Match Report

Ickwell and Old Warden Reserves

27 Mar 2010   2.30PM   Division 1

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

Sandy travelled to Ickwell looking to get back to winning ways, but it was some of the Sandy old boys who came away with the three points after a close fought encounter. Both sides were in good form coming into the match, and both were keen to come away with the three points, but it was Ickwell who were to take the spoils at the green.


Sandy started the game well as they looked to recover from their disappointing loss last week. The opening exchanges were scrappy at best, but Sandy hurried and pressed forcing Ickwell into mistakes and whilst the home side tried to establish a rhythm in the game, the visitors looked much the dominant force.


Spreading the ball around and using Richard Seldon who seemed to be in acres of space at right back, Sandy carved out a couple of half chances. Niko Stanchev shot wide with a speculative long range effort, and Ian Hammett dragged a left foot shot tamely into the keeper’s hands. It was Mark Jennings though who had the best chance of the half, when another rampaging run and cross by Seldon found Jennings in the box, only to see his powerful header well saved by the Ickwell keeper.


Lee Threadgold forced a good save from Sandy keeper Mark Pallister halfway through the half with Ickwell’s only effort on target, and Tom Blow should of done better when he headed over for the home side. In a tight first half it was a mistake that allowed Sandy to take the lead. Mark Jennings, Dave Smith and Ian Hammett, played a lovely passing move that culminated with a long ball from Smith which Stanchev chased. Luckily for Stanchev both the centre back and goalkeeper collided allowing him to tap the ball into the empty net two minute before half time.


The second half was to prove as frustrating for Sandy as the match last week, following their strong first half performance and early own goal from Richard Seldon seemed to knock the stuffing out of the side and Ickwell capitalised.


The own goal came from a Steve Hinton long throw, which was flicked on at the near post, Seldon couldn’t quite jump high enough to clear it off the line, and was only able to deflect it into the top of the net. Ickwell’s second was harsh on Sandy to say the least. Lee Threadgold’s initial shot from twenty yards out sailed over, but Dave Smith was adjudged to have fouled him after the shot causing the ref to call play back. Threadgold then stepped up to curl the free kick over Pallister and into the roof of the net. The free kick was harsh on Smith who didn’t even touch Threadgold.


Sandy lost Stanchev 20 minutes into the half with a groin injury, and Smith moved into a forward position. He almost had the chance to redeem himself as Hammett chipped a ball over the top into his path. Smith elected to control and turn rather than bear down on goal and this allowed the defence to recover.


With 10 minutes to go Sam King headed over under pressure after latching onto a Shane Pope cross, and then Pope was involved again in the moment that cost Sandy the game. Pope miss hit a cross/shot from twenty yards that looped towards goal. After what seemed like an age the ball dropped against the bar and Ian Hammett headed the ball into the empty net, following in like any good striker.


As Hammett turned to celebrate the last minute equaliser, the linesman raised his flag and the ref awarded a controversial free kick for offside. The time for neutral linesman may well have arrived in the Bedfordshire league.


To rub salt in the wound Ickwell hit a long ball which Sandy old Boy Gary Fil latched onto to score Ickwell’s third with seconds left. Sandy can feel aggrieved as their performance deserved at least a point, and except for one dubious decision they would have had it. Final score Ickwell 3 – 1 Sandy.