Heaton Stannington 1-1 Tow Law Town
Saturday 30 January 2016
Thanks to the organisational skills of Bill Colwill and the grass cutting and pitch marking undertaken by JMS ground maintenance service the day before, the crowd of 153 were able to witness the Stan’s 1st home league and Saturday match for 11 weeks. There were 4 changes to the team including a debut for Mikel Thompson. Shane Jones had his first start and he also had his home debut along with Steven McCabe. As with last week, there were no cautions or sending offs and even the pitch was not too dirty.
Both teams started positively despite the windy conditions. The first clear attempt came in the 7th minute when the Stan should have scored. Bailey passed to debutant Thompson whose shot was blocked on the line by a visiting defender with Imray’s shot from the rebound going over the bar. In the 11th minute a Tow Law attack saw the ball go straight across the front of goal and out for a goal kick. A minute later, and a visiting player chipped the ball towards goal but the wind caught it and sent it over the bar. 3 minutes later and Tow Law shot over again. In 21 minutes a Stan attack started by Jones eventually resulted in a corner which was then headed out for a 2nd corner from which Wear’s header was caught by the visiting keeper. Smith had to make a save 4 minutes later. In the 27th minute, Thompson received the ball near the half way line and made a great pass to Grieveson who ran up the wing only to have his cross headed out for a corner. Another attack by Grieveson 5 minutes later saw him blocked but he managed to pass to Thompson whose shot was put out by the keeper. The ball from the corner went across the goal line and out. Tow Law then had 3 attacks. The 3rd one saw a forward about to shoot, with only Smith to beat, when Ray got in low to stop him. A minute later and Thompson pulled a hamstring and had to be replaced by Burns. A Tow Law player then ran across the Stan box with the wind assisted ball. As he was coming back towards the goal, Smith ran out to block him but the shot went past him and was cleared off the line by Wear. The half finished, after 2 Stan efforts on goal, 0-0.
In the 47th minute, Grieveson ran towards the keeper and shot straight at him. 3 minutes later and a Burns run saw him brought down just outside the box with the resulting free kick by Jones hitting the wall. A sustained attack by Tow Law in 55 minutes saw them eventually shoot wide. 2 minutes later and a Tow Law ball in from the left was missed by the home defenders and Liam Dixon slid in and beat Smith, who did the splits, to push the ball over the line. Jones’s overhead kick 2 minutes later was caught by the keeper and in the 66th minute McCabe’s shot was blocked. A minute later and substitute Rowntree’s 1st touch of the ball saw him pass up field to the advancing Hayton whose angular shot from the right was helped over the line on the far left of the goal by off-side Grieveson. In 71 minutes, Tow Law looked like they would go 2-0 up when a shot from a forward running in on the right was stopped by a great stretching save on the ground by Smith. The ball was then cleared by the defence and sent up the pitch. Tow Law also then counter attacked and, with the flag staying down although offside, one of their players was blocked by the advancing Smith when he should have scored. The visitors almost immediately had another shot which went past Smith but then almost came to a stand-still in front of the empty goal and was cleared by the defence. The ball then eventually found its way up to Grieveson who was brought down in the box. The resulting 74th minute penalty saw Rowntree send the keeper the wrong way to make it 1-1. Rowntree then, after a Tow Law attack, should have scored again when a ball from Hayton saw him break free from the Tow Law defence but he shot straight at the keeper. In 78 minutes, Burns resisted a challenge and sent the ball to Grieveson on the left who passed to Bailey whose header was then put out by the visiting keeper. In the last 10 minutes both teams sought a winner. In 85 minutes a Tow Law free kick was cleared by Wear. Bailey then had a shot saved with the resulting Tow Law counter attack ending with a shot over. Grieveson made one last Stan attack but it was Tow Law who could have won it in injury time when one of their forwards beat Smith with a shot which was cleared off the line by Ray.
This 1-1 draw sees the Stan remain tenth in the league and they are now unbeaten in 5 matches. Manager Derek Thompson and Marty O’Rourke, who was assistant manager for the day, were happy with the result overall.
Stan Team: Smith; McCabe; Stoddart; Ray; Wear; Bailey; Imray; Jones (Rowntree); Hayton; Grieveson; Thompson (Burns). Subs not used: Telford; Scott, P, Trodd.