01 March 2017 11:24
On a day where Storm Doris had forced postponements in 8 of the 10 fixtures to be played on Saturday, Sandbach were one of the lucky few to be involved in a match. They may have been wishing for a postponed match by the end of the game as Sandbach struggled to a 2-1 loss to 9th placed Stockport and have blown their race for playoff places wide open.
Prior to the match Sandbach were without Nathan Jones and last weeks man of the match, Martin Evans. Forced to make some alterations to the side, Sandbach manager Andy Hockenhull told me prior to the game he was still quite confident in the depth in his squad.
Whilst the game was played, the weather still took a huge part in deciding the result with strong winds affecting the ball and heavy rain made the 3G pitch slow the ball down, in the end these were simple excuses for Sandbach, they never really managed to control the game and play the football they are used to. "We just didn't play football, against the wind we were knocking it long and with the wind we were knocking it too far" and there was even further disdain from the Sandbach head coach regarding the two goals.
The first half was tightly contested between the two sides, but both struggled to control the game and that shows in the fact that all 3 goals were scored in the first half. Undone at two set pieces, firstly in the 11th minute when a free kick was dribbled in before the lines were set and a deflection off Matthew Pearson sent the ball under Sandbach keeper Ryan Moss to put Stockport 1 up.
They say you're most likely to concede just after scoring and that was the case for Stockport, as Boris Melingui managed to equalise for Sandbach a minute later, following up on a lost ball from Josh Lane to slot it into the bottom right corner.
However Sandbach were undone once more at a set piece. Another free kick in mirror position to Stockport's first was lifted into Stockport midfielder Conor Downes who found a free header to put Stockport 2-1 up in the 27th minute.
Carlos Correia, Connor Sutton and Dereece Gardner all came on during the Second Half to try and change the score, and even with this attacking intent from Mr. Hockenhull, the supply was still too poor for Boris Melingui who spent most of the game chasing long balls forward instead of having the ball fed to his feet.
Sandbach could have stolen a draw in the 67th minute when they won a free kick on the edge of the box, destined for the net, Stockport's Daniel Whiting pulled off an exquisite save to push onto the post and out for a corner.
Ending 2-1, neither Stockport or Sandbach ever really got going in the game and Stockport coach Dave Wild admitted "The game, if we're honest, was horrendously bad, both sides, this was the poorest we've played since I took over" but was happy to take all 3 points in a game which he felt more likely could have been a draw.
Stockport's Cameron Darkwah took man of the match, a constant threat down the left wing and was a source of entertainment in a sloppy game.
Sandbach continue their away travels with a Reusch First Division Cup semi final 1st leg against Holker Old Boys and then a midweek clash against 2nd place City of Liverpool their next games.
Sandbach United would like to thank Planet Environmental, RK Henshall Insurance Brokers, Johnson The Cleaners, The Ganges, Grenville Engineering and Gateway Peugot for their support.
Next Match: Sandbach travel to Holker Old Boys on Saturday in the first leg of The Reusch First Division Cup semi final. Seats are still available on the coach which leaves the club at 9:45.
Photography: Kevin Warburton (view web site)