Cammell Laird 0 Sandbach United 1
By John Clayton
Sandbach’s game against Cammell Laird was really a nothing game as neither team had anything to play for having both qualified for the play offs. However, both teams would’ve wanted to win the game and then go into the play offs in good form.
The game started cautiously as both teams didn’t want to pick up any injuries or any bookings as they wanted a fully fit teams of their respective play off fixtures. The home side started the brighter of the two teams and they had the first real chance in the 17th minute as Paul Jewell drove into the box and then found Jamie McColl on the edge of the box who tried an audacious back heel as he attempted to return the favour and play the ball back to Jewell as he continued his run into the box. McColl ’s backheel was behind Jewell but it fell kindly for Greg Drummond who was on the left side of the box, but his right footed shot was dragged wide of the post.
It was a scorching day and both teams were struggling with the conditions and the hard, bobbly pitch. Sandbach looked to get into the game, they looked solid defensively but just couldn’t find that killer pass to get in behind the defence. In the 21st minute centre half Kris Stockton looked to take matters into his own hands as a clearance fell to him, he then unleashed a shot from 35 yards which had the goalkeeper scampering as it flew just wide of the right post.
Three minutes later Sandbach had another good chance when a good one-two between Brandon Moores and top scorer James Kirby allowed Kirby to wriggle his way through two defenders and then shoot from the right side of the box with his right foot, unfortunately for Kirby his shot was straight at the keeper. As Kirby looked to get his name on the score sheet again he had another glorious chance when Mark Bainbridge lost the ball in his own half allowing Moores to drive into the box and cut outside of his man before shooting with his left, his shot was straight at the keeper, the rebound fell nicely for Kirby who was six yards out and had the whole goal to aim at, however Kirby was leaning back and he blazed his shot well over the bar.
Kirby was second in the leagues goal scoring charts and he was the man who Sandbach looked to when they needed a goal, however it was Kris Stockton who came closest in the first half for United when a corner from Ryan Cattermole was met by Stockton at the back post, although his header came crashing off the post.
The second half started with an early chance for the home side. Goalkeeper Ryan Moss’ poor clearance fell to Paul Jewell who was 25 yards out and had the whole goal to aim at, luckily for Moss his attempted lob flew harmlessly over the bar.
Five minutes after half time Sandbach deservedly took the lead, a quick throw in by Ali Chapman found right back Connor Docherty who was then able to drive down the right before crossing to Jordan Davies who was 12 yards out and unmarked, Davies’ header was brilliant, and it flew into the bottom left corner, it was poor defending from Cammell Laird as Davies had lots of time and space to direct his header past the keeper and into the net.
In the 73rd minute Sandbach were forced into making a change when Chapman landed awkwardly on his knee and was forced to leave the pitch on crutches, it looked nasty but hopefully it’s not as bad as first thought and he’ll be back for Saturdays play off semi-final.
Sandbach looked to extend their lead as they wanted to go into the semi final on a high. With 10 minutes to go an Adam Clayton throw from the left found Jake Chadwick on the edge of the box, he was then able to shield the ball as he let the ball go onto his stronger right foot before shooting. His shot looked to be going into the top right corner, but it was blocked, the rebound fell to Kirby who then fired over from the edge of the box. It just wasn’t Kirby’s day as nothing seemed to be going in for him. With one minute to go he had one final chance as Jordan Davies played the ball to him on the left side of the box he looked to cut inside and get a shot away although he soon realised that a pass was a better option, he played it to Brandon Moores who drove into the box and then found Kirby who had made a run into the six-yard box. As the ball came to Kirby he quickly tried to adjust his feet so that he could connect well with the ball. Unfortunately for him his side footed shot was sliced wide of the near post meaning that the game ended 1-0 to Sandbach.
It was a poor game as both teams were looking to preserve their players as they try to win the play offs and get promoted.
Next Match: Sandbach travel to Whitchurch on Saturday in the semi-final of the play-offs, see preview here.
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