Hebburn Town 3-4 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 18 April 2015
A large and good spirited contingent of the Stan Army travelled to Hebburn to watch the Stan’s last match of the season. With a top ten place guaranteed, the team were aiming to take their unbeaten run to eleven matches. Hebburn needed to win to keep their outside chance of promotion alive. The script of the match against Hebburn was therefore likely to be unpredictable, unlike that of the sitcom of the same name. The team was unchanged from last Saturday as they took to the pitch at the very pleasant setting at Victoria Road West.
Both sides went on the attack but it was Hebburn who looked the most dangerous when, in twelve minutes, their top scorer Channon North went in on goal but Rule saved his shot and put the rebound over for a corner. Three minutes after this good chance and equally good save, North again broke into the penalty box with the ball. With a defender on either side, this time he shot past Rule to make it 1-0 to Hebburn. Stoddart and Rule worked well to snub out another attack in the nineteenth minute. Two minutes later and the Stan were level when a Wear header from a Deagle corner went in off the post. The Stan went immediately back on the attack but it was North who scored again in the twenty fifth minute to make it 2-1 to Hebburn. The Stan did not give up and kept attacking including with a shot by Rowntree and a header just over by Burns. In the forty third minute, Carr hit the ball of the keeper. The ball came back to Bailey who blasted it into the net to make it 2-2. As the half ended, the Stan nearly took the lead when a ball from Carr was put just wide by Hoggins.
The Stan started the second half where they had finished the first, on the offensive. In the fifty first minute a ball from the middle to Burns on the right was crossed to Rowntree in the box who confidently shot past the home keeper to make it 3-2 to the Stan. Three minutes later and a Deagle free kick to Burns, who was on fire, saw him run up the pitch and into the box. He put the ball across the box but it was missed by everyone including Hoggins who tried to get a foot to it. Burns kept trying to attack and in the fifty sixth minute he put a ball into Bailey but the home keeper got there first. Two minutes later and Bailey put the ball in front of Hoggins who was running in on the away goal. He got to the ball before the keeper and tapped it as the keeper brought him down. The ball though rolled into the net to make it 4-2 to the Stan. Hebburn had their first clear chance of the half in the sixtieth minute when Rule blocked North. The Stan though kept attacking and a Rowntree shot was caught by the keeper in the sixty fifth minute. There were then runs by Hoggins and Burns before a goal keeping error made it 4-3 in the seventy first minute. The ball was crossed into the box from a throw in near the bye line. Rule failed to catch the ball on its way to the far post where McIntosh, a Hebburn substitute, put it into the net. It did though mean that both parts of a famous sweetie company had scored during the match: Rowntree McIntosh. Although there was only one goal separating the teams for the last twenty minutes, it was only really the Stan who looked likely to score again. In the seventy eighth minute, a Burns ball was headed out for a Stan corner. Five minutes later and another Stan attack resulted in the home keeper dropping the ball which was then cleared by a defender. A rare counter attack was then cleared by Wear. Despite late efforts by Stoddart and Bailey the score remained 4-3 to the Stan at the final whistle.
Manager Derek Thompson was delighted with the result and even more so with the squad he has assembled for next season. One fan, Heaton Stan (this is true- she is called Stan and lives in Heaton), was also pleased with the result. Her friend added that he thought the Hebburn defence were all sixes and sevens although the score was actually 4-3. After the match the fans celebrated the end of a successful second season back in the Northern League although there were lots of sad faces as they contemplated what they would do for the next few months before the new season starts. Whatever you decide to do, have a good summer and keep following the Stan!
Stan Team: Rule; Stoddart; Deagle; Ray; Wear; Bailey; Burns; Walton ; Rowntree (Yates); Hoggins (Watson); Carr (Telford). Sub not used: Cairns.