Heaton Stannington 1-1 Thornaby
Wednesday 12 August 2015
The Stan’s first home league fixture of the season saw them attempting to bounce back from Saturday’s match at Crook which was their first league defeat since January. There were 8 changes to the starting line-up including competitive first starts for new signings Scott, Quine and Axon.
It was a blue cloudless sky, streaked with the rays of a late evening sun that greeted the 145 fans who had come to watch Stan attempt a first, and Thornaby a second, league win of the season. The first minutes were a frenetic affair, with many a clumsy challenge, but on 5 minutes the game came alive with firstly a shot from Wright from an acute angle, which was saved at the near post, followed quickly by a Yates header that struck the crossbar from a corner. After their early goal scoring opportunities Heaton seemed to come under increasing pressure to contain a Thornaby attack fueled by long balls played over the top. Robinson, a long throw-in specialist added to the visitors’ threat. After 20 minutes, two excellent saves from both keepers electrified the game. Backhouse, diving to the right, stopped an 18 yard strike from Lofts, and soon afterwards a header from Telford forced an equally great save from Duff in the Thornaby goal who had to dive deeply to his left to parry the shot away from the goal. Ron’s pre-game prediction nearly came true as the first half ended dramatically. On 39 minutes, Thornaby’s Lofts ran into the box on to a ball, played through by Walker, only to be fouled by Quine. A penalty was awarded and Quine was booked. The penalty was sweetly struck towards the top right hand corner but Backhouse made the save of the match stretching to push the shot on to the right-hand post where it rebounded back into play and was cleared by the defence.
The start of the second half was dominated by Thornaby, culminating in an excellent run from Walker who dribbled into the box past three Heaton players (including a nutmeg!) only to launch a shot so high that the crowd thought the ball was a premature sighting of the Perseid meteor shower that was due later that night. Not long after, totally against the run of play, Wright ran onto a ball 25 yards to the far-right of the Thornaby goal and shot, scoring from an unfeasibly acute angle much to the joy of the home crowd. Despite the Heaton wonder goal, Thornaby resumed their domination of the second-half forcing three successive corners, a header of the line and some stalwart defending by Heaton. Both teams made multiple substitutions in an attempt to secure victory. Thornaby’s continued pressure eventually paid off, with a deserved equaliser from an Edward’s header after yet another corner. The Stan came alive again in the latter 10 minutes, regaining some control of the game and forcing some saves from the Thornaby keeper from a couple of Wright shots. The game ended 1-1, a fair result for an exciting match that was thoroughly appreciated by both sets of supporters.
Stan Team: Backhouse; Scott; Axon (Morrison);Quine; Wear; Dodsworth; Telford; Bailey; Wright; Yates (Rowntree);Watson (Burns). Subs unused: Imray; Ray.