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MATCH REPORT: Alsager Town 1-1 St Martins

The Saints travelled away to play Alsager FC in a game which brought plenty of chances for saints and a bit of fortune for Alsager in a game which resulted in the points being shared at WoodPark Stadium in a 1-1 draw.

First half:

The first half was interesting and showed how the rest of the match was going to be played out. The saints pressed very well early on and this resulted in us seeing plenty of ball and being the dominant side, we had our fair share of chances in this first and throughout the game but we had a reoccurring segment of creating the chances and being inefficient with out finishing. We had an early disadvantage as Calum Bennet received a harsh red card for what seemed to be an misunderstanding with the referee but this didn’t take away from our momentum as we carried on attempting to find that unlocking key into the Alsager defence and get a goal before half time but it was to no avail as the first half ended at a goalless deadlock between the two sides.

Second half:

The saints started off the second half the same as the first half as they came out strong, with good pressure and there was a short spell of good passing from the saints to create a couple chance but were unlucky not to get the leading goal. Alsager got their first noticeable chance of the game as their midfielder picked up the ball on the edge of the box, went for goal but George Austin watched it roll wide of the post. Shortly after the home side did break the deadlock with a very unusual goal as their winger played in a cross which took an unfortunate bobble and dinked over George Austins head to put them 1 ahead. The saints attempted to respond quickly as Karl Bailey picked up a good chance on the edge of the box but couldn’t keep the shot down and in the end didn’t trouble the Alsager goalkeeper. The saints then carried on trying to respond as they kept their heads up and created plenty of chances but had the same problem of lacking the final finish; that was until the seventy fourth minute where a corner cross was played into the box where MOTM Stuart Dickin put it away for the deserved equaliser. The game was seen out with much of the same as the saints had a few chances, Alsager had a good chance but it was denied by a good George Austin save. To end off the game there was a very good chance on the edge of the box to get the winner but it was put over the bar and the game ended level.

Overall, St martins played well and we’re very unlucky not to come away with all three points as they had plenty of chances but could not finish.

Match report by Liam Vaughan

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MATCH REPORT: St Martins 1-2 Maine Road

The saints hosted Maine Road FC in a game which we struggled to break into and lacked a creative spark throughout the game.

First half:

The first half started off with a shock for st martins as the visitors ended up getting themselves the lead after only 4 minutes as their number 9 Daniel Burgess was put through after catching the st martins defence off guard and slipping in 1 on 1, forcing George Austin to come off his line and was chipped to make it one nil to the visitors. The saints attempted to respond quick as only in the tenth minute we seen two quick chances fall to Tawanda Melusi and Karl bailey; Most noticeably Tawanda Melusi’s chance which found him open in space for a header after a long cross in the box but couldn’t get the connection to put it in the back of the net for the equaliser. St Martins then went on to dominate possession for about 10 minutes although Maine Road FC lacked possession they seemed more deadly when on the ball on the attack, nevertheless we carried on creating chances as Karl Bailey got another very good chance as George Durrel played a low ball into the box which was inches away from Karl Baileys boot to get the equaliser. The remainder of that half was fairly lacklustre from the saints as we struggled to create anything after our last chance and went into the break trailing by one.

Second half:

Second half was a change of momentum for both sides as the tides were constantly changing but both struggled to break the others defence down and get a goal. The game was fairly quiet until we picked up a corner in the sixty sixth minute which was played into the box and bounced off of numerous boots in the box and nobody for st martins could put their foot through it to put it in the back of the net and the visitors found themselves very fortunate not to concede there. As the saints continued to find their chances where they could, we found ourselves with a header in the box but it was put whiskers wide of the post and it was looking imminent that we were going to get their leveller sometime soon until the visitors found themselves through on goal once again and it was taken around George Austin who was scrambling for the ball and did do well at first as we stopped the original shot of their attacker but couldn’t claim it as it was eventually put away into an open net and all hope looked lost for us after a very lacklustre performance. We did however manage to get a late goal in the dying minutes of added time from a cross into the box which scrambled around and was eventually put away, unfortunately it was too late to recover and we ended up losing 2-1 despite our late recovery effort.

Overall it was a game in which we struggled to get into, we lacked a creative spark and attacking energy although we did find our chances where we could get them.

Report by Liam Vaughan

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Christmas Raffle Winners

The club is proud to announce that its Christmas Raffle, drawn on the 19th December at the Annual St Martins Christmas Dinner at the Greyhound Inn in St Martins, has raised £500 for the club this year. 

Thank you to everyone involved this year and Merry Christmas to you all.

 Here is the list of Winners and their Prizes – Congratulations.

