Sandy Ladies could hold their heads high despite exiting the Beds Women’s County Cup 2-1 at Bedford Ladies on Sunday.
Sandy had a tough task on their hands as they hadn’t played since December 21 and then had to face Bedford, who are four divisions above Sandy in the Women’s Pyramid, in the quarter-finals.
Bedford started the stronger on a very sticky pitch but it was Sandy who took the lead on 12 minutes when Amber latched onto a poor clearance to rifle one past the keeper, who had no chance.
The match went from end to end but on 22 minutes Bedford equalised following a bit of a mix up between a defender and the keeper.
Apart from that one instance the defence was really solid throughout the first half with Amie making some good saves and interceptions and as always being instructive and helpful to the players in front of her who started with Pearl, Jade, Alicia & Chloe B and the latter two were playing their first matches in some time after injury in one case and starting playing again after a 10 month absence for the other.
The central midfield started with Kayleigh and Chloe R who held their own very well supported on the wings by Claire & Faye with Amber and Katie as always working tirelessly up front.
After 30 minutes Alicia had to come off and Chloe R dropped back into defence with Sophie taking over the midfield role and Jenny replaced Claire just so everyone got a decent amount of playing time.
The score remained level until half time and from the kick off Sandy attacked hard searching for the lead and on 57 minutes Kayleigh took a free kick on the edge of the box which whistled past the post. Shortly after Katie put in a great cross from another free kick on the left side of the penalty area and Chloe’s effort was blocked by a Bedford defender. Shortly afterwards Sophie had to come off ill so Alicia went back on.
On 65 minutes following a Bedford attack an attempted clearance from Sandy ricocheted off another defender to fall straight in the path of a Bedford player who gave Amie no chance with a fine shot.
Striker Amber suffered a dead leg with about 12 minutes to go and Claire came back on to complete the match.
Sandy continued to press hard for the equaliser but it was not to be.
There were 13 players of the match but special mention to Alicia back after four months out and to Chloe B playing only her second game since last season both of whom made great contributions.
Next Sandy are away in the league to second placed Harvesters.
Sandy: Amie Fage, Pearl Houghton, Jade Anderson, Alicia Cobb (Sophie Webb), Chloe Barton, Claire Ashwell (Jennifer Holt), Kayleigh Bennett, Chloe Reeves, Faye Prout, Katie Seldon & Amber Williams.