Heaton Stannington 2-3 Team Northumbria
Saturday 2 April 2016
The players and fans were still on a high from Wednesday night’s win over South Shields as the Stan entertained neighbours Team Northumbria who, like the last 2 opponents, are still chasing for promotion. Injuries and holidays continue to take a toll and there were 2 changes and a competitive debut for Nathan Ray from the bench.
Playing in wet conditions both teams tried to attack and started evenly, cancelling each other out. It was the Stan though who went ahead in the 12th minute when a great ball from Fulcher through to Jones was flicked on to the advancing Ben Telford who shot from the centre of the box past Mundy in the visitor’s goal. It was a good team effort. The Stan had another good chance in 22 minutes when a Jones free kick into the box was met by Scott sliding in but he put the ball just wide. Team North had their first clear effort in the 29th minute when a high ball in from the left saw Smith get up well to catch it. In the process both he and Fulcher fell on McCabe who eventually had to be replaced by Ray. In the 36th minute the visitors shot over although both teams continued to mainly cancel each other out. 2 minutes later and Team North where fortunate to get a penalty when Perez, running into the box, went down too easily from a Ray tackle. Storey scored the equaliser from the spot as Smith dived the wrong way. In the 41st minute, the visitors Anthony had a clear shot on goal but a great block by Scott stopped him scoring. 2 minutes later and North sliced the ball over the Stan bar from a corner. The Stan were more effective than the visitors when in the 1st minute of injury time a ball to Ben Telford saw him avoid 2 tackles and, while waiting outside the box for Stan players running in, decided to shoot instead and blasted the ball into the net to make it 2-1 at half time.
Both teams started the 2nd half attacking and there were efforts at either end. After 65 minutes, a ball into the box from the left to the visitors’ Storey on the right saw him blast the side netting when he should have scored. They did equalise a minute later when a ball to Hammant running into the box saw him blast it into the net. A good effort by Jones in the 70th minute looped over the bar and in 75 minutes a Hammant free kick just outside the box got through the wall and went just wide. Bailey then had a good shot at the other end but the keeper got down well to put the ball out for a corner. Soon after the Stan attacked again but the counter attack saw a North forward shoot through 2 Stan defenders although Smith got down well to put it out for a corner. The Stan then also counter attacked twice with Mundy catching the ball then blocking it. It was like ping pong as both teams searched for the winner. In the 83rd minute only a wonderful full stretch save by Mundy prevented Jones scoring for the Stan when he tried a great effort to the left hand side of the goal from outside the box. The resulting Jones corner was headed by Scott but his effort was kicked off the line. The visitors then counter attacked and the advancing Richardson blasted the ball past Smith to make it 2-3 in the 84th minute. The Stan searched for the equaliser and especially so in the 5 minutes of added on time. It was all Stan now as they continuously attacked, especially through runs by Hayton. The visitors defence though did well to block these efforts and held on to the final whistle. Assistant manager Geoff Walker, who was the Evening Chronicle’s page 3 pin up last Saturday, felt that the Stan were unlucky not to get something from the match. Mundy’s save just before the visitor’s 3rd goal was the turning point of the match so the Boomtown Rat’s song ‘Tell me why I don’t like Monday’s’ proved very appropriate.
Stan Team: Smith; McCabe (Ray, N); Philipson (Dixon); Stoddart; Scott; Fulcher; Telford; Bailey; Hayton; Jones; Burns. Unused subs: Ray, J: Walker, B. No cards issued.