Northallerton Town 2-2 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 26 September 2015
A depleted squad, which saw 3 changes to the starting 11, headed south to take on a strong Northallerton side who had lost only one of their last six league games. It was the home side who were soon stamping their authority on the game as brothers Aaron and Andy Ramsbottom and Scott Oldfield all had chances to open the scoring in the first ten minutes but failed to capitalise. This was to prove costly for Northallerton as a slick five man passing movement ended with a final ball out to Adrian Watson who raced in from the left and drove a fine shot passed Matt Calvert to give the ‘Stan’ an unexpected lead.
Northallerton hit back immediately as a through ball found Fred Woodhouse, playing his last game before being transferred to Bishop Auckland, found himself one on one with keeper Dan Rule, but Referee Assistant, Tony Godkin, flagged him offside. This didn’t deter the home side however as they continued to open up the visiting defence and it took some desperate defending by Heaton to keep them at bay. The first half ended with Oldfield heading wide from a corner to ensure that the ‘Stan’ just hung onto their lead.
Not to be denied, it took only three minutes of the second period for Northallerton to get on level terms when a pass, played through to the edge of the penalty area, found the Stan defence wanting and Woodhouse beat Rule with an accurate strike. Northallerton looked much the stronger after this and were helped as Heaton were guilty of committing too many silly fouls that resulted in them giving the ball back to the opposition. There was a scare when Lewis Axon challenged Andy Ramsbottom in the penalty area and both players went down. It appeared at first that the referee had awarded a penalty but then showed a yellow card to Ramsbottom for diving. Ramsbottom’s game ended just minutes later when, probably still frustrated at the earlier decision, he kicked out at Lewis Burns and was dismissed from the field of play. On 75 minutes Adam Rowntree replaced Richie Hoggins for the visitors and immediately made his presence felt when, following good work by Karl Morrison, he crossed accurately for Matt Hayton to head home to restore Heaton’s lead. But, even with ten men, the home side continued to come forward and ten minutes from the end got a deserved equaliser when substitute Damon Reaks stroked the ball home. Heaton nearly snatched a late winner when Rowntree headed against the crossbar but this would have been a cruel blow for the home side and, on reflection, this was a well-earned point for the visitors.
Stan Team: Rule; Stoddart; Morrison; Ray; Axon (Johnson, l); Imray; Burns; Dodsworth; Hoggins (Rowntree); Hayton; Watson (Telford). Subs unused: Bailey; Scott.