Having previously beaten South Shields 4-2 in the reverse fixture, Heaton Stannington entertained a rejuvenated South Shields side who had won their last three games, having beaten high flying promotion candidates Washington in the process. There was only one change for the Stan from the Stokesley win. Lee Johnson is also now not available for the rest of the season as he has broken his foot.
Kicking against a strong wind the Stan started the more brightly of the two sides and a through ball from Burns in the second minute found Telford. The midfielder though just failed to gain full control and a Shields central defender cleared the danger. The Mariners mounted their first serious attack after fifteen minutes and won a free kick out on the right. The kick went straight to a Shields forward but he fired his shot well over the cross bar. The Stan then went straight on the attack from the resulting goal kick as first Yates got in a shot followed by an equally good effort from Hoggins that the Shields keeper got down to save. The home side deservedly went in front on twenty five minutes when a free kick, delivered by Wear, was met by Yates whose shot was deflected over the head of the stranded keeper. Wear was again on hand five minutes before the break when he headed out a free kick by the visitors. A couple of minutes later Stan’s Italian import Campania was injured and replaced by substitute Dodsworth whose first touch of the ball was to put his side two up when he despatched a penalty kick, given for a foul on Hoggins by a Shields defender. The visitors had a good chance to reduce the arrears when, just prior to the half time whistle, Kane got in a strong shot which was well saved by Rule but it remained 2-0 to the Stan at half time.
The second period got off to a bad tempered start with petty free kicks being given to both sides for silly fouls but the home side got back into their stride again on the hour mark and it took a tremendous save from the visitor’s keeper to stop a strong shot from Bailey. The score-line was put beyond doubt five minutes later however when Telford took advantage of hesitancy in the Shields defence to make it 3-0 following a good passing movement by Dodsworth, Burns and Bailey. The Mariners were a spent force at this stage and with a bit of luck Heaton could have added to the score line when first a Burns shot cannoned of the post. This was followed quickly by good efforts from Hoggins, Bailey and Lowson. All in all it was a very good day for the Stan who are now unbeaten in the last five matches, wining four.
Stan Team: Rule; Stoddart; Deagle; Wear; Pearson; Bailey; Telford; Campania (Dodsworth); Yates (Lowson); Hoggins; Burns. Subs Unused: Cairns; Carr.