 Signed Cook  book – Ticket 101 – Peter from Stans
 St Martins Hamper – Ticket 824 – Player, Callum Bennett
 Bottle of Wine – Ticket 95 – Steph Phillips
 Toy Gunn JCB – Ticket 88 – Joyce Fennell
 Christmas Light up Cuddly Toy – Ticket 758 – Player Jackson Hassanyah
 Cash Prize £50 – Ticket 774 – Player Jackson Hassanyah
 Cash Prize £25 – Ticket 21 – Amanda Lacey
 Piece of Jewellery – Ticket 869 – Lionel Edge (Criftins)
 Stans Hamper – Ticket 49 – Jim Wadkin
 Set of Club Merchandise – Ticket 689 – Manager Dan Stevens
 Parker Pen – Ticket 770 – Club Physio James Steer
 £20 House of Party Voucher – Ticket 318 – Andrew from the Greyhound
 £20 Greyhound Inn Voucher – Ticket 715 – Player Brendan Price
 Bottle of Whiskey – Ticket 933 – Player George Durrell
 Bottle of Wine – Ticket 673 – Player Jay Stoker
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MATCH REPORT: St Martins 0-2 Stockport Town

The saints hosted Stockport town at home today, it was a game we struggled to get into throughout and ended up deservedly losing 2-0 to a strong Stockport Town performance.

In the first 10-15 minutes both sides played with good energy but nothing of significance was being created by either side as they were both trying to unlock each other’s defences; in the 25th minute we seen our first chance fall to striker Karl Bailey for what seemed an early Christmas gift from the Stockport defenders as they slipped up a pass at the back and Karl bailey was put through but it was a tough tight angle on the right hand side of the box and it just drifted passed the post. The visitors struck first as they broke on a counter attack and Jack McConell played a powerful low ball from the left hand side and the saints defence failed to clear it successfully as it was put away for an own goal in the 30th minute by Jackson Hassanyeh for a deserved lead for Stockport. As we were heading into a well needed half time break George Austin made a very good save to deny the Stockport forward Jack McConell for a second. We went into halftime looking to reorganise and get back out for a better second half.

The second half started with a substitute as Jay stoker made way for Tawanda Melusi. The second half was a lot of the same as we struggled to connect our passes and create chances and very early on Stockport took advantage of this and took their chances as Stockport forward Callum Dolan forced a parry from George Austin which landed to Callum McConnell who tapped it away from the rebound in the bottom left hand corner. We found a chance in the 66th minute as a ball was played in the box and it bounced around which ended up forcing a double save from the Stockport keeper, we also forced another chance in the 72nd minute as we forced another good save from a headed chance. The rest of the half was uneventful as we carried on struggling to create significant chances.

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MATCH PREVIEW: From The Balcony

We welcome Stockport Town today and hope everyone connected enjoyed their visit to the Venue.

When we last played Stockport, it was a very competitive game and I expect no different today, it took a last minute penalty from us to take three points after a dominant first half display, Stockport really improved in the second half. We have a run of home games which im sure the management and players will be looking to take as many points as possible from.

Our home form has been a bit patchy this season. We have had fantastic wins against Rylands, Barnton and Cammell Lairds, a good draw against Stone on Saturday and Nomads earlier in November, but we had poor performances against Eccleshall and Ellesmere. Im sure this is something we will improve when we play on a regular basis on the Venue pitch.

I was impressed with Jackson Hassanyeh on Saturday, he has had a period out of football with work and now he is starting to find fitness and form. He has a good attitude towards the team which I like and is always positive and hopefully as fitness and sharpness returns, he will be a real asset. George Durrell has started to look a very solid player in the last few games as well, which is pleasing for us as we have real competition for places in the squad and the manager will trust players if they are training hard and putting performances in. I would also like to welcome Liam Vaughan to our media team, who is doing a fantastic job, along with Mike and Prabhat who are working with video and analyst software for us.

There have been a couple of goodbyes lately, Dave Hartshorne has left us for Four Crosses, Dave is a great lad and I hope it works out for him there, he is a real talent, and if he applies himself correctly he could go and be a top player. We are also saying goodbye to Dave Easthope who is leaving to join Eccleshall. Dave is a great lad and someone we are sad to see depart but these things do happen in football. Andy, Dave’s dad, has travelled to 99% of the games home and way and even did photography for us and I will personally miss chatting to him on a match day. I wish both players all the best, except when we face Eccleshall in a few weeks.

Lets hope we attack today’s game and show some more good form like our games against Barnton and Stone!

