Heaton Stannington 0-2 Walker Central (Friendly)
Wednesday 18 February 2015
A crisp clear evening saw the Stan take on Walker Central of the Northern Alliance Premier division in a friendly. Unusually for the Stan it was a second home game in a row and only their third one this year. It was an opportunity for the club to try a number of trialists. There was a very healthy crowd of around sixty Stan and Walker fans and they witnessed a competitive match. Walker appeared more hungry for a win but, in defence of the Stan, they had an unsettled side with many players having not played together before and they used a large number of trialist.
The Stan started with four trialists along with Rule, Stoddart, Ray, Wear, Telford, Dodsworth and Deagle. Both teams got stuck in from the whistle although early on the Stan controlled the match. Walker had the first clear chance though in eight minutes when a defensive mix up led to a Central forward shooting wide. There was good distribution by the two trialists in the Stan midfield but it was Walker who could have scored in the fifteenth minute when a forward was free on the left of an otherwise busy Stan box but shot straight at Rule. In the eighteenth minute Burns had a speculative shot which went high followed a minute later by a free kick that the keeper dropped although the rebound shot went just wide. Another minute later and Burns saw another long range effort hit the bar. Both teams were getting the ball but it was Walker who took the lead in the thirty third minute. A Stan defender lost the ball which led to a pass to the left to an attacking Walker player who shot and beat a fully stretched Rule to make it 1-0 to Walker. The Stan then brought on Lee Johnson and more trialists but the half finished 1-0 to Walker.
Walker started the second half on the offensive although overall the half was quieter. The only other Stan regular to appear was Bailey and the Stan team now included five trialists. An injury to Dan Rule meant that the Stan had an unfamiliar keeper for the second half in the form of Brian Dodsworth who did well in goals overall. In the fifty sixth minute, a Walker free kick went just wide. After sixty nine minutes, a Lee Johnson attempt was blocked followed by Deagle being clear on goal but shooting wide. After this most of the danger came from Walker and after hitting the side netting in the seventy third minute, four minutes from time they made it 0-2. A corner into the box resulted in an overhead kick and another goal for Walker. A minute later and increasingly confident Walker shot form the half way line although the ball was caught by Dodsworth. The match ended soon after 2-0 to Walker.