Heaton Stannington 1-4 The Willows
Wednesday 22 July 2015
A last minute additional friendly was arranged against Sunday League team The Willows. This match was to give Stan players who had not had the opportunity to get much match practice so far the opportunity to do so. The lack of sharpness, and the fact that many of the players were not used to playing with each other, was reflected in the result. There was a return debut for substitute Ben Wood and also on the bench was Rigby, Shaun Backhouse’s dog. I hope Harry is not too jealous!
Not long after kick off, an injured Ray had to be replaced by Bailey. The Willows were not daunted at playing higher level opposition and attacked whenever they could. Their confidence paid off when in 18 minutes they scored from a curling shot from the edge of the box. Both keepers then had to make saves as the play was end to end. On the half hour, Watson ran in on goal. His effort was saved but Wright blasted the rebound which was hand balled to safety by a Willows defender. Wright took the resulting penalty himself and scored his first goal since his return to the club. The Willows did not give up and Rule had to parry away another shot almost immediately, In the 36th minute, a run down the right saw a Willows forward take a shot. Rule and his defence stood still and the ball slipped into the right hand corner of the net. The Stan tried to respond and there were some particularly could moves and efforts by Grieveson.
Six minutes into the second half and a willow corner rebounded back to the corner taker who shot. His effort was helped in by another forward at the far corner to make it 3-1. There were then chances for both teams including a header just wide by Watson and a long lob by Woods which went just over. In 68 minutes a Willows shot rebounded off Rule but went straight to another Willows player outside the box who blasted it to make it 4-1. Wright and Lawson then had chances but the score ended 4-1.
Stan Team: Rule; Scott; Axon; Ray; Quine; Imray; Watson; Westphil; Wright; Grievson; Morrison
Subs (all used): Bailey; Lawson; Wood; Walker.