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MATCH REPORT: St Martins 1-3 Sandbach United

St Martins hosted Cheshire based side, Sandbach FC in a game which St Martins were unfortunate to lose as the game ended 3-1.

First half:

We were caught off early on as Sandbach got a corner in the 4th minute, the St Martins defence attempted to clear it but it only went as far as Sandbach forward James Kirby who cut in from the left to put it on his right foot and bend it in the top right hand corner and the saints trailed very early on. The saints attempted to respond only six minutes later as Calum Bennet played a exquisite long ball over to Harvey Plimmer who found space on the far left side, he controlled it well and as he drove forward it all looked very promising but the keeper just got a hand onto his shot to put it wide for a corner. The saints were beginning to play well and that early goal looked even more unfortunate as time passed on; Jordan Davies got himself some space on the right wing, he attempted to play a lofted through ball into the box but none of our attackers could get a touch onto it to convert it. The game was very much of a deadlock in terms of the two teams performances as they both attempted to attack and defend seamlessly but neither could succeed in doing so. As the whistle blew for half time it felt like a game that should’ve been a draw as the teams were very evenly matched but Sandbach were in the lead due to that early goal.

Second half:

Starting off the second half the saints looked to level things; Tawanda Melusi got himself a blinder of a chance as a low ball was played into the box, fell straight to his feet and he had all the time but he couldn’t get his shot right and he rolled it into the keepers hands. Next up Tom Ashe got himself a decent chance as he jumped up and got himself onto a decent cross but he couldn’t generate enough power to put it past the Sandbach keeper as he dealt with it fairly comfortably. In the 65th minute Harvey Plimmer came off for Karl Bailey due to injury. In the 70th minute Sandbach got their second through Christopher Smith as he got himself onto a long ball, waited for the ball to drop before volleying it into the bottom left hand corner. Then only 10 minutes later Sandbach got their third as they are played in behind, and it is squared to Josh Lane for an open goal for what looked to be the sealer for the game; substitute Karl Bailey attempted to get St Martins back into this one as in the 87th minute he got a ball played into him in the box from Tawanda Melusi and slotted it in the bottom right hand corner for what was only a consolation goal as the game finished 3-1.

Written by Liam Vaughan

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MATCH REPORT: St Martins 0-4 Wythenshawe Ams

St Martins hosted 4th place Wythenshawe amateurs in a game where the saints struggled and Wythenshawe showed their quality.

First half:

The first half of this game wasn’t too eventful as the two teams tried to figure each other out. The first shot of the game came from Jamie Hands who found himself open on the edge of the box courtesy of a well worked st Martins counter attack, he took a shot with his left and looked for the bottom corner but the Wythenshawe keeper got down to make a good save. Early worry for the saints as Wythenshawe got themselves a penalty in the 10th minute which was given for handball but the saints had George Austin to thank who made an impressive penalty save to keep the score level; unfortunately not long after Wythenshawe scored due to a misfortunate touch from Calum Bennett who played the Wythenshawe attacker through on goal and he slotted it past George Austin to take the lead. The rest of the half was fairly uneventful as Wythenshawe looked to extend their lead and St Martins looked to get back into it.

Second half:

The start of the second half was bad news for the saints as in the 51st minute Wythenshawe extend their lead by 2 as the Wythenshawe forward chased down a back pass and beat George Austin to it and slotted it away into an open net. Wythenshawe then continued to dominate the start of the second half as St Martins locked something offensively and struggled to establish themselves; Wythenshawe played a cross into the back post but it couldn’t be converted. The best chance the saints had was in the 71st minute as a low cross was played in, it bounced around the box for a few seconds and a shot is taken from a few yards out but there’s not another power to beat the Wythenshawe keeper and he makes a comfortable save. As the game approached its end, Wythenshawe defended well and St Martins continued to press for something big if they were to get back into this game. The game looked to be set in the 80th minute as Wythenshawe made it three thanks to some good football and a squared pass into the box. Although St Martins did play better in the latter part of the second half it wasn’t enough as Wythenshawe continued to defend well and then got their final nail in the coffin with their fourth goal in the 90th minute with a goal very similar to their third as a ball was played down the wing and then squared into the box and it was slotted away to end the game.

