Sandbach United 2 Wythenshawe Amateurs 2
By Jack Beresford
Sandbach pay the penalty for missed chance.
Sandbach’s first game of 2019 saw them play host to league leaders Wythenshawe Amateurs in would be a very tough game for Andy Hockenhull’s men.
Sandbach knew that they were in for a tough test and they didn’t exactly get off to the best starts when after seven minutes the away side broke the deadlock as a Jordan Burton freekick taken from the middle of the half was headed home by an unmarked Joel Aikenhead who had plenty of time to direct his shot past Moss and into the back of the net. Sandbach now had a mountain to climb if they were to make it back to back wins. Two minutes later they came close to equalising as Ryan Allcock found Jordan Davies on the left flank, he looked to cut inside and bend a shot towards the far right corner, but his shot was straight at the keeper from the left side of the box. Despite being a goal down Sandbach had dominated the game so far and they came close once more as Jordan Davies ran onto a through ball from Kieran Garner-Knapper, Davies was in on goal and as he got into the box shot with his right foot, but it was again, straight at the keeper. After dominating the game, Sandbach were finally rewarded on the mark. Jordan Erdmann found himself with the ball at his feet and his back to goal, he laid the ball off to Buckley on the edge of the area who showed fast feet as he got past his man before placing the ball into the bottom right corner from just outside the box. It was a superb finish who bagged his second goal in as many games for United. After taking the lead so early on Wythenshawe would have been disappointed that they couldn’t built on their early lead, however they came inches away from regaining the lead in the 35th minute as Carl Brady’s cross from the left was met by Dan Egan who looked to head the ball back across goal and into the top left corner but his header hit the top of the bar and went behind for a goal kick. As the game approached half time Sandbach had one more opportunity to take the lead. In the 44th minute Jordan Davies was pulled down by a Wythenshawe defender and the referee showed no hesitation when pointing to the spot. Jordan Davies dusted himself down and stepped to take the penalty, but both the ball and the keeper went towards the bottom right corner and Martin Blain easily saved the Welshman’s weak penalty to keep the scores level. At the break Sandbach were rueing their missed chances, especially the penalty. However, they were dominating the game against a top of the league side so there are plenty of positives to take. The second half took a while to get going but on the hour mark Davies was again bought down In the box and the referee pointed to the spot for the second time in the game. This time it was Ryan Allcock who stepped up for Sandbach. However, his penalty was poor as he dragged it wide of the left post. After the game Allcock said “I was going to blast it down the middle, but as I ran up to the ball the keeper didn’t move, so I changed my mind”. Hockenhull would have been fuming that his side has squandered two brilliant chances to take the lead. Sandbach had dominated the game and the away side were struggling to deal with the fast feet and skill of winger Jordan Davies who again caused havoc with 15 minutes to go as he got to the right by-line and sent in a low cross for substitute Aidan Haughton who fired the ball over from just three yards out with all the goal to aim at. Jordan Davies was looking to make up for an earlier penalty miss and he produced bit of magic in the 77th minute when he cut in from right and fired a volley from around 30 yards out that was spectacularly tipped onto the bar by the keeper and the somehow cleared away! It would have for sure won goal of the season, but the save was incredible. With seven minutes to go the game was still well in the balance and the next goal would be vital. Sandbach would a freekick down the right and substitute Josh Lane curled it into the box and Matty Pearson got up highest and headed into the ball into the bottom left corner, past the keeper. It was a superb header from the fullback who doesn’t score many, but when he does, they mean a lot. As the clock struck 90 minutes the referee added on 5 additional minutes and then in the 97th minute we were for some reason still playing and the away side won a corner and sent everyone up. Sandbach have looked vulnerable from set plays recently, so it was hearts in mouths time for everyone. As the corner was floated in towards the back post it was met by a Wythenshawe player but blocked by a defender. The ball eventually fell to substitute Alan Dolman whose shot squeezed its way past the defence and found its way into the bottom left corner, sparking scenes of jubilation from the Wythenshawe players, supporters and management staff whilst Sandbach were made to wonder why the referee played so many more additional minutes. However, Sandbach were superb all game and they will know that they should have won, 2 missed penalties cost them at the ned of the day but there were plenty more positives than negatives to take away from the performance.