AFTER losing at home 3-1 the previous Wednesday evening, Sandford Football Club travelled to Lapford for the return fixture on Saturday, April 20.

The home side’s pitch is on top of Kelland Hill, not the best place to go to if it's windy or raining.  We were lucky it was a beautiful sunny day. Lapford kicked off playing up the slope and Sandford, looking to reverse last Wednesday's scoreline, went on the attack.

In the first minute they hit the home side’s crossbar, then, after three minutes Sandford scored through a shot from centre forward Greg Mildon, 0-1.

A Lapford attack led to them scoring but was ruled offside.

Then, after eight minutes, the home side equalised.

After 17 minutes Sandford had to make their first substitution after a heavy tackle on forward Mildon, Pat Phillips came on as replacement. Sandford, already short on players after losing two in the warm-up, drafted in manager Ben Waller at full-back.

With the game flowing end-to-end, Sandford managed to repel all of the Lapford attacks and produce a few of their own.

One in particular, a through ball from Sam Reeves, unfortunately went the wrong side of forward Darren Hughes, who was clear.

On 39 minutes, a Lapford foul led to a Sandford break towards goal, only for the referee not to allow advantage and to blow up for a free kick. Half-time arrived with Sandford holding Lapford 1-1.

The second half began with Sandford playing up the slope and with the home side being bigger and faster it was always going to be a tall order to keep the score down.

Sandford’s brilliant young goalkeeper Jed Mussel was producing another fantastic display, keeping his goal intact.

The manager was turning in a creditable display but after 56 minutes he came off to be replaced by Carlo Maniglia.

On 63 minutes, full-back Buckingham was replaced by James Durand, the third regular second team player, filling in the First Team.

Sandford managed to hold out until the 79th minute when the home side made it 2-1.

Credit must go to all the Sandford players who kept battling on, never giving in, but on 88 minutes a through pass saw a Lapford player score their third goal, 3-1.

Just before the end, a clearance from the Lapford defence caught Sandford’s Darren Hughes in the head, knocking him to the ground.

After a few minutes he made a full recovery.

At the final whistle the score was 3-1 to the home side.

But, it was another brilliant display from the Sandford players, twice in four days making the opposition fight for everything. Well done lads.

On Saturday the First Team play Colyton at home, kick-off at 3pm.  

The Second Team play Cheriton Fitzpaine on Monday evening at home.

On Thursday, April 25, Sandford play City Raiders away and on Saturday, April 27, Axmouth away. Up the "ford”.