Hebburn Town 0-1 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 12 March 2016
The Stan travelled to Hebburn but there was no comedy involved in their performance as they stretched their unbeaten run to 3 games. There were 2 changes to the team from a fortnight ago. In 8 minutes a cross to Feasey saw his effort kept out by a one handed save at full stretch by Smith with the corner headed just over. 2 minutes later a cross was missed by several defenders leading to a goalmouth scramble before Smith flicked the ball onto the inside of the post and then cleared it. Hebburn claimed it had crossed the line, but the officials were having none of it. A minute later and Hebburn’s Costello headed over from a long cross. In 14 minutes the Stan finally had a good chance when Bailey won the ball and set Burns bearing down on goal but he fired over. 2 minutes later Rowntree won possession and after a great run his cross was put out for a corner which was cleared easily. Grieveson then won the ball and passed to Rowntree who quickly put Burns in possession but he was flagged offside. The Stan nearly scored when Rowntree chased a long pass from Bailey and under pressure shot just wide. In 32 minutes, after a spell of intense home attacks, Hargrave shot just wide. In 38 minutes the Stan had their best chance of the half when a run by Rowntree, holding off 2 defenders, saw him drive into the box but he placed his shot too close to Hubery who saved easily. 2 minutes later a long throw-in had the Stan defence in difficulty as it dropped into the 6 yard box but after a scramble the ball was put just wide by a defender. In 43 minutes a cross from a short corner was met by Costello who beat Smith to the ball but he headed just wide. Right on half-time Grieveson got away from his marker and put in a cross which found Telford in a good position, on the edge of the box, but he could only steer his drive over the bar.
Burns, who hadn’t made his usual impact on the game, was replaced at half time by Jones. In 47 minutes a back pass from Stoddart, who was under no pressure, was almost missed by Smith when he misjudged the pace of the ball. As 2 attackers closed in for the kill, Smith managed to get a hand on the ball and scrambled it clear. Hebburn had started the half strongly and the Stan were having to defend deeply. In 51 minutes the Stan’s 1st chance of the half came when Ray won the ball and put Jones in possession. He cut inside and, after beating 2 men, struck a strong shot which flew wide. In 55 minutes a Costello attack was only halted by a powerful block tackle just on the edge of the box. The ball went up high towards the Stan goal with Smith frantically back pedalling. He managed to get a hand on it as it was dropping in under the bar and he scrambled it clear with Hebburn claiming it had crossed the line. The Stan wasted 2 good chances before a Costello cross, after he had beaten 2 defenders, went across Smith and just wide. In 65 minutes Davison headed the ball back into the box to Smith who came out too far and at full backward stretch just managed to stop a goal. In the 70th minute Jones hit a long pass which found the onrushing Telford who looked likely to score until he was just crowded out by the home keeper and a defender. From a cross Telford then turned a defender but his shot was blocked. In 73 minutes Rowntree did well to ride 2 tackles but his effort from just outside the box went wide. In 75 minutes Hebburn blasted a shot high followed by a terrific 35 yard drive which required a good save from Smith. Both teams were pressing for a goal. A loose clearance from the home defence fell to Jones but he shot too high. In 86 minutes, a challenge on Grieveson saw him replaced by Scott who usually palys in defence. Next a Hargrave pile driver was goal bound until Smith flung himself across to tip the ball out. In the last minute, when it seemed both sides would have to settle for a draw, the Stan snatched all 3 points when Telford won a great header 30 yards out which sub Peter Scott anticipated brilliantly. He burst into the area and the ball dropped perfectly for him to produce a neat lob over the onrushing keeper. There was still time for a scare though when a powerfully hit cross from Feasey evaded Smith and landed on top of the net.
It was a terrific away win for the Stan as Hebburn had been unbeaten in their last 9 matches. It was a hard-fought, fairly even match on a heavy and difficult surface but both teams tried to play good football. Much credit has to go to the well-organised Stan defence. On the strength of a powerful 2nd half performance the Stan perhaps just deserved to edge this contest. Special mentions for Smith, Stoddart and Bailey. Rowntree was man of the match as he was a constant menace to the home defence with some excellent hold-up play and driving runs.
Stan Team: Smith; McCabe; Stoddart; Ray; Davison; Fulcher (Imray); Telford; Bailey; Rowntree; Grieveson (P.Scott); Burns (Jones); Burns. No cards issued.
Colin Pearce and Michael Chell