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MATCH REPORT: Ellesmere Rangers 0-1 St Martins

Saints made a short trip away to Ellesmere for a Shropshire derby in a disjointed game which resulted in st martins getting themselves a well fought 1-0 win.

First half:

It was evident very early on what kind of game this was going to be as both sides were attacking well early on but the majority of the football was being played in the middle of the park as both sides looked threatening when they had the ball but couldn’t keep the ball for long. The saints got their first chance only 10 minutes in as Tawanda Melusi chased down a back pass to the defence, used his strength to claim the ball and played it out to the edge of the box to Tom Ash who struck it but couldn’t keep his shot down as it went over the crossbar. Ellesmere then got their first chance of the game with a good effort from the left side as they struck a long shot which hit the far right post and fortunately for the saints, didn’t cross the line. As the game carried on both sides were being very resilient to giving away easy chances as they defended well; but somebody who was causing problems was Tawanda Melusi who looked dangerous in this game as he drove at the defence once again, running through defenders and he set up Brendon Price on the left hand side of the box who looked for the bottom left hand corner but it just went inches wide of the post. The saints were starting to look very threatening at this point of the game as they were creating chances one after another, our first shot on target this game came from Karl Bailey in the 32nd minute who cut in from the left hand side, used his dangerous right foot to pull off a shot but didn’t have enough power to challenge the keeper, shortly after in the 36th min the saints finally got the goal they were pushing for as another hefty run from Tawanda Melusi caused problems for the Rangers defenders, he passed it into the feet of Callum Graybrook who smashed it past the keeper to give St Martins the lead they’d been fighting for. That was the last event of the half as the two teams headed in for half time.

Second half:

Both sides were out for the second half as The saints looked to maintain and Rangers looked to come back into it; and they were doing a good job as they started off the second half better as they created some chances early on in this half, they crossed in the ball to find an open header but couldn’t put it away. The game then carried on with much from the first half as the game carried on to be a stalemate between the two sides as neither allowed easy chances. St Martins first chance of the half fell to goal scorer Callum Graybrook as he found himself with some space on the edge of the box, pulled off a shot but it just went over the crossbar; The saints carried on creating chances here and there as all they lacked was a finishing touch to extend their lead. Substitute Harvey Plimmer pulled off an audacious effort on the edge of the box as he was backed into a defender and tried to kick it over his head and catch the keeper off his line but it just nestled on the top of the net. We did hit the post with a very good effort which bounced across the line. Rangers couldn’t find much in the latter part of this half, the saints last effort of the game comes to Calum Bennet as he cuts in from the left side, beats his man, pulls off a shot with his left food but keeper made a good save, shortly after the ref blew his whistle for full time as St Martins came away with three points and a well fought three points.

Written by Liam Vaughan

Photo credits: Andy Easthope (Twitter: @andyeasthope)

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MATCH REPORT: Rylands 1-0 St Martins

The saints travelled away to Gorsey Lane to take on top of the table Rylands FC in what turned out to be a game in which both sides battled well and it resulted in a 1-0 win for Rylands.

First half:

The early minutes of the game looked strong from St Martins as they piled on plenty of pressure as Rylands attempted to pass it out from the back. Although the saints played good pressure, the first chance of the game fell to the home side to as they found themselves with a chance on the edge of the box, took a shot but George Austin watched the shot drift past his post. This was shortly followed up by our first chance of the game which fell to Karl Bailey, he was played through but still had a defender to beat as he attempted to fire an early shot and catch the keeper out in the bottom right hand corner but the Rylands goalkeeper got down to it to deny Bailey. The game then went quiet as both sides were trying to figure each other out and get a goal but neither were succeeding; The saints did get themselves very close though as a free kick was played in from the right hand side, it pinballed around the box until it fell to Tawanda Melusi who managed to get a shot towards goal a couple yards out but it drifted inches wide of the post. There was one more St Martins chance before the two sides headed in for half time; a low powerful ball was played in across the box but the Rylands defender just beat Karl Bailey to what would’ve been a tap in. It was a deadlock at the break.

