In football if you make mistakes then, more often than not, you will be punished; this was the lesson writ large at Park Road on Wednesday 12th September 2018.
At the risk of sounding ungracious we offered a helping hand with at least five of Sandbach’s tally.
Usually only a small percentage of those mistakes would go unpunished but Sandbach were devilishly efficient and we got the deserved cane on the backside every time we didn’t clear our lines or gave possession away all-too cheaply.
Danny Whiting was called to action just 17 seconds in when he had to get down smartly to make a stop and then had to push a shot around the post some moments later.
In between those two moments we had a glorious chance to open the scoring.
Sheer determination from Rhys Webb put him in a great position to round the keeper but his final shot was cleared off the line.
Rhys Clooney then used his strength to break down the right before firing just over the bar before our visitors got the first of their seven of the evening; a cross in from the right wasn’t cleared properly and was eventually bundled home by Allcock from close range. A really scruffy goal to concede.
Seven minutes later and they were two-up. Possession was stolen from us in our own third with the eventual cross in from the right being stabbed home at the near post by Kirby, the first of five he would net for Sandbach.
34 minutes and it was 0-3; again a cross into the box wasn’t dealt with and the ball ricocheted off Cheadle bodies straight at the feet of Kirby who swept it home.
Two minutes later, 0-4. Another cross not dealt with and the loose ball was gleefully popped home by that man Kirby again.
I’m pleased to say that our second half showing was much better, albeit we didn’t have a goal to show for our efforts.
Callum Knight fizzed a dangerous one in from the right that Rhys Clooney clipped just wide with Rhys then forcing a decent save from the keeper moments later. Tom Ratican then tried his luck from range but his shot was deflected wide.
Our decent spell was tempered by Tom Russell’s sending off for an alleged stamp on 56 minutes. We couldn’t really get going again after that and Sandbach took control of the game once more.
We had already cleared off the line before Sandbach scored their fifth on 70 minutes after the ball was given away on the halfway line with Kirby racing free down the right and slotting home for his fourth.
Danny Whiting then made three excellent stops before Sandbach got their sixth on 80 minutes - Cain converting a cross from close range - and then their seventh five minutes later when Kirby was put in on the left.
Luke Hincks’ long range effort when it was 0-6 didn’t even have the decency to give us a consolation, crashing off the foot of the post instead. It was that kind of night.
No banal “we’ll draw a line under it” platitudes here. It wasn’t good enough from a club that is looking to make a serious challenge this season. We need to be more consistent.
So, goals galore at the moment, not all of them in our favour. Those coming to watch us at the moment are getting their moneysworth, but we’d take a 1-0 win this Saturday at home to Vauxhall Motors in the FA Vase, thank you very much….
TEAM: Whiting, Neild, Ratican, Delaney, Dunn, Shaw (Russell), Abreu, Hincks, Webb, Clooney (Hewitt), Knight (Christopher). SUBS: Wallace, Russell, Christopher, Hewitt, Morrison (gk).