SANDBACH UTD 5 ECCLESHALL 1
(North West Counties First Division South)
Following Bach’s admirable 7-0 victory against Stafford Town the previous Saturday, the Ramblers wanted to increase their win streak to six wins in a row against Eccleshall at Hind Heath Road on Saturday (writes Daniel Needham).
Despite the 20-point difference between the two sides, manager Declan Swan explained: “I feel that they are a better side than the league position suggests.”
Swan added, “Maintaining the place will be tough as there are some very good teams around us in the league.”
In the event, Sandbach continued their impressive win streak at home against Eccleshall with goals from Hatton, Oultram, Cope and Klein-Davies.
Jordan Stafford was in the starting 11 to wear the captain’s armband for the hosts, with forwards Joshua Oultram and George West also listed in the line-up.
Sandbach started the game well, closing down any potential chances from the visitors and pressing efficiently, yet struggled to produce any opportunities to take the lead.
In the 27th minute, Sandbach got their deserved goal. An outstanding long-range shot from Niall Cope dipped over the head of Eccleshall goalkeeper Aaron Woolrich.
Minutes before half-time, Eccleshall player Oliver Hickman was shown a straight red card for violent conduct. Hickman had no complaints with the decision, and the visitors went down to 10 men.
Only five minutes into the second half, Sandbach increased their lead. A brilliant pass from George West found Robbie Hatton through on goal, and Hatton could not fail to score from close range to make it 2-0 to the Ramblers.
In the 58th minute, Joshua Oultram got himself on the scoresheet after multiple chances throughout the game. George West dribbled well into the box before releasing a shot that hit Eccleshall keeper Woolrich. Woolrich failed to get to the second ball as Oultram pounced and simply headed it in.
Shortly after, Eccleshall pulled a goal back. Eric Merner sprinted off his line to clear a through-ball which had gone behind the Sandbach defence, but he was too late. Eccleshall forward Christopher Boast managed to have a shot on goal before Merner got to him, pulling one back for his side.
For the next half an hour, Bach continued to dominate, with several chances on goal and constant pressure. Eccleshall struggled to score to get back into the game after their previous goal.
However, the hosts’ next goal wasn’t scored until the 90th minute. A corner whipped into the box ended up in the back of the net after an own goal from an Eccleshall defender.
In the final moments of the match, substitute Josh Klein-Davies scored to increase Sandbach’s lead to 5-1. His forceful shot flew across the goalmouth from a tight angle, and landed in the side netting, shortly before the final whistle blew.
Sandbach displayed an excellent performance against Eccleshall, proving they are worthy of a play-off spot, with their high quality of football and ability to score goals.
Eccleshall failed to get back into the game after their goal in the 66th minute, as the Ramblers resumed their massive influence in the game.
Sandbach now look to make it seven wins in a row at Ashville on Saturday.