Second half:

The second half carried on where the first half finished as both sides were struggling to break each other down. George Austin did get his first real test of the game as a Rylands played in a very dangerous cross which could’ve gone anywhere, ended up bouncing off of a St Martins defender which forced Austin to pull off an impressive reflex save to keep it out. St Martins did struggle for a little portion of the game as rylands carried on creating chances from crosses into the box and the saints couldn’t seem to get a steady set of play to attack for themselves. This ended up resulting in the home side taking the lead late on as they scored from a corner which was unfortunate for the hard worked St Martins side. We then had to restart as we looked to get something from this game with only 5 minutes left of the game. The Saints unfortunately came away with the loss in a game in which they battled well.

Written by Liam Vaughan

Photo: Rylands Football Club

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MATCH REPORT: St Martins 9-1 Stone Dominoes

St Martins FC hosted Stone Dominoes FC in a exhilarating game of football which involved some lovely attacking play from St Martins who ended up scoring 9 goals and taking a well deserved three points in a 9-1 home win.

First half:

There is only one word to describe the first half and that is: Hectic. It became apparent right off kick off that the saints were already in their top gear as they created plenty of chances within the first three minutes of the game; they then went and scored in the sixth minute as MOTM Karl Bailey picked up his first goal as a cross was played in, the Dominoes keeper couldn’t keep hold of it and spilled it to gift Karl Bailey an open net and he smashed it home for his and St Martins’ first of the game. St Martins then carried on searching for another as they carried on piling the pressure after their first and they eventually got it as in the sixteenth minute Tom Ash finessed his shot from the edge of the box and placed it in the bottom right hand corner and then only four minutes after, the saints had grabbed their third as a low cross was played into the box and the dominoes defender attempted to clear it but ended up putting it in his own net. The saints didn’t settle for three as they kept fighting for more and found it only 41 seconds after their last goal! Karl bailey slotted away his second of the game. There then was a slight six minute break from all the madness as dominoes started to slowly get back into it and they found their first chance of the game as they fired a shot from the edge of the box but it was easy pickings for George Austin, but dominoes were looking better; unfortunately for Dominoes Tom Ash went down the other end and fired a peach of a shot from roughly 25 yards out to find the bottom left hand corner and grabbed the saints fifth of the game. As Dominoes looked to get back into it, their captain Luke smith drove down the left hand side of the pitch as he found himself in some space, took on the St Martins defence and then slotted it past George Austin for what can only be a consolation goal for the away side. That was the end of the first half as St Martins went in with a four goal lead.

Second half:

The second half was a lot more composed from Dominoes but St Martins very much kept their momentum as straight from kick off they kept the same pressure and movement from the first half. The first chance of the half fell to on form Karl Bailey on the edge of the box who attempted to place it in the top right hand corner which forced an impressive save from the Dominoes keeper. The start of this half was a lot calmer than the first as Dominoes showed more drive and defended well, the saints did carry on playing their lovely interlinked one touch passing, which was something they kept up all game, to try and break down the improved Dominoes defence and it almost produced as in the 60th minute as Karl Bailey got himself another chance, a driven ball was played into him in the box but he couldn’t produce a clean enough touch to finish it. Although he made up for it in the 69th minute as he was played wide open thanks to a Tom Ash assist which provided Bailey with his Hat-Trick, he then got his fourth in the 71st minute and made it a six goal difference; although he didn’t stop there as he scored his fifth goal in the 89th minute. The game was finished by a goal from Calum Graybrook who found himself with space in the box and slotted it past the keeper in the bottom right hand corner to finish Dominoes’ miserable afternoon and high praised St Martins came away with three points and 9 goals.

Hartey Wealth Management Man Of The Match: Karl Bailey

Report written by Liam Vaughan

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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