Heaton Stannington 4-0 Ryton & Crawcrook Albion
Wednesday 23 March 2016
After Wednesday’s poor performance against a poor Stokesley team, the Stan tonight put in a great team effort against difficult opposition and stretched their unbeaten run in the league to 5 games with only 1 defeat in 12 league games. There were 3 changes to the Stan team from Saturday and new signing George Fryer was an unused substitute.
Both sides tried to attack throughout the first half and although Ryton had more of the ball and more opportunities, the Stan were sharper and made their shots count. It was end to end from the kick off although the first clear chance was for the visitors in 6 minutes when Smith had to get down to save. The counter attack then the saw the advancing Telford send the ball to Burns on the right of the box who confidently slotted it into the net to make it 1-0. For the next 13 minutes Ryton were in control and their best chance of this period came when Wear had to head the ball away from in front of the Stan goal after 12 minutes. In the 20th and 25th minutes Rowntree made 2 good runs to meet through balls but on each occasion the Ryton keeper Nairn got to the ball first. In 27 minutes Ryton shot just wide but the ball was then sent back up the pitch for Telford to cross to Bailey but his shot was well saved. In 33 minutes, a free kick by Jones was headed towards goal but a Ryton defender put the ball out for a corner. The corner by Burns was headed by a Stan player just wide. 3 minutes later and Scott, who had replaced McCabe after 22 minutes, headed a ball from a Stan corner just over the bar. Jones and Burns continued to attack but so did the visitors. One of Ryton’s few clear chances was luckily wasted in the 45th minute when a free kick from just outside the box was put over the bar. At the other end, 2 minutes into injury time, Jones took a free kick which was headed towards goal by Bailey but was then headed out for a corner. Burn’s corner was sent into the crowded box and this time Bailey did not miss as he headed the ball into the net to make it 2-0 just before the half time whistle.
The second half saw Stan being more commanding although Ryton did not give up the fight. Ryton attacked first but in the 48th minute a Stan attack saw Burns blocked by the out-coming keeper. 5 minutes later a Ryton attack into a crowded Stan box eventually resulted in a shot which was cleared off the line by Stoddart and 2 minutes later Smith had to save. In the 59th minute the Stan had a free kick which was sent into the box. It went back out to Burns on the left who passed the ball back into Rowntree who slotted it home to make the score 3-0. The Stan defended well during the match and this continued to be the case during the last half hour. Even so, it was the Stan who increased their lead in 66 minutes when a free kick into the box was blocked. Jones, who had a far better game than on Saturday, picked up the ball and strolled back into the box through 2 defenders and shot past the keeper. The Stan were immediately on the back foot again and in 70 minutes a Ryton forward went racing into the box and, under pressure, tried to put the ball over Smith but it went just right of the goal. Both Scott and Stoddart then made blocks. In the 76th minute the visitors made a triple substitution which was followed by a free kick by them that was headed wide. Both sides continued to test each other’s defences with efforts at either end. In the 87th minute, a Ryton free kick was put just over the bar. Jones then forced the visiting keeper to save with the counter attack cleared by the Stan defence. Ryton put the last effort wide in injury time. Assistant manager Geoff Walker was delighted with the team’s performance and pleased to see the club jump up to 8th in the league with games in hand.
Stan Team: Smith; McCabe (Scott); Stoddart; Ray; Wear; Fulcher (Imray); Telford; Bailey; Rowntree; Jones; Burns (Dixon). Subs not used: Fryer. No cards issued.