Thornaby 6-0 Heaton Stannington
Just 2 days after their defeat at Easington in the 1st league game of the season, the Stan travelled to Thornaby looking to get their league campaign back on track. Despite suffering a 1-0 defeat at Teesdale Park last season, hopes were high that the Stan could bring back something to Tyneside. There was just one change to the starting 11 with Williams replacing Leighton.
In fair weather conditions both sides created early chances. Thornaby had the first attack of the game and rattled the crossbar in the 4th minute through a well struck effort from Jack Williams on the volley which had Smith beaten. The Stan responded moments later though, as Dan Robinson broke down the left side but his curling effort went just wide of the far post. Thornaby began to get a stranglehold on the game though and were unlucky not to take the lead in the 9th minute as a well worked free kick saw Smith have to tip the ball over the bar from a close range header before the resulting corner was fired over from the edge of the area. 4 minutes later though and Thornaby did take the lead as Matt Robinson turned the ball home after a clever flick on which beat the Stan defence. The Stan goal began to come under more pressure with another header going just wide of Smith’s goal. At the other end, Robinson created an opportunity but his pull back got stuck under the feet of Walton and the chance was lost. With Paul Antony coming off due to injury after 20 minutes to be replaced by Shane Jones, an early reshuffle was in order and Jones looked to create a chance for himself but his effort from distance sailed over the bar. Thornaby continued to control proceedings though and after an effort from Jack Williams from midway inside the Stan half went over the bar they doubled their lead on 33 minutes. A well worked move saw the defence penetrated again and although Smith smothered the first shot, the rebound was tucked home. Dan Robinson once again looked to respond for the Stan minutes later but his effort was blocked well by the Thornaby keeper in what was becoming a frustrating afternoon for the Stan. After another effort from Jones went just over the bar following some good work by Ryan Bailey and Gary Dixon, Thornaby made it 3-0 on 41 minutes. Good work from Thornaby’s forwards saw Ryan Bennions fire home after Sam England drove through the Stan defence.
The Stan were hoping to get back into the game but within a minute of restart they conceded again as a dangerous free-kick was not cleared and Sam English got his goal with a well-placed finish from the edge of the box. Another effort from Dan Robinson almost reduced the deficit in the 48th minute but his stretching attempt went wide. In truth though it was Thornaby who looked more dangerous and another free-kick should have been turned home but the effort was dragged wide on 67 minutes. Following a few half chances for both sides, one of which for sub Salim almost caught the keeper out, Thornaby made it 5-0 on 84 minutes when substitute Louis Johnson turned his marker inside out before rifling past Smith. The rout was completed 3 minutes later when Ben Jackson was left in plenty of space inside the box and when the ball eventually reached him he drilled home to make it 6-0. As the full-time whistle sounded it completed what was a disastrous day for the Stan and saw the team suffer their heaviest defeat since returning to the Northern League. Attention turns quickly though to Wednesday night and a trip to the highly fancied promotion challengers Billingham Synthonia.
Stan Team: Smith; McCabe (Yates); James; Stoddart; Williams (Y); Anthony (Jones); Imray; Walton; Robinson; Bailey; Dixon (Salim). Unused subs: Robertson; Wear;