Yours in Football

Craig Rogers

General Manager

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MATCH REPORT: St Martins 2-2 Stone Old Alleynian

The saints hosted Stone Old Alleynian on a cold, wet Saturday afternoon for a good afternoon of football that resulted in 4 goals being scored; Karl bailey was goal hungry and grabbed himself a brace and the visitors scored two long range goals to result in the points being shared in a 2-2 draw.

First half:

We started off this game slow and the visitors seen plenty of the ball as they dominated possession and their attackers showed their quality in their interplay but couldn’t create a clear chance early; the saints remained composed defensively as Alleynian carried on attacking. The saints did slowly start to find their bearings as in the 21st minute we had our first chances as there was three quick successions of low balls being played across the box but nobody could provide the finishing touch. The saints continued to keep up this momentum when Karl Bailey grabbed himself a goal in the 23rd minute after a delightful long range pass from Calum Bennet resulted in Karl Bailey slotting in a delightful little finish to make it 1-0 and then not only two minutes later he grabbed his brace and extended st martins lead to 2-0 as he chased down a back pass to the oppositions goalkeeper and pounced to take it around the goalkeeper and put it away in an open net. Just as st martins started to look comfortable with this 2-0 lead, the visitors came back in the 33rd minute as Alleynians James Lee hit a lovely strike from 25 yards which hit the crossbar and went in and nothing the keeper could’ve done to keep that one out. As The saints were recovering after conceding they went through and had a chance cleared off the line as the keeper was caught off his line and chipped. St martins had the lead at half time.

Second half

Looking to extend their lead in the second half as the saints subbed on Tawanda Melusi for Calum Bennet at the start of the second half. The visitors saw the first chance fall to them as a powerful low ball was played near post but it was to no avail as none of their attackers could get a touch onto it to equalise. A few minutes went by and then talleynians Kyle Blake found himself with space 25 yards out and hit another worldie which tucked into the top left corner to make it 2-2. As St Martins looked to reshape and recuperate after conceding another they got themselves a corner which knocked around the box and fell to Tawanda Melusi’s feet to give him a golden opportunity but the Alleynian defenders were quick to put their bodies on the line and block his shot. The saints then began to pick up the pace as they were putting pressure on the visitors defence playing some nice quick passes and this ended in a chance coming to Brendon Price as he was played through for what seemed a certain goal but the Alleynian goalkeeper made an impressive save to keep it level. Neither side could find themselves a winner as they both would not break defensively and the game finished 2-2 after an impressive 90 minutes from both sides.

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MATCH REPORT: Ethelstlon Cup: Wellington Ams 1-2 St Martins

The Saints travelled to telford for an Ethelstone cup match with Wellington Amateurs on what looked like a tough pitch and a physical side from the outset. The Saints left top scorer Karl Bailey on the bench along with Durrel and Millington with one eye on Saturday’s game vs Stone OA. Walters, Melusi, Ash, Dickin where all unavailable on the night.

The home side started the game much stronger and took the lead within four minutes. A corner was cleared back to the taker and his cross was met by the head  of the midfielder to put the home side one up. The home side continued their good start but looked likely to concede at the back and on 16 minutes, Jordy Davies got to the byline and crossed for Callum Graybrook to finish. The Saints started to take control of the game, with Harvey Plimmer really looking dangerous on the break against a slow back line. The home side where picked up a couple of bookings for late tackles and they where getting frustrated. The Ams keeper was in inspired form, considering he is usually an outfield player and he pulled off a great save to deny Hands and just before half time Davies smashed the post after good work from Price. Jay Hands was again thwarted by a good save from the home keeper.

Half time 1-1

The first action of the second half was a red card for the home side. Ams actually started the half well, but on the touch line, the Ams 10 got into a something and nothing with Bennett, as Stoker tried to break it up, 10 went for him and threw his head at Stroker and received a straight red for his troubles.

The Saints should have had a clear penalty not long after with a clear push in the back of Davies but somehow the referee didn’t give it. On 65 minutes, there was a second red for Ams, a cross come in the box and the No 9 and Davies jumped for the ball, the Ams player didn’t like Davies challenge and proceeded to headbutt him, and received his marching orders. Davies was booked for his reaction to the headbutt and Ams No 5 was booked for his involvement afterwards.

Stevens tried to shake it up introducing the three lads from the bench and with two men advantage, the Saints should of seen the game off but Ams worked hard and made it difficult. Price should of but us ahead on 81 but somehow miskicked from a yard, Bailey forced a good save save from the keeper as well. The Ams keeper really was fantastic on the night.

In the last minute, the ball was worked out left and the cross came in and was headed home with a great header from Karl Bailey to get us through to the next round where we will face league and local rivals FC Oswestry Town at Yocking Park in 2019.

