Heaton Stannington 5-3 Darlington Railway Athletic
Wednesday 30 September 2015
On a pleasant autumn evening the Stan looked to be in site of the winning station and speeding home with a 3 goal half time lead. Any thought though that the Stan had derailed their opposition’s efforts was premature as a Darlington fightback led to a nail biting finale. It was just the ticket for the large crowd, of over 170. In a week that had seen Deagle and Quine move to West Allotment, the Stan had themselves signed a new keeper, Lee Martin, from Bedlington Terriers. He started and there were 3 other changes including the return of Wright from a one match suspension. The start of the match was delayed due to a number of the opposition’s players being stuck in traffic- they should have lived up to their name and travelled by rail! You will be glad to know that the match reporter has now run out of steam with regards to railway references.
The Stan started on the attack with a Burns cross to the left which should have been put away by Wright. The Stan dominated the first 12 minutes with the visiting keeper being tested a few times. In the 13th minute, Watson sent a ball in from the left to the right side of the 6 yard box which saw Johnson run to the right and stretch his left foot out to make it 1-0. In the 20th minute, Johnson blasted over in front of goal. Two minutes later and Wright was brought down
just inside the box. He confidently put the resulting penalty away to make it 2-0. Darlington shot over with their first clear chance in 29 minutes. 3 minutes later and a good Stan attack ended with Ray blasting over. A minute after the visiting keeper had made a save, in 39 minutes, good build up play involving 2 other players saw Johnson and Burns do a clever passing move which resulted in Johnson making it 3-0. Watson then had a shot cleared off the line with the shot from the resulting corner being parried away by the keeper.
Just after the restart, Johnson tried a soft shot from the left that the keeper failed to hold and it slipped into the net for Lee’s hat-trick. It was great to see him this season start with more goals than bookings. In the 49th minute, a Darlington attack was blocked followed by Wright running down the right wing and shooting just over. The visitor’s fightback unexpectantly started in the 60th minute when after an initial good save the ball went back out to Hanlon who made it 4-1. In the 75th minute a long shot by Dodsworth was caught by the keeper. Three minutes later it was 4-2 when a loose ball resulted in a speculative shot by Hedley which beat Martin. The Darlington pressure paid off again in 83 minutes when Axon slid in on an attacking player and a penalty was awarded. Wilson put it away to make it 4-3. Darlington were going for the equaliser now and in the first minute of injury time a good move forward was ended by a defensive block. The resulting free kick was caught by Martin but 3 minutes later the Stan were lucky again when a ball from a corner was misheaded and the eventual rebound was blasted just over. Martin then caught another shot and it appeared that the referee’s watch was broken. There was another attack at either end followed by a final Stan attack in the 96th minute. A good build up involving 4 players saw Rowntree switch the ball across the park to the right to Watson in space who powered the ball into the net to make it 5-3. Hopefully there will be more excitement and success on Saturday when the Stan travel to Chester-Le-Street for their FA Vase tie. Hopefully some fans will travel by train!
Stan Team: Martin; Scott; Stoddart; Ray; Axon; Dodsworth; Burns (Telford); Johnson, L (Imray); Wright (Rowntree); Hayton; Watson (Telford). Subs unused: Bailey; Morrison.