The game was only one of three being played in the league today. There were three changes to the Stan starting eleven but for a change there was a full quota of substitutes. Thanks goes to the Billingham press officer who, unlike the usual reporter, witnessed the Stan’s first win in four matches.
The first chance fell to Town in the fifth minute but Brown could not get power to his shot and it was comfortably collected by Backhouse. The long throw-ins from Brown were causing chaos in the Stan area.
Onions was also a threat but the away fans were spared tears when he was caught offside from a through ball from Dalton. A flowing move from left to right involving Onions, Dalton and Redman created a chance for Jackson on the right but his left footed shot lacked conviction and power.
A Town free kick around halfway then went over the heads of the home strikers and straight into the arms of Backhouse. It was the Stan though who took the lead against the run of play in the seventeenth minute.
A slack pass out by Thackeray was seized on by Bailey who fed the ball infield to the feet of Gary Yates who beat the Town keeper with ease. Four minutes later and it was 2-0 to the Stan when Yates again scored when he turned in a cross goal ball from Campania. There was then sustained pressure from Town which came to nothing.
But it was Yates and the Stan who again found the net in the forty third minute. He found himself in front of goal and was able to side foot the ball into the net to get his hat-trick. A minute later and Burns added a fourth as the Stan ended the half 4-0 up.
It was going to be an uphill struggle but Town started brightly with the wind on their backs.
The Town keeper’s confidence had taken a knock and his kicking was still causing a few problems. Suicidal defending by Town provided a chance for the Stan but Yates lashed his shot well wide. The home side introduced two substitutes as they went for broke.
Keogh was pulling the strings in midfield but far too often the final ball to the strikers was just not precise. Taylor was pushing forward at every opportunity and Robertson was using his skill to good effect. The Stan were playing the ball around also to good effect and hoping to take the sting out of the Town attack.
A free kick from the edge of the area was ultimately taken by Onions but driven straight at the Stan keeper. Carr was then through one on one with the Town keeper but pulled his shot well wide. Bonner fed Onions with a lovely through ball but the striker hit his shot early straight at the keeper.
After conceding the game to the Stan, it was too little too late for Town in the second last and last minutes when they got two concilation goals. Dixon scored first followed by Bonner who bundled the ball into the net to make it 4-2 to the Stan at the final whistle.
Stan Team: Backhouse; Telford; Stoddart; Ray; Pearson; Wear; Campania (McDougal); Bailey; Yates (Carr); Blackett (Lowson); Burns. Subs unused: Hoggins; Johnson,A.
Edwin Hargreaves (additions by Kevin Mochrie)