Esh Winning 0-3 Heaton Stannington
Thursday 5 May 2016
After a 10 month season, the Stan finished their 2015-16 fixtures with a trip to County Durham on a beautiful and tranquil Thursday night. They hoped to go out on a high and win the match for Geoff Walker on his last match as assistant manager. There were 2 changes from the starting line up at Team North on Monday.
The first 9 minutes, apart from one shot by Burns straight at the home keeper, saw mainly pressure by Esh as the Stan made hard work of stopping the home side’s almost continual attacks. It was then the Stan’s turn to do most of the attacking for the next 10 minutes but without really threatening. The 13th minute saw an Esh defender and Burns undertake rash tackles on each other followed by some handbags although no cards were shown. In the 21st minute, an Esh attack was eventually cleared but one player went down in the box hoping for a penalty but nothing was given. 4 minutes later, a Stan counter attack involving Jones and Telford saw the ball passed to Rowntree in the clear but he shot just wide. Another Stan attack in the 28th minute saw Telford shoot but the ball was cleared and eventually went out of the box to Dean Imray who calmly shot from 30 yards to score what must be a contender for goal of the season. The rest of the half saw both teams trying to attack. Burns shot straight at the keeper and soon after Esh had an effort that went just wide. Jones also shot just wide across the home goal after 32 minutes followed by Smith saving an Esh shot after some scrappy tackling. Rowntree then sent a great cross into the box for the advancing Telford but he was tackled well. Rowntree then had 2 shots and should have scored with the 2nd when he was clear on goal but shot wide. In the 37th minute Jordan Ray, in his first match back from injury, was injured again in a tackle and had to be replaced by multi-tasking physio Peter Ward. A minute later and a great through ball by Bailey saw the advancing Shane Jones chip the keeper and make it 2-0. Soon after an Esh attack was blocked by Burns who was doing good work at both ends of the pitch. The half ended with Jones and Burns shooting just wide and Rowntree’s shot being saved well by McIntyre the home keeper.
Yates and Fulcher replaced Rowntree and Bailey from the restart. The 2nd half was mainly one way traffic and the Stan should have scored far more than a solitary goal. It was attack after attack by the Stan with the best early effort coming in the 56th minute when a Stan attack was eventually cleared and the ball fell to Fulcher in space who chipped the keeper but saw his effort cleared off the line by a defender. A minute later, an Esh counter attack resulted in Smith having to make a save. Yates then past the ball up to Jones who, beating a defender, shot straight at the keeper. Ward then stopped 2 counter attacks. Esh attacked again but then it was back to the Stan. In the 64th minute, a ball in from Telford from the right was cleared off the line by an Esh defender. 3 minutes later and Jones was brought down in the box but no penalty was given. After another 3 minutes Jones sent a ball into Telford in the box who was brought down but again no penalty was awarded. The Stan eventually made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute when Yates supplied Ben Telford in the box who put the ball past the keeper. The Stan continued to attack and Burns got forward whenever he could, shooting over twice. An Esh shot went over in 76 minutes but it remained mainly pressure from the Stan. 3 minutes before full time, Jones broke free but his shot hit the post. This was followed by one last attack by Esh which required Ward to tackle, McCabe to clear and Smith to punch the ball away for a corner. Given the number of chances, the Stan should have won by far more but with the team finishing 9th, and ending the season with 5 wins out of 6 and a 20-2 aggregate score line, the Stan Army are looking positively towards the start of next season.
Stan Team: Smith; McCabe; Dixon; Stoddart; Ray (Ward); Imray; Telford; Bailey (Fulcher); Jones; Rowntree (Yates); Burns. No cards issued.