Heaton Stannington 1-2 Ryhope Colliery Welfare
With this match taking place on an overcast Easter Saturday there was always going to be an expectation that crosses and saves would play an important part. Thanks to Ryhope though it was more of a physical affair and just like the first Easter clash between Palestine and Italy the superior physical might and experience of the visitors just out did the skill and potential of the home side.
There were 2 changes to the Stan team from Wednesday as the Easter holiday absences began to take their toll. Both teams went into this match aiming to win but it was the Stan though who had the first clear effort when Burn’s shot was caught by the keeper in 6 minutes. Smith then caught a Ryhope effort before the counter attack led to Wear shooting just wide. In 13 minutes, Stoddart headed out a Ryhope corner for another which was then directly caught by Smith. Ryhope then had another couple of attacks but Scott made good interceptions to stop both of them. In the 18th minute, a Wear free kick was sent into the visitor’s crowded box and just as Bailey was about to connect with the ball he was elbowed in the face. The referee, deciding it was unintentional, did nothing but Ryhope’s Elliot Woods headed the ball downwards and into the net past keeper Rook who misjudged it. After a Ryhope free kick was put over in 21 minutes, the Stan had a period of dominance. The visitors did not like being well beaten and started to lose it, including through a couple of bad tackles by Home-Jackson, with their more physical style of play being applied as often as they could as well as calling for every decision. Jones took some good corners during the match and from one in 22 minutes, a good header by Scott was just caught by Rook. Soon after, Hayton got himself into 2 good attacking positions but was blocked both times, the second by the out-running keeper just before he could cross to the incoming Telford. In the 34th minute a Ryhope attack was blocked and then the visitors shot over the bar. Hayton’s head was then grabbed by Hodgson and as Smith caught a high ball into the box he was pushed by Winter. In the last 7 minutes of the half, Jones and Hayton created a number of attacks that were eventually blocked. Good defending stopped a Ryhope counter attack in 42 minutes and a Burns shot 2 minutes later went just over.
After dominating the first half with positive play, just like the Easter egg that was left on top of the radiator, the Stan melted away after conceding 2 goals in 2 minutes and never looked like getting back into the game. Both sides started the 2nd half on the offensive with Burns shooting over in 48 minutes and Smith then catching a Ryhope effort. In the 50th minute, the visitor’s Kyle Davis blasted a shot from the edge of the box which beat Smith. 2 minutes later and Ryhope were in the lead. Winter got past 2 Stan challenges and into the box only to see his shot hit the left post but Davis scored with the rebound. The Stan then defended well for the next couple of minutes. They were then back on the offensive, with Hayton playing an important role in most attacks, but the 2 quick Ryhope goals had deflated them and the continued physical approach of the visitors did not help either. Not much happened from the 60th to the 78th minute when a good effort by Telford was stopped by a diving Rook. 3 minutes later and Francis got through the Stan defence but Smith got down to make a good save. The last 10 minutes saw the Stan search for the equaliser with Ryhope having their last attack in the 83rd minute. The home side though failed to come up with the finishing touch and saw most of their frequent attacks, which included a number by Burns and 3 in injury time, blocked by the Ryhope defence. It was a beastly result for the Stan as Ryhope snatched victory in a 2 minute period when the Stan lost their composure and the visitors showed why promotion is a possibility.
Stan Team: Smith; McCabe (Imray); Stoddart; Wear; Scott; Fulcher; Telford; Bailey; Hayton; Jones (Dixon); Burns. Subs not used: Philipson. No cards issued.