Sandy’s poor start to the season continued with a 2-1 defeat at home to Houghton Athletic in the League Cup on Sunday.
However, once again, they didn’t deserve to loose despite only having 12 players available.
In the first half they must have had 75% of the possession and spent a similar ratio in terms of time in their opponents’ half and yet a single mistake on 39 minutes meant they were one down at half time.
Kayleigh dominated midfield with good support first from Lucy, and then Sophie, with Claire and Faye on the wings. Katie and Loren up front had opportunities to score but just couldn’t convert their chances.
At the back Amie in goal with Pearl, Jade, Chloe and Karen, who had to come off after about 15 minutes with a hamstring problem, and Lucy were solid apart from two attempts on goal in the whole of the first half one of which went in.
In the second half Sandy re-organised slightly and were particularly effective down the left wing with Faye breaking through and having three great shots that just went over the bar.
As Sandy pressed for the equaliser they were caught out when a back pass that was too slow and short left Amie exposed and Houghton took advantage to go two up on 63 minutes.
Sandy still battled really hard and the visitors goal keeper made a couple of good saves before finally on 75 minutes she could only parry a hard shot from Chloe who ran onto Kayleigh’s pass and Katie scored from the rebound.
Sandy kept pressing but couldn’t get the equaliser and then on 88 minutes, following a bit of fracas on the right wing, a Houghton player punched a Sandy player and was sent off for violent conduct. It was too late for the one man advantage to make any serious difference but, in fact, as the player had to go off with a split lip that wouldn’t stop bleeding Sandy were reduced to 10 players as well.
Credit to Sandy for never giving up and if they keep playing like that then results will surely turn round shortly.
Player of the match for an outstanding display in midfield was Kayleigh.
Sandy’s next match is away to Bishops Stortford on Sunday, October 11.
Team: Amie Fage, Pearl Houghton, Jade Anderson, Chloe Reeves, Karen Varley (Sophie Webb), Claire Ashwell, Kayleigh Bennett, Lucy Saunders, Faye Prout, Loren Ellard, Katie Seldon.