PANJAB FA TRIALIST XI 4-1 SEALAND FA “B”

It was a triumphant start to a new era for Panjab FA when they ran out 4-1 winners against Sealand FA ‘B’ in Smethwick on Sunday. Goals from Aaron Singh Dhillon, Tarlochan Singh, Sukhraj Singh Nijjar and Amarvir Singh Sandhu secured a hard-fought victory in Panjab Trialist XI’s first ever match.

There was a real buzz about the place as families and friends filled the single stand at Hadley Stadium. Ex-Oldham Athletic and Shrewsbury Town defender Reuben Hazell would overlook his first game in charge of Panjab. And the Seals made the 180-plus trek from Surrey and Kent to play their part on this historic occasion.

The home team started the brighter, Tarlochan Singh found himself with the goal at his wake twice inside the first 13 minutes. Following great midfield play from Sandhu, the lone front-man showed good movement to get in behind the defence but saw his goalbound prod cleared off the line. His first effort, probably the better chance of the two, strayed wide.

Just two minutes later the away side saw their attempt blocked on the line too. After hints of handball, midfielder Rory Cornelius skinned a defender to work Panjab goalkeeper Saajan Sehejpal at the nearpost. The ball ended up back in the box from the right, but Dan Hughes – who after hitting it straight at Sehejpal from eight yards the first time – saw his rebound scrambled away.

Both keepers were busy throughout the rest of the first half. Notably, Sealand’s Will Dukes did well to deny a Sandhu free-kick which looked destined for the top corner.

But Panjab did eventually find the opener, scoring their first ever goal. After a strong run down the right, A. Dhillon cut inside and finished at an angle for a lead just past the half-hour mark.

It then only took the home side a minute after the break to double their worth. T. Singh cut out a sloppy Seals pass and played it through to Jordi Singh Sall on the right wing. After luring out keeper Dukes, Sall set up T. Singh who produced a cute backheel for the second.

Sall then played a hand in Panjab’s third. After turning a full-back, Sall worked his way into the box and cut it across for substitute Nijjar to slide past the keeper. The 17-year-old winger proved to be a thorn in both opposition full-backs’ sides before he was taken off.

The Seals’ Sam Churchman picked up the game’s only booking with an hour gone following a tackle out of frustration on Nijjar. And albeit a friendly exhibition, the away side remained stuck in and did not hold back in many challenges in search of a goal.

They did finally reply through Hughes, the forward finished expertly into the bottom-right corner from just inside the box – a shaky period followed for Panjab.

However any chance of a late comeback was put to bed by the man of the match – A. Sandhu. He struck the fourth eight minutes from time after latching on to a loose ball and skipping past the keeper for 4-1. The midfielder was full of flair and endeavour and was at the hub of everything in this momentous win.

Link to Photo Album

Report by: Rajen Bagri

PANJAB GOALS
A. Dhillon (33)
T. SINGH (41)
NIJJAR (52)
A. SANDHU (72)

SEALAND GOAL
HUGHES (62)

YELLOW CARDS
CHURCHMAN (60)

PANJAB FA TRIALIST XI
Manager: Reuben Hazell
13. Saajan SEHEJPAL (KUMAR)
2. Gavin SEKHON
3. Rai JASHAN
4. Amandeep DHILLON
5. Bahadur Sandhu (REEHAL)
8.Jordi SINGH SALL (M. SINGH)
6. Jagdeep KHELA
10. Amarvir SINGH SANDHU (BRANCH)
7. Anil SUNDER (NIJJAR)
9. Aaron SINGH DHILLON
11. Tarlochan SINGH (K. SINGH)

SUBS

1. SANDEEP KUMAR
12. Sukhraj SINGH NIJJAR
14. Jodhan REEHAL
15. Krishan SINGH
16. Jas BRANCH
17. Malkit SINGH

SEALAND FA ‘B’

Manager: Edward Stubbs
1. Will DUKES
2. Sam CHURCHMAN
3. Jack FIELD (Paul BEIBOER)
4. Nat SHARP
5. Chris GUNN (Tobias LOVELAND)
6. Charlie DUKES (Leo BARNETT)
7. Dan SMITH
8. Rory CORNELIUS
9. Luke CROUCHER
10. Dan HUGHES (Ed STUBBS)
11. Chris JACKSON