Heaton Stannington 3-1 Norton and Stockton Ancients
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Saturday 15 August 2015
The Stan made their return to the FA Cup after 39 years with a home tie against Norton who were promoted in the summer to division one. Cup fever had been building all summer and reached its peak before the match. There was great press coverage and tweets about the match from celebrities such as Ant and Dec, Sting and Gazza. The crowd of nearly 300 included Paul Dickson from Radio Newcastle who reported live from the match. The Stan are the lowest ranked league club of 736 in this year’s cup and were radio 5live non-league team of the day. There were two changes to the starting line-up on a beautiful sunny day (or other words) this year’s summer including Rule replacing the injured Backhouse in goals.
The Wembley dream started to come alive after only 3 minutes when Dodsworth past to Wright who then beat the off-side trap, ran in on goal and coolly put the ball past the Norton keeper to make it 1-0 to the Stan. A minute later and Norton had two corners before the ball was back up the other end, back again towards the Stan goal followed by a Stan attack that was off-side. Norton then took control of the game and continued to attack the Stan but could not get through the defence with Wear and Scott particularly worthy of mention. In 18 minutes a Norton longshot went over followed a minute later by a Stan attack which ricocheted to Telford whose attempt was blocked. The resulting corner was caught by the visiting keeper. With 20 minutes gone, Wear pushed Norton’s Poole in the back in the box and a penalty was awarded. Poole took it himself but hit the left post with the rebound being shot over by another Norton player to the applause of most of the crowd. Norton continued to do most of the attacking and the pressure nearly paid off after 34 minutes. A Norton forward beat the Stan defence and shot past Rule only to see his effort hit the bar much to the relieve of the Stan army. A minute later and a Norton player headed over. This was followed by a counter attack by Rowntree with his shot going wide. Less than a minute later and a Wright run was blocked by a defender. It was then back to Norton when another attack saw a ball go across goal but was not picked up by anyone. Norton continued to put pressure on the Stan defence including when a forward was blocked in the box by a Stan defender. In the closing stages of the first half, Wright shot over and Watson had a shot blocked although the final attack was by Norton when a good long shot was blocked by an equally good save by Rule. Overall Norton had dominated the first half and should have been in the lead and the Stan were lucky to hold onto their 1-0 lead at half time.
Manager Derek Thompson’s half time team talk must have done the trick as the Stan came out more positively and was to pay off after 6 minutes. It was Norton though who had the first two attacks of the second half and put pressure on Rule. In the 50th minute, a Wright cross come shot was caught by the Norton keeper. A minute later and Rowntree won a corner. It resulted in Stan shots being blocked twice but player of the match Joe Wear then blasted the final rebound into the net to make it 2-0. The Stan now put pressure on including through Watson making runs down the wing. In the 56th minute, Wright sent a lovely diagonal ball from the right across to Rowntree on the left. He ran into the box and shot as the keeper closed in on him. The ball deflected off a Norton defender and trickled into the right hand corner of the net. It was sweet (pun intended) though to see Rowntree make it 3-0 but not to see him injure himself and have to be substituted. The cheer from the crowd, as victory now seemed more assured, could be heard as far away as the Freeman hospital. The visitors though did not give up and resumed their attacks. Their pressure paid off in 66 minutes when Martin scored an easy goal by running in past Rule and tapping the ball into the net to make it 3-1. Norton kept the pressure on and it led to Rule dropping the ball for a corner from a Norton shot in the 71st minute which then saw good defending by Ray. The Stan then had a couple of attacks but it was then back to Norton. A catch by Rule was followed by a Norton shot just wide then by a Rule punch. This was then followed in the 79th minute by one of the most important moments of the match when Captain Fantastic Joe Wear cleared the ball of the line. Norton just did not give up and saw a shot go just wide in the 81st minute and a header go just over a minute later. Two minutes after that and Rule had to make a great save. Norton kept attacking and good defending by Wear helped to thwart them followed by Dodsworth doing the splits to clear the ball off the Stan goal line. The Stan held on though for a first FA cup victory in 61 years. The Stan are therefore still on the road to Wembley.
Stan Team: Rule; Scott; Axon (Morrison); Ray; Wear; Bailey; Telford; Dodsworth; Wright; Yates (Rowntree-later replaced by Burns); Watson. Subs unused: Grieveson; Quine; Stoddart; Imray.
Registered Heaton Stannington Players as of 26/8/15
Lewis Axon Shaun Backhouse Ryan Bailey
Lewis Burns Graeme Cairns Gianpaola Campania Kevin Carr Dean Deagle Brian Dodsworth Samuel Grieveson Ritchie Hoggins Dean Imray Lee Johnson Andrew Johnston Karl Morrison Daniel Quine Jordan Ray Adam Rowntree Dan Rule Michael Scott Alistair Stoddart Ben Telford Billy Walker Geoff Walker Adrian Watson Joe Wear Andrew Weeks
Kevin Westphal Jonathan Wright Gary Yates