Town edged out in scrappy affair
An early goal from Sandbach United was enough to secure the points.
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Town travelled to Sandbach United looking for a much needed three points against a side they had defeated at Ruskin Drive just before Christmas. On that occasion Town had recovered from a two goal deficit to record a superb 3-2 victory.
The visitors arrived at a very cold Hind Heath Road ground without the services of front man Liam Diggle who was serving a one game suspension and he was replaced by Ben Bolton who was making his first start since early November following injury.
The game started at a frantic pace and the first chance fell to Town when Andy Presho’s through ball set Shaun Brady in on goal but his right foot drive was saved well by the home ‘keeper Ryan Moss. The ball broke outside the six yard box and as Town’s Matty Smith looked to force the ball home he was tumbled to the ground but the referee waved play on for the first of a number of strange decisions which littered the ninety minutes.
The only goal of the game arrived after just 11 minutes and it came from a floated free kick which found Sandbach defender Matthew Pearson unmarked and he headed past Yong in the Town goal. It was a catalyst for the home side to take control of the contest and Town were in a game of attack versus defence for the next half hour.
While there was little goal mouth action the constant Sandbach pressure stifled any opportunities at the other end until two minutes before the break; another route one pass from Tom Grimshaw found Bolton but his early strike went wide of the Sandbach goal.
The second half was a much more even affair but again lacked real quality as well as any clear goal chances; with the referee’s whistle a constant interruption throughout. Both sides picked up three second half cautions with Town also seeing substitute Paul Cliff dismissed following a clash with Pearson in stoppage time.
There was some injury time drama as Alex Ashby’s 25 yard free kick almost caught out the home stopper Moss who took the ball high under the cross bar before stumbling backwards leading to claims from the visitors that the ball had been carried well over the line. The referee, who wasn’t helped by his assistant who had taken up a poor position, waved away the claims and shortly afterwards brought the game to an end.