Crook Town 2-1 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 8 August 2015
The Stan started their 2015-16 league campaign away to relegated Crook Town. There were competitive first starts for new signings Morrison and Imray and the boomeranging Jonathan Wright.
The first two clear cut chances of the game fell to the Stan when first Burns blazed his shot over the bar and just 2 minutes later Wright worked his way clear but shot wide. Crook striker Brown was proving to be a bit of a handful and he got through on 10 minutes but shot into the side netting. He was not to be denied however as just 2 minutes later he easily outfoxed Stan’s Morrison down the right and fired home an angled shot past Rule to put Crook 1-0 up. Heaton were unlucky not to get straight back into the game when a Wright shot hit the post but it was Brown who should have increased Crook’s lead when he placed his shot wide of the goal with just Rule to beat.
The home side went 2-0 up just 7 minutes into the second half when Wear made a poor headed clearance straight to Crook’s Smith who lobbed Rule from just outside the penalty box. A disjointed Stan midfield improved significantly with the introduction of Telford and Dodsworth for the last half hour and they became much more of a threat going forward.
Crook’s keeper Graham needed to be at his best to save a strong shot from Telford and was called on again to rescue his side when Wright broke through. Wright was played through again just minutes later and this time the striker was rewarded for his efforts when he reduced the arrears by placing his shot passed the stranded Graham. This goal spurred the visitors on and they created several more chances and looked to have got an equaliser when substitute Yates struck home an excellent cross from Telford only for the effort to be ruled offside. Although the score-line suggests a close encounter, it was generally agreed that the home side secured the points because their work-rate was so much better than their opponents.
Stan Team: Rule; Stoddart; Morrison; Ray; Wear; Imray; Burns (Telford); Bailey (Dodsworth); Wright; Rowntree (Yates); Deagle.