the sending off and the lift of the penalty save seemed to galvanise the visitors and they began to dominate the game, although they didn’t create any clear chances until twenty minutes to go. Lee Threadgold completed his hat trick with a turn and shot in the box, that Mark Pallister will be disappointed he didn’t save, and Sandy somehow found themselves pegged back after leading three one.


Sandy tried their best to restore their lead, but the ball just wasn’t falling for them. Chris Baines couldn’t quite get on the end of a Mark Jennings cross, Sam James had a shot saved at the near post when he should have squared it, and Sam King had a free kick that curled just wide. Hammett then almost connected with a square ball from Baines, but the defender somehow recovered to flick the all off Hammetts toe, and as the ball looked like it would fall to Dave Smith for a tap in, it took a bobble and he could only steer it wide.


Sandy were beginning to get the feeling it wouldn’t be their afternoon when with 10 minutes to go they lost Chris Baines to a suspected broken arm, meaning Dave Smith moved up front. However they were to be afforded one last chance when Smith had a twenty yard shot tipped over by the excellent Ickwell keeper.


Phil Beall was to prove to be Sandy’s saviour as he rose high above everybody to head home Sam James resulting corner and give Sandy a vital three points. There was only time for kick off after he scored ‘another one’ in his most prolific season to date.


Sandy were relieved to come away with the three points, but on the balance of play it was certainly deserved although the home side did make hard work of it at times. Final score 4 – 3.