Cheadle Town 3 Sandbach United 4
By John Clayton
Sandbach secure play off spot for second successive year
Sandbach finally secured themselves a spot in the play offs with a win over midtable Cheadle, goals from Jordan Davies, Chris Smith, James Kirby and a late winner from Ryan Allcock saw Sandbach take home all three points.
Sandbach knew that a point would be enough to secure them a play off spot as they look to gain promotion into the premier division, and it didn’t take them long to take the lead, Ryan Allcock won the ball on halfway and found Chris Smith who had space in the Cheadle half, he then played a lofted through ball to Jordan Davies who was on the right side of the box, he then drove into the post and got past the onrushing keeper before slotting the ball into the net and making it 1-0 to United.
Two minutes later Sandbach almost doubled their lead when James Kirby latched onto a poor back pass from Joseph Shaw although the keeper made himself big and saved well from close range. Cheadle hadn’t started very well and they were on the back foot from the get go. Although as the first half progressed they got into the game and almost levelled when Jake Ambrose played the ball in behind to Richard Wyatt whose right footed first time shot bobbled wide of the far-right post.
Four minutes later they thought they’d equalised when Wyatt’s shot from just outside the box took a deflection and fell to Ambrose who fired in on the turn, although the linesman over on the far side had his flag up to prevent the goal from counting. Cheadle were piling on the pressure and deservedly levelled in the 32nd minute when a free kick was played down the right and with Moss charging off his line to collect the ball Ambrose beat him to it and squared it for Wyatt who headed into the net off a Sandbach player from two yards out. It was a soft goal to concede, however it was thoroughly deserved.
Two minutes before half time Cheadle completed their comeback and made it 2-1, John Mclaughlin successfully battled the ball on halfway before playing an outside of the foot pass down the left to Jake Ambrose, Ambrose then cut into the box and then poked the ball into the far-right corner beating Ryan Moss in the Sandbach goal.
At half time the score was 2-1 to Cheadle who did very well to get themselves back into the game and then take the lead. Sandbach on the other hand will be disappointed that they’re behind and will want to improve in the second half.
Sandbach started off the second half with a very good tempo and looked to be fired up. They equalised just four minutes after half time when Davies used his pace to drive down the left and get to the by-line, he then cut it back to Smith who shot on goal, his shot looked to be going into the bottom right corner but striker James Kirby was on hand to make sure and level the scores.
Sandbach knew that if the scores stayed the same they would confirm a spot in the play offs, although there was no sign of them settling for a draw. In the 62nd minute Sandbach made it 3-2, when Cheadle defender Joseph Neild gave the ball away on halfway it allowed James Kirby to drive towards goal, with options to his left and right he played the ball into the feet of Smith who beat the offside trap before rounding the keeper and then rolling the ball into the net.
Sandbach looked to be in control and all they had to do was hold on for half an hour to secure a play off spot. But in the 78th minute Adam Clayton played what seemed to be a harmless back pass to goalkeeper Ryan Moss who looked to get the ball under control, but as he planted his foot to control the ball it took a wicked bobble and then bounced over his foot and into the net. It was a goal fit for any bloopers DVD and it levelled the game at 3-3 with just 12 minutes to go.
Sandbach were looking to win the game as they wanted to pick up form before they started their play off adventure, in the 80th minute they had a great chance to take the lead again as Matt Pearson fired the ball across the goal mouth from the right, it fell to Smith who was two yards out and had the whole goal to aim at, his shot was heroically blocked by John Mclaughlin who sent it out for a corner.
Sandbach should’ve scored but it was an outstanding piece of defending to prevent the goal. As the game went into added time it was a case of the fitter team would win the game, in the 91st minute substitute Adam Clayton threw the ball in from the left to Brandon Moores who then flicked the ball inside to Kirby who played it round the corner to Ryan Allcock who had made a great run from deep, Allcock was in on goal and opened up his body before bending the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal making it 4-3 to Sandbach and dramatically giving them all 3 points.
The three points secured Sandbach’s play off spot with two games left to go and gives manager Andy Hockenhull a chance to mix up the squad and rest some of his key players.
The Sandbach United 1st team would like to thank Planet Environmental, RK Henshall Insurance Brokers and The Ganges for their support.
Match Report: Jack Beresford