Sandbach United comfortably beat their opponents, Ellesmere Rangers

By Guest

8th Feb 2022 | Local Sport

Photography Credit: Duncan Edward
Photography Credit: Duncan Edward

A controlled performance from Sandbach United saw them comfortably beat Ellesmere Rangers 4-1 at Hind Heath Road.

After a late equaliser from Bobbie McDonnell saw the points shared in the first meeting between the sides this season, both Sandbach and Ellesmere were keen to pick up a victory on a rainy Cheshire

afternoon. New signing Paul Taylor made his home debut for Sandbach, as the Ramblers looked to improve their indifferent recent form. Home debuts were also given to George West and Sean Sherwood, who made their second and third starts respectively in the blue and white. After only three minutes of play, Sandbach took the lead. The move was started and finished by midfielder Stanley Tatters, who won the ball on the halfway line with a typically robust challenge before laying off to Taylor. The creative midfielder spotted the run of Callum Chapman, who then guided a neat pass to the feet of George West. The ex-Alsager man then wisely squared a pass back across goal to the feet of the oncoming Tatters, who coolly rolled a shot into the net. Ellesmere reacted well to conceding and put the hosts under pressire before equalising through Karl Bailey only six minutes later. A cross into the box was met firmly by the head of the forward, who's header looped over Sandbach goalkeeper Eric Merner via his glove and into the net. Taylor began pulling the strings going forward for Sandbach and saw some inspired goalkeeping from Ashley Spittlehouse prevent him marking his first home game with a goal. Sandbach pulled back in front in truly spectacular style in the 31st minute through a superb show of skill from Brian Barton. A fantastic left-footed lofted pass from Niall Cope played the striker in behind the Ellesmere defence. With plenty of work still to do, Barton plucked the ball effortlessly out the sky before driving into the box and rolling a shot past Spittlehouse to send the home support into raptures. In the second half, the Ramblers raced out the blocks and won a penalty after less than 60 seconds of restarted play. Liam Fitzpatrick crept in at the back post to latch on to a deep cross, before being felled by a late challenge leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Cope, who had already notched an assist, scored his second goal in as many games as he sent the goalkeeper the wrong way. Substitute Lewis Barker put the game beyond doubt with a goal a mere six minutes after his introduction. Following a corner, a floated cross from the right flank was met by a powerful header that Spittlehouse got a touch to but couldn't keep out. Sandbach began to take their foot off the accelerator as the result seemed set in stone but continued to venture forward whenever possible.

After being indentured to their goalkeeper in the first half, Ellesmere's gratitude to Spittlehouse could only increase in the second half as he made a series of excellent saves throughout to prevent the Ramblers from moving too far out of sight.

The full-time whistle blew to confirm a much-needed victory for Sandbach ahead of their Tuesday evening clash with a Maine Road side in red-hot form.

Speaking after the game, manager Declan Swan praised the effort of his side but stressed the importance of carrying that performance into the next game against Maine Road.

He said "It could have been more but once we were 4-1 up we definitely started to play the conditions a bit more to try and see it out.

Their keeper [Spittlehouse] has made two or three big saves as well. It was a good turnout today by the fans when conditions weren't great, but we played really well.

He added further "We need to kick on now. It's fine to win 4-1 at home fairly comfortably on a Saturday but now we need to do that on Tuesday. We've got Maine Road, tough game, will need as many fans down as possible."

When asked about the potential for a late playoff push, Swan admitted "We are just taking each game as it comes. We want to win every game of course but we need a run. Maine Road will be very different to today but we need to kick on and get those three points on Tuesday."

Sandbach: Eric Merner, Rory Roberts, Jack Marrow, Sean Sherwood, Stan Tatters, Niall Cope, Callum Chapman, Paul Taylor, George West, Brian Barton (C), Liam Fitzpatrick.

Subs: Lewis Barker, Michael Conlon, Jimmy Burling, Jamie Burling, Jamie Mellor, Joel Dovey. Ellesmere: Ashley Spittlehouse, Ryan Hickman, Joseph Loughnane, Carl Rogers, Owen Lloyd (C), Blake Robinson, Kyle Jordon, David Howells, Steven Hole, Josh Dunne, Karl Bailey.

Subs: Connor Courtney, Marco Adaggio, David Howarth, Ryan Morgan.

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