Thornaby 1-0 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 5 December 2015
With storm Desmond battering Teesdale Park you would have expected the score to be 2-2 (as in Desmond Tutu) but the Stan’s league slump continued as Thornaby dealt with the swirling wind better and somehow managed to get a goal past debut Stan keeper and man of the match Matthew Smith. With no other keeper available, he was signed yesterday from Benfiield Juniors. There were 3 other changes to the starting line up from the last match 10 days ago.
For much of the first half, the wind was behind Thornaby and they took advantage to continually attack for the first 5 minutes. This period saw Smith first get down well for the ball and then, when a ball in from the left was caught by the wind, he managed to get up to put the ball over the bar. The resulting corner saw Thornaby shoot over. The wind was getting up as the Stan had their first clear attack which was followed in 14 minutes by the advancing Rowntree slicing his shot wide when blocked by the keeper. In 21 minutes, Smith blocked with his feet then caught the rebound shot. In 22 minutes Rowntree was caught offside although a minute later he attacked again but his cross into the box was intercepted before Dodsworth, returning today from injury, could get to it. Over the next few minutes the home side kept attacking and Smith had to make 3 saves. A Stan shot was caught by the home keeper in 27 minutes but 3 minutes later Thornaby attacked again with a first shot being blocked and a follow up shot going wide. The Stan attacked through Rowntree but then Smith had to make a great block at the other end. Up to this point, not a single decision had been given in the Stan’s favour by the referee. Smith then caught a deflected long shot and immediately sent the ball back up to Rowntree but the home keeper caught it first. Thornaby kept the pressure on for another 5 minutes A Stan attack then led to a counter attack and a ball in from the right towards a Thornaby forward in the 6 yard box was punched away by Smith. He then made another confident catch before starting another Stan attack which led to nothing. The last few minutes of the first half were end to end although the final minute saw Thornaby shoot wide followed by a curling free kick which went over the bar although Smith was ready for it. The half ended goalless and the only time the ball was in the net was when a Thornaby official fished the match ball out of a nearby stream with a big net when it was kicked out of the ground.
The first 6 minutes of the second half saw the Stan attacking including through Wear heading over from a corner. The first Thornaby attack of the half saw Smith punch the ball away from a corner and then catch it from a second one when the ball was headed towards goal. A few minutes of intense Thornaby pressure saw Smith punch away again, a defender blocking an effort and calls for a penalty when a home player went to ground after an acceptable challenge in the box. In the 56th minute the Stan attacked, followed by a counter attack and then another Stan attack which came to nothing due to the wind catching the ball. In 58 minutes, Wear cleared from a free kick. A Stan attack in 60 minutes ended with Dodsworth hitting the bar with a shot from the edge of the box. Smith made another catch before Yates was caught offside twice. Following another home attack in 64 minutes, a Dodsworth run saw him shoot towards goal but the wind sent the ball over the bar. Johnson then won the ball and had a good shot from outside the box caught by the keeper. A few minutes of Thornaby pressure paid off in the 69th when an attack was initially blocked but then Wear failed to clear when in a 1 to 1 situation with a home forward who then shot from the right towards the far left of the goal and Smith was unable to stop him scoring. Smith had to then make a catch before a Yates effort was also caught by the home keeper. Smith then made a great save before Yates was fouled on the counter attack but, as with most fouls on Stan forwards this afternoon, nothing was given. The Stan dominated for a period until, in 81 minutes, a long shot by Thornaby was caught by the wind and Smith had to get up to punch then catch the ball. The next 6 minutes saw mainly attacks by Thornaby including them hitting the side netting. Johnson then sent in a free kick which was cleared. In the last minute, the best chance of the match for the Stan saw Rowntree put a ball in from the right which Dodsworth put over from 6 yards. In injury time, the Stan continued to attack but to no avail. Overall the hardy crowd of less than 40, including some in a real live bus shelter, saw the Stan create relatively few chances or make the most of those that they did and the match ended with a 1-0 win to Thornaby.
Stan Team: Smith; Scott, P; Wear; Ray; Davison; Dodsworth; Stoddart; Johnson, L; Yates (Waters); Rowntree; Imray. Subs unused: Bailey; Ward; Walker, W.