Friday, 6 May 2016

Sandhurst 1 v Cotgrave 8 - Notts Senior League Prem

Friday 6th May 2016
Precision Nottinghamshire Senior League
at Walesby Sports & Social Club, Forest Lane
Sandhurst (1) 1
Will Cox 16
Cotgrave (3) 8
Adam Gray 15, 45,87 Adam Sinnott 34 Adam Bradford OG 51
Doug Mills 56 Luke Buck 74 Gaz Tye OG 90
Admission Free. Programme £1
Notts Senior League table and stats: HERE

Congratulations to Lee Clarke on his
Notts Senior League refereeing debut
An emphatic away win for Cotgrave, could've seen Sandhurst defeated by well into double figures, had it not been for a combination of the efforts their keeper Simon Griffiths and the visitors number 9 Adam Sinnott turning up disguised as his alter ego Mister Sitter.
The home had already survived the seven goal scoring opportunities that Cotgrave had failed to covert in the opening fifteen minutes, before Adam Gray collected the ball from Luke Buck thirty yards from goal, flicked it in the air and struck a sweet shot into the top corner.
But the home side were on level terms inside a minute, when they attacked straight from the restart and Lewis Batchelor threaded the ball into the path of Will Cox, who slotted the ball past Adam Heard.
Undeterred by conceding an equaliser so quickly, Cotgrave resumed their bombardment of the Sandhurst goal and Luke Buck (twice including a 20 yard free kick that skimmed the woodwork), Gray and Sinnott all went close to restoring their lead, before Sinnott took a return pass from Buck and rolled the ball jut inside the left hand post to on 34 minutes, to claim his only goal in a game where he could and should have had at least three or four.
Black drilled the ball across the face of Sandhurst's goal and Griffiths couldn't hold onto the ball and diverted it into the path of Ryan Thorpe, who, with a wide open goal in front of him, turned the ball over the crossbar from all of three feet. 
Griffiths saved from Sinnott, before Adam Flint's angled shot went from Thorpe's cross went wide of the post.
Gray saw off a challenge and hit the outside of the upright as Cotgrave threatened to run riot.
But two minutes before half time, completely against the run of play in a game that had been played almost exclusively up the gradient in the pitch towards the 'Retford End', Sandhurst broke away and 
Eddie Masterton caught James Hurt high with a late challenge that gave the debutant referee Lee Clarke no option but to blow up and point to the spot.
So the scene was set; if Sandhurst scored from this penalty, they would be on level terms by half time and could regroup and get back into a game that the visitors had dominated thus far. Up stepped Cox and... err, it's a good job Sandhurst had more than one ball, because I don't have a clue where that one ended up! The Carpenters Arms car park maybe?
Anyway, the home side didn't finish the first half with an unlikely scoreline of two apiece, in fact things got worse them as Dougie Mills lashed a shot against the upright and Gray added a third for the visitors, when he recieved the ball with his back to goal, flicked it and struck a great shot on the turn to give his side a two goal cushion on the stroke of half time.
HT: Sandhurst 1 v Cotgrave 3
And the visitors would be playing down the slope after the break.
Gaz Tye entered the fray at half time, replacing Steve Taylor who'd taken a knock and the vastly experienced substitute had an almost immediate impact on the game, when he won the ball in midfield and passed to Nathan Matthews who played a through ball for Cox who went to ground under the close attentions of a Cotgrave defender, but Lee Clarke had a good view of the incident, as did his assistant Graham Mitchell and neither of them saw anything amiss and play carried on.
Six minutes after the restart Adam Flint played a sideways pass to Masterton who hooked a cross into the Sandhurst area, that looped into the goal beyond the reach of Griffiths off of centre half Adam Bradford's head.
Cotgrave were quickly on the attack again and Sinnott missed a sitter under pressure from Bradford.
Dougie Mills added a fifth goal for the visitors, from Sinnott's neat angled pass into the home side's goal area. A comeback for Sandhurst was beginning to look highly unlikely now.
Sandhurst lost possession straight from the kick off and Sinnott rolled a pass into the path of Buck who had arrived on the edge of the home side's box with an impressive sprint, that deserved a better finish than the up and under thumping shot that Black skied somewhere on Forest Lane.
Griffiths saved well from Gray, but the ball rebounded to Buck who nudged the ball into the net from close range, to hit Sandhurst for six, on the boundary of Walesby's cricket pitch.
Wes Kitchen almost pulled one back for the home side, but it wasn't to be as his long distance shot flew inches wide of the upright.
Sinnott's shot from close range was well saved by Griffiths, but as the loose ball dropped kindly for the Cotgrave striker, with the home side keeper still on the deck, he crashed a shot against the bar.
Moments later Sinnott did get the ball in the net again, but he had strayed offside.
'Mister Sitter' delivered a great cross into Cotgrave's six yard box, the bounce beat Griffiths and Graham Lynn only needed to touch it to claim a goal, but he somehow contrived to put the ball over from on the goal line.
With the clock ticking down, Ian Donaldson teed a great chance up for Sinnott, who must've even seen the funny side of it himself as he scuffed his shot and missed the target yet again.
in the 87th minute, Gray claimed his hat trick when he squeezed the ball home, just inside the left hand upright from a tight angle.
Black very nearly scored again, but he curled the ball wide of the post, having made himself the time and space to shoot from 12 yards.
Right on the final whistle, which Sandhurst will have been mightily relieved to hear, Gaz Tye scored... but their was very little he could do about it as he diverted a left wing corner past his own keeper.
FT: Sandhurst 1 v Cotgrave 6
I only live around six miles from Sandhurt's Forest Lane ground in Walesby, I really should make the effort to get along to watch games here more often.
Hi to Rob, Hazel, Hannah, Sean, Ken, Steve, Ian and the Cooky who I had the pressure, whoops... I meant pleasure, of spending the evening with, it was good to see you all again.
And finally a big well done to Lee Clarke on the occasion of his first refereeing appointment in the Notts Senior League, top lad, you'll go far!