Chester-Le-Street 2-1 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 9 April 2016
The Stan returned to the location of their FA Vase exit to play 2nd placed Chester. There was another make shift team and 3 changes including a competitive first start for William Walker and physio Peter Ward.
Although the home side had the better of the early exchanges they did not threaten Matt Smith in the visiting goal too much and it was Heaton who could have broken the deadlock on twenty minutes when a cross from Billy Walker found Shane Jones whose shot was tipped around the post by Joe Clayton in the home goal for a corner kick. The best chance of the first half however came just five minutes later when Matt Hayton was played through the middle and finding himself in a one on one situation with Clayton, he chose to attempt to go around the keeper rather than shoot and Clayton clawed the ball to safety. The Stan had another chance minutes later when a Shane Jones free kick was floated in and found the head of Gary Yates but Clayton fielded the effort easily.
The home side then had a good spell and keeper Matt Smith had to be alert to stop a fine shot from Craig Marron and it was felt that Mark Patterson could have done better when he blazed a shot well over Smith’s cross bar. It remained though 0-0 at half time.
Kicking down the slope, Chester attacked from the re-start with Craig Mickle looking prominent in every move. Caught offside five times in as many minutes he was very unlucky to hit a shot against the post. Their persistence did pay off on the hour mark though when Mickle was adjudged by the referee to have been fouled by Peter Scott some ten yards outside the penalty area. The resultant free kick was met by Dan Hepplewhite who headed home strongly. The Stan continued to battle on though and their efforts were rewarded when Ryan Bailey played Matt Hayton through and his strong shot flashed passed Clayton to level the scoring. However the home side were back in front just two minutes later when a costly Peter Ward slip let in Mickle and the centre forward made no mistake with his well-placed shot. Assistant manager Geoff Miller commented that the Stan were unlucky to be beaten and that they put in a good effort and an equal performance to the home side.
Stan Team: Smith; Ward; Dixon ; Stoddart; Scott; Imray; Yates ; Bailey; Hayton; Jones; Walker, W. Unused subs: Ray, N; Walker,G; Fulcher. No cards issued.