Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sandiacre Town 2-5 Chellaston ( MRA Prem Div)

Sandiacre Town FC started off in the Central Alliance League where it competed in the late 70's and early 80's. The club then moved to the Central Midlands League but lost their place in this League at the end of season 1989/90 due to the lack of ground facilities.  After missing one season the Saturday side was started again in 1991/92, merging with Lace Web United of the Midlands Regional Alliance. The Club went on to finish runners-up in the MRA Premier Division that season.

The following season the club was re-admitted to the Central Midlands League and had a very successful season, winning both the Premier Division Championship and the League Cup. The season ended with a remarkable record of winning the last 24 League and Cup games.

Recent times have seen a marked decline in the clubs fortunes with the side dropping down to the MRA. At the start of this season the club lost most of their players and had to play youngsters in the side. They are currently bottom in the league and heading for relegation to the first division.

The Number 4 Trent Barton bus to Sandiacre from Nottingham Broadmarsh stops at the Blue Bell pub 100 yards from St Giles Park. Smart ground with a picturesque setting. Three floodlights each side of the pitch, railed on all four sides. Hard standing along the entrance side of the ground and behind the goal to the right. There is quite a large covered stand at that end. On the far side where the dugouts used to be (vandalised), there is only standing from the halfway line to the far corner flag. The other half is overgrown with pleasant trees and shrubs.

Sandiacre were in an all red strip and Chellaston all blue. I was surprised to see Sandiacre go at Chellaston from the start and they were not short of attacking options. When in possession Chellaston had plenty of time on the ball but were guilty of wasting good chances. But 13 minutes into the game Chellaston went 1-0 up. After the ball had been played into the Sandiacre area defenders failed to clear the danger and Chellaston's Sam Scarlett scored from 12 yards out. Sandiacre's Adam Steele hit a thundering drive from 25 yards straight at the keeper and just after the Sandiacre  keeper  Mark O'Neil saved a goalbound volley from Fitzhugh and later from a corner he made another superb save from a close range header. On the half hour Sandiacre's Darren Hart sent Lynton Francis through on goal but poor control let him down and the keeper was out to clear. Chellaston went 2-0 up shortly after. A long clearance found a striker upfield, the ball was crossed into the area, a Sandiacre defender failed to clear leaving John Webster free to slot the ball past the keeper.Ht 0-2.

Three minutes into the second half Chellaston's James Riley created a good opportunity for Fitzhugh but he stumbled six yards out with only the keeper to beat. Five minutes later it looked like a Chellaston player had handled the ball in his area but the referee shouted 'play on', and seconds after Sandiacre's Sean Sheppard blasted the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal. 1-2. Sandiacre were now running rampant and drew level when Lynton Francis stole the ball on the halfway line, raced on and beat the keeper with a low drive. 2-2. Chellaston's keeper Ryan Hamilton was forced into a superb save when he stretched to keep out a free kick heading for the bottom corner on 70 minutes. It was around this time that Sandiacre began to look jaded and when a Sandiacre free kick was cleared Chellaston quickly attacked down the right wing and a fierce stinging shot beat the keeper from 20 yards. 2-3.  Chellastons Fitzhugh ran free on the wing ten minutes from time and chipped the keeper to make it 2-4. Then in the final minute Chellaston were awarded a corner which Riley took. The ball was sent high to the far post and looped over the keeper hitting the upright before ending up in the net. FT 2-5.

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