Sandford sparkles on Redbridge return

By Danny Caro, January 5, 2014


Craig Sandford made an impressive start on his debut for RJC B with a goal capping an excellent performance for Jon Jacobs' men who ran out deserved winners at Hertswood Leisure Centre in Borehamwood.

There were also goals for Nathan Sollosi, James Berkley and Jimmy Castle as the east Londoners registered their 10th league win of the season to move to within two points of leaders NLR B.

Redbridge came into the match knowing that six wins from their remaining six fixtures will see them go up. First up was Blizzard looking to complete an unlikely double over the east London side.

The game was notable for the debut of Craig Sandford, a pre-Chanukah signing to add some experience to the young side.

It was Blizzard who settled first and were using their hugely physical and strong approach to unsettle Redbridge. A simple move saw Blizzard take the lead with their first attack - any one of four players were free to slot the ball home - and it was Dean Shaw who tucked the ball home.

Redbridge's usually dominant midfield were unable to play their usual way and were being well marshalled by their counterparts. A simple cross from Sam Rank however was met by Sollosi who from three yards out, buried yet another header into the net for his 11th goal of the season.

Blizzard continued to press but Brad Grant in the Redbridge goal was defiant and made some smart saves.

Half time came with the game delicately poised at 1-1. The Redbridge manager delivered a very simple message at half time to his troops - “you got yourselves in this mess, you get yourself out of it”. The did!

The second half saw Redbridge in the ascendency from the off and deservedly took the lead with a debut goal from Sandford - a smart curling finish into the right hand corner of the goal.

A rampaging run into the box had seen a free-kick given on the edge of the penalty box, but five minutes later Sandford went on a mazy dribble inside the box where he was completely flattened. Up steped Castle for his customary successful finish .

The scoring was then completed by a finish by Berkley after a well-worked move.

RJC boss Jon Jacobs told JC Sport: "We have five more cup finals to come and promotion is ours.

"This was a game of two halves settled by 15 minutes of beautiful football.

"It was nice to see one of the Redbridge players (Sandford) with less hair than the manager for once!

"I was worried when Brad Grant was late arriving before the game - he likes a shower pre-game and didn't have time but what a performance."

Blizzard boss Simon Linden told JC Sport: "Redbridge are the best team in the league - a class outfit. I was proud of my team for putting in a good performance and up until the 40 minute mark we were 1-0 up."

Redbridge were deserved winners but Blizzard more than played their part in what was a very good game of football, brilliantly refereed by the outstanding Richard Jaye.

Last updated: 12:15pm, January 6 2014