Darlington Railway Athletic 2-4 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 6 February 2016
Heaton Stannington stretched their unbeaten run to 6 games with this win over their mid table rivals and, as a consequence, moved 2 places above them in the league table into 8th place. There were 3 changes to the Stan team including a debut for new signing George Philipson and a first start for Michael Trodd.
‘The Stan’ adapted much better to the slippery pitch conditions and created 3 good scoring chances in the first 5 minutes when Michael Trodd advanced forward out of defence and hit a strong shot just over the crossbar. This was quickly followed up by an equally good effort from Adam Rowntree whose shot beat home keeper Phil Pentony but he saw his effort cleared of the goal line by defender Mike Weston. Stan skipper Joe Wear then got into the action but his shot was saved by Pentony. The visitors were not to be denied though and a fine through ball from Rowntree to Sam Grieveson saw the forward place his shot accurately passed Pentony to open the scoring. With the rain continuing to pour, conditions were made difficult for both sets of players and a defensive slip let in Dale Johnson to record the home side’s first meaningful attack but the winger’s shot was well saved by Matt Smith. Darlington were not to be denied however when, on 23 minutes Jordan Hanratty got passed George Philipson down the right and his low cross was stabbed home by Rob Moncur. Worse was to come for the visitors when a minute later Sam England won a tussle with Jordan Ray and ran through to stroke the ball home to give his side the lead. There were 3 goals in 3 minutes as straight from the kick-off, Grieveson was upended in the penalty area when working his way through on goal and Rowntree fired home the equaliser from the penalty spot. This effort spurred Heaton on as they continued to attack the home goal and Ryan Bailey was very unlucky to see his shot go narrowly wide. Grieveson was proving to be quite a handful for the home defence to contain and it was his good work on 35 minutes that led to the visitors regaining the lead when he laid the ball off to Shane Jones to fire home.
The start of the second half saw Davison replace Trodd and it also saw Darlington in a determined mood. It was only thanks to Smith, who made two good saves inside 5 minutes, plus equally good defensive play from Jordan Ray and George Philipson that prevented Darlington getting back into the game. Despite the home side having more of the attacking play, the result was put beyond doubt when Rowntree broke clear and crashed a shot towards goal only to see Pentony tip the ball over the crossbar. Burns took the resultant corner kick and his accurate cross found Jordan Ray whose powerful header proved unstoppable. The match, which was played in a splendid spirit throughout with no cards shown, unfortunately finished on a sad note when in the final second, a tackle on Ryan Bailey by Mike Coleman ended with the Darlington substitute breaking his leg.
Stan Team: Smith; Trodd (Davison); Philipson; Ray; Wear; Imray; Jones; Bailey; Rowntree; Grieveson; Thompson (Burns). Subs not used: Telford; Scott, P.