Top of the form table with five wins and a draw from their last six games, Heaton made hard work of this contest against a bottom of the league side who had only picked up two home wins all season. The Stan fielded an unchanged team although there was a debut from the bench for latest signing Adam Rowntree (the trialist formerly known as Pastilles).
Kicking off with a strong wind on their backs the visitors could have went ahead in the first minute but Walton was slow to re-act to a good cross from Stoddard and the ball was cleared. Brandon forced the first corner of the game soon after but it was a poorly struck effort and was cleared without too much trouble. A couple of half chances fell to the home side once they had settled and Rule, getting down well to save from Wilson, then watched an effort from Todd fly over his cross bar. The ‘ Stan’ were not playing as well as they had done in recent weeks and Burns, Telford and Bailey all had chances to stamp their authority on the game but failed to do so because of either poor finishing or a wayward final pass. With Horton in the home goal the busier of the two keepers, the half ended goalless after Heaton had forced a series of corners that were all scrambled to safety
Brandon started the second half the brighter of the two sides and Wickes was played through but placed his shot wide with just Rule to beat. Next it was the ‘Stan’s’ turn to attack and good work between Bailey and Burns opened up the home defence to play in Telford but his shot was too high. The deadlock was eventually broken as the hour approached when a cross from Deagle was struck home on the turn by Yates. Brandon were unfortunate not to get on level terms when a shot from substitute Callaghan rattled the cross bar with Rule well beaten. Brandon were reduced to ten men shortly after when Weekes was sent off by referee Peter Osgood when, following a free kick being given for foul play, the player continued to question the decision. Apart from a few goalmouth skirmishes, as Heaton pressed for an advantage, the game fizzled out with the ‘Stan’ contingent happy with a win but not necessarily with the performance.
Stan Team: Rule; Stoddart; Deagle; Ray; Wear; Bailey; Telford (Watson); Walton; Yates; Hoggins (Rowntree); Burns. Subs Unused: Cairns; Campania; Carr.