Whitley Bay 2-1 Heaton Stannington
FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 29 August 2015
A large travelling support followed the Stan on the road to Wembley which took them to sunny Whitley Bay. There was coverage by the BBC and Sunday Sun and the Stan media team were spoilt by the provision of a glassed press box although they could still hear Dekka and metro radio star Geoff. There were 2 changes from Wednesday night and a debut from the bench for Kevin Laws.
The Bay put the Stan under attack for the first 6 minutes until Wright held off the Bay defence but shot just wide. Backhouse then had to punch the ball away but it led to a Dodsworth counter attack which saw Hoggins blocked for a corner. Wear nearly scored from it but the goalie got to the ball first. There were further attacks at each end and in the 12th minute Bay hit the side netting from a free kick which went over the wall. Wright and Hoggins then had efforts followed by the home side heading just wide. In 22 minutes Backhouse pushed a shot just wide and the resulting corner was headed out for another one which was cleared after a scramble. Dodsworth then had a shot which the keeper just got his hand to. Hoggins then headed over the bar. Bay then had a few attacks but there was good defending by the Stan including from Axon. In the 31st minute, the ball was won by Dodsworth who passed to Wright who was deemed to be offside although this was debatable. Bay then headed over but a ball from the left at the other end saw the home keeper just get a hand to it. It was back to the Bay to attack with 2 volleys. The Stan continued their battling performance and Hoggins, who along with Wright was working hard, shot over in the 40th minute. The Stan ended the half attacking and, having matched the Bay in the first half, the tie was there for their taking.
A trip to the seaside is not complete without a downpour which began at the start of the 2nd half. A minute in and the Bay keeper nearly dropped the ball under pressure. The Stan continued to attack Whitley Bay’s defence which, like its seafront, had seen better days. In the 49th minute a Wright free kick went through the wall but was caught by the keeper. In the 61st minute, a Bay forward was through and should have scored but Backhouse got to it first. He injured himself though and had to be replaced by Rule 4 minutes later. In the 67th minute Rule caught the ball but stepped over the line resulting in a corner. As the ball came in from the corner, there was an off the ball fumble between Wear and a Bay player who took the opportunity to go to the deck as maritime folk often do. As a result, the referee gave a penalty. Reid scored but from the restart the Stan went up the park and Telford sent a cross into the box from the right which was headed in by the towering Hoggins to make it 1-1. Both teams attempted to get a winner with Wright coming close in the 75th minute and sub Law defending well. In the 80th minute, the Bay put a ball in from the right and 2 passes saw it go across the box to Shanks who, with Rule unsure, easily scored. Although tiring, the Stan did not give up and Burns shot over 2 minutes later. The Stan were battling at both ends and Rule made a good save in the 86th minute. After 3 minutes of injury time, a Weeks corner went to Laws in the box then back out to Burns who had his effort cleared just in front of the line. The Stan were unlucky not to get at least a replay back at Grounsell Park but Wembley is still a possibility as the Vase campaign starts next weekend in Bradford. So rather than Baywatch, continue to Stanwatch.
Stan Team: Backhouse (Rule); Scott; Axon (Laws); Ray; Wear; Weeks; Telford; Dodsworth; Wright; Hoggins; Watson (Burns). Subs unused: Bailey; Johnson, L; Quine: Rowntree.