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NEWS: Austin Wins Reusch Goalkeeper of the Month

After a superb November between the sticks, George Austin has been voted the Hallmark Security Division One South Reusch goalkeeper of the month.

The league website wrote:

“George appeared in all seven games for St Martins in a busy November (six league and one cup game) and kept three clean sheets and earned two Man of the Match nominations in the process.

His impressive form is no surprise to anyone at the club, as his consistency has meant he has not missed a game for the club since April 2017.

During November George made some key saves at crucial stages in games, and played his part in helping the Saints team earn valuable points in what was a tough month, when they lost just twice in seven games.”

Well deserved for the Saints ‘keeper!

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MATCH REPORT: Cheadle Town 0-1 St Martins

The saints travelled to Stockport to take on Cheadle Town FC for a very tight 90 minutes of football. Chances went either way but a late strike from Brendon Price was the difference maker as St martins ended up snatching a late 1-0 win.

First half:

From kick off you could see how the saints wanted to play, they put a lot pressure on the Cheadle Town defence very early on. Both sides did play well on the ball on attack but st martins were showing their danger from counter attacks in this first half as Karl Bailey had a chance in the 21st minute from a quick counter but he couldn’t find the net as it just went wide of the post.

Goalkeeper George Austin had a very impressive game as he denied the Cheadle Town attackers of any chance of a goal as he was quick off his line, confident and kept the saints in the game at times; Cheadle Town also had a good chance as they played a long ball over the top over the Saints defence which lead to an open net but the forward couldn’t put it away. Score was level at the break

Second half: 

Cheadle Town started the second half very strong as they came out and played quick and the Saints defence did find themselves on the back foot at time early on but managed to stay composed and keep the score level. The home side were the first with a big chance in this second half as their striker was through one on one after a long ball played over the Saints defence but George Austin pulled out another very impressive save to deny the forward.

The Saints then found themselves getting back into the game with counter attacks once again and the Cheadle towns defence did look exposed from these counter attacks as The Saints kept digging at their back line to find a goal; finally in the 71st minute the saints had themselves another counter attack, connected a few passes which led to Karl Bailey playing a back heel pass to set up Brendon Price who slotted it in the bottom left corner just out of the keepers reach to win the game and secure three points for The Saints.

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MATCH REPORT: St Martins 1-1 Wythenshawe Town

The Saints faced 6th place Wythenshawe town at home for a very tight 90 minutes of football and 3 points would’ve meant a whole lot to either side had they have got it, as wythenshawe sit in 6th just below St Martins who are in 5th.

First half 

It wasn’t the start The Saints could have asked for as wythenshawe had picked up an early corner, crossed it in and The Saints players couldn’t get a touch onto it to clear it as Wythenshawe’s captain Chris Middleton had already nodded it in to the back of the net; admittedly it was a slow start to the game from The Saints as Wythenshawe created some chances but we slowly got our bearings and started attacking with a lot of confidence we had a lot of good movement, good passing and that all led to our first goal in the 13th minute as our midfielders and forwards played some very nice link up play, worked as a team and got the result as Callum Bennet blasted a shot at the Wythenshawe keeper and he couldn’t keep it out as it trickled into the back of the net to equalise.

It was an exciting first half which was full of action, the game had a reoccurring theme which was that the momentum constantly shifted between both sides; the Saints were creating plenty of chances as Tawanda Melusi found himself with some space in the box after some good build up play but the Wythenshawe defenders were quick to close him down before he could get his shot off. Wythenshawe’s Captain Chris Middleton did score a second but it was flagged offside.

Second half 1-1

As both sides were looking to break this deadlock in the second half The Saints came out with a game plan, they applied a lot of pressure and were very determined when they had the ball at their feet as only in the 56th minute the team were passing through the midfield very well, they found space for David Easthope on the edge of the box but his shot just skimmed the outside of the post.

The saints kept up the momentum from the first half as they carried on creating plenty of chances as Brendon Price had a low cross played into him from the right side but he just wasn’t quick enough to finish it; Wythenshawe also created their fair share of chances but nothing clear cut as both sides resolute defending quickly shut down the chance of any goals. The Saints tried to make an impact sub with Callum Graybrook coming off the bench to replace David Easthope in the 84th minute but with such little time Callum struggled to make an immediate impact in terms of a goal as the game ended level.

Full Time 1-1

The saints struggling to get the winner as the points were shared at home after a very good 90 minutes of football between these two sides. It was very entertaining and fair to say that both teams deserved to take away a point; both teams were very organised and the score line shows it, they both dominated certain sections of the match but nobody could find the winning goal to grab all three points. Onto the next. 

Report written by Liam Vaughan

Photo: Andy Easthope

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