Match Report

The 61 FC Luton Reserves

28 Nov 2009   1.30PM   Bedfordshire FA intermediate Cup Round 2

The 61 FC Luton Reserves 3-0 Sandy 1st Team

Sandy faced a tough trip away to Spartan South Midlands League Reserve Division 2 side The 61 FC Res, and although they came up short results wise, a lot of positives can be taken from the game for Manager Daniel Bailey as his side matched the Luton team for much of the game, and on another afternoon the scoreline could very well have been different.

Sandy started the game strongly and had early chances to take the lead. Alex Baker won a free kick on the edge of the box, but Ian Hammetts curling effort was straight at the keeper. Brad Smith then had an excellent chance to give Sandy an early lead, as Phil Beal played a lovely cross field ball that Smith latched onto. He carried the ball into the area, but he shot high and wide from an angle as the defence closed him down.

Sandy were punished for not taking their chance, as on 10 minutes a long ball was flicked on poorly by a 61 FC player, but Richard Seldon slipped on the wet ground allowing another 61 FC player to steal a march on him and get into the box to then finish well over Mark Pallister. Despite then coming under a period of sustained pressure from their opponents Sandy defended well and rarely looked troubled. Andrew Wren was heading almost everything away and Shane Pope was enjoying the space that was being afforded to him to maraude forwards at every opportunity from left back.

Smith had another chance half way through the first half to put Sandy level, when after some good work from Alex Baker he found himself free at the back post, but again he shot wide from 16 yards. Sandy failed to create any further opportunities of note through the half, but they did manage to keep their opponents at bay. Sandy were organised in defence and biting into tackles trying to unsettle their opponents. Half time 0 - 1.

Buoyed by their first half performance Sandy started the second half in the same manner that they had ended the first, as they tried to hustle and harry their opponents off the ball, and establish a foothold in the game.  Throughout the contest Sandy did manage to string some good passing moves together, but their final ball at times let them down, as they failed to create a further goalscoring opportunity. Continued strong defending from the team and some last ditch blocking did keep the score at 1 - 0 for a long period though and as the game went on you had the feeling that Sandy could get something from the tie.

They almost equalised 20 minutes in when they had their first corner of the game. Hammett drilled a cross in, right on the edge of the six yard box and Phil Beall rose above the defenders and keeper to connect with a header, but his effort flew just over the bar. Had he scored then the game may well have been different, but again Sandy were punished for not taking their chance as the 61 FC scored an excellent goal shortly afterwards with a long range chip from 25 yards that flew over the stranded Pallister in the Sandy goal.

Pallister did make an excellent diving save from a free kick with 10 minutes to go, but The 61 FC added a third goal late on in injury time to give them a scoreline that flattered them somewhat and kill off the tie.

Sandy were left to rue their missed opportunities and will hope that they can take the positivses from this game into their crucial clash against second in the table Leighton Buzzard next weekend. Final Score 0 - 3.