Shefford & Sandy Mens Is made it a perfect start to the season with a 5-3 win over Harleston Magpies IIs.
There was a strong expectation that, with Harleston being relegated from Premier B last season, that this game would give the 1s a real sense of how competitive they would be in this division.
The game could not have started any worse for S&S as Harleston picked up an early goal, but they hit back hard. Liam Stevens’ excellent reverse stick finish was followed by a goal for Stuart Robson and this all happened in the first 10 minutes.
S&S dominated the rest of the half with Chris Fell making it three before the break. The second half saw Harleston take the attack to S&S and they brought themselves back onto level terms with two goals.
With the game looking as though it could go either way, a great move by S&S saw Danny Price taken out by the Harleston keeper, and the resultant penalty flick was then well dispatched by Fell. S&S then secured all three points in East Men’s League Division One, Fell collecting a treble, deflecting a Stevens shot into the goal.
S&S IIs also took all three points, 3-1 at Potters Bar IIs in Division 5SW. They hit the ground running, taking an early lead through Pete Reed and mostly dominated the first half.
There was one magical moment though at the end of the half, Ramohan Bhogal turning defence into attack with an inch perfect aerial ball over the Potters defence to the speedy Reed, he then got into the area and provided the ball for Jakob Ooms to sweep home.
The Potters came out of the traps better in the second half and it was back to the walls stuff, as S&S keeper Dom Wright was called upon to make multiple saves. Despite some rather generous misses by the Potters forwards they finally though got their just desserts pulling a goal back.
With the Potters continuing to press, S&S were reliant on quick breaks out of defence and with 10 minutes left they were awarded a penalty flick. Lewis Bridger stepped up to put the ball away and secure all three points.
S&S Mens 3s made it two from two in Division 7SW with another solid performance, beating Letchworth IVs 4-1. Goals came from Steve Ashdown and Steve Brookes.
S&S Mens 4’s first game in Division 8SW ended unfortunately with a resounding 6-2 defeat to Potters Bar IVs.
There were some bright points, Elliot Wood’s goal was a well worked team effort and the second goal was crashed in from the short corner by Angus Monaghan.
James Steer pulled off some good saves in goal, senior pro Neil Blannin put in some hard graft and young debutant Marcus Pennington was impressive, showing off some good skills against some defenders that were twice his size.