Sunderland Ryhope CW 3-1 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 10 October 2015
It was back to league action as the Stan journeyed into the depths of the red and white zone for the first of 2 October Wear-Tyne derbies. Injuries, work commitments and passport issues meant that a depleted squad travelled to Wearside and this resulted in 3 changes from Wednesday night and physio Peter Ward named as one of the subs.
As the teams lined up for the kick off, it was immediately noticeable that the Ryhope team had a distinct height advantage and the Stan were also forced into some tactical changes including their midfield dynamo and captain Dodsworth in the unusual position of centre half. A fairly even first 10 minutes saw Axon for Heaton and Winter for Ryhope booked for rash challenges. Ryhope started to take the upper hand with their slick passing and side footed a shot over the bar from close range. A minute later they were awarded a free kick which was lashed in by Stevens from the edge of the penalty area to make it 1-0 to Ryhope. The Stan replied immediately when shrewd passing moves resulted in Watson slotting past the keeper. Ryhope restored the lead on 35 minutes when Ord scored with a deflected shot from 25 yards out.
The Stan started the second half well with 2 corners in quick succession. Things deteriorated after this with hopeful long balls in the air which Ryhope mostly won because of their height advantage. A shot on the Stan goal was parried by Martin only for Ryhope’s Jackson to net on the follow up to make it 3-1. Heaton’s response was immediate when Rowntree broke free on the left, rounded the keeper just outside the box , only to be pulled down by him. Although the keeper was the last man, and a goal scoring opportunity was denied, the referee chose only to issue a yellow card. 5 minutes later, Dodsworth was booked and shortly afterwards Rowntree was replaced by Yates, then Bailey replaced Imray. The final substitution in the 75th minute occurred when Hoggins replaced the injured Dodsworth. The substitutions saw a change of fortune for the Stan and their passing moves almost resulted in a goal when a Hoggins header was wells saved by the home keeper.
This was a below par performance by the Stan with a number of normally consistently reliable players off form. What did not help, which was noticed by several of the supporters, was the petty bickering between some of the players. Heaton for the most part were out played by a well-disciplined Ryhope side who used their height advantage to win most of the headed challenges. They were also more efficient in their passing moves. A few of the supporters thought it might be a good idea for the manager to whisk the team off to Dubai for a few days to give the lads a rest and carry out some moral building and team bonding!
Stan Team: Martin; Scott; Axon; Ray; Dodsworth (Hoggins); Imray (Bailey); Telford; Johnson, L; Wright; Rowntree (Yates); Watson. Subs unused: Dixon, G; Ward.
Michael ‘Groundkeeper Willie’ Chell