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Sandbach return triumphant
2:06pm Thursday 13th September 2012 in Sport
Mansfield 0 Sandbach 18
SANDBACH returned triumphant from their first away trip in the National League Three, with victory against last year’s fifth-placed side meaning that they now sit fifth in the table in their first season at National level.
The majority of the first half was spent in the centre of the pitch, with very little action straying outside a 20-metre zone either side of the half-way line.
The visitors were the first to trouble the scorer, Benny Elliott’s penalty kick handing Sandbach a slim lead that should have been snuffed out by two missed opportunities from the Mansfield kicker.
As it was, Sandbach turned around at half time with the lead still in tact, and while the tussle continued in the middle of the park Sandbach started to sense an opening would appear as the hosts tired.
So it proved, as Benny Elliott scored his second penalty as Mansfield strayed offside at a scrum, before Sandbach substitutes Tom Concu and Tom Heard ran them ragged and opened an opportunity for their side to stretch their lead further.
The breakthrough came when Matt Pollen pressured a defensive clearance kick and Andy Nash ran through to gather the loose ball, beating one man before passing the ball to Matt Beesley to score.
Elliot took the extra points with another good kick.
With their tails up Sandbach started to produce their best rugby and saved the slickest try until last, when fast hands across the backs gave Jack Leech the ball on the half-way line.
Leech managed to avoid three would-be tacklers before racing towards the corner and oozing past the Mansfield full-back to score. Elliot missed the conversion, but that did not stop his side registering a fine win on the road.
Sandbach now welcome the legendary Nuneaton to Bradwall Road on Saturday, kick off 3pm, in what is likely to be the highest grade of sporting fixture the town has seen for many years.
* To mark the arrival of the former National League Two club, Sandbach are offering free entry (normally £5) to the ground if you cut out this report and take it along to the game with you. Under 16s always get in free and it is a great chance to see not only the first team but also the second team taking on their counterparts from Trafford MV in what is sure to be an excellent afternoon of sport.
The bar will be open from 12.30pm and burgers, bacon rolls, teas and coffees are all available from the club’s cafe “Symphony at Sandbach”.