Billingham Synthonia 2-2 Heaton Stannington
Wednesday 17 August 2016
The Stan went into their third away game on the bounce still looking for their first point and indeed looking for their first league goal. There were 5 changes from last Saturday and a debut from the bench for Joshua Bynoe. It was a lovely August night at the CLS Sports Stadium as the Stan kicked off. Straight away the Synners were on the attack, perhaps sensing the Stan’s defensive frailties, and made several attacks in the first 10 minutes. But the Stan, still licking their wounds from conceding six at Thornaby at the weekend, were holding firm and looking a lot more defensively sound. The first shot on target was by Billingham’s Steel but Matt Smith saved well. On 19 minutes, the Stan left back Philipson went down and Heaton Stan Eva (note the Chelsea reference) had to attend.
Meanwhile the Stan were down to 10 men and they almost paid the price as a result of a great shot by Billingham but Smith was equal to the task. On 23 minutes, with virtually their first attack of the match, the Stan took the lead and Dan Robertson took the honours of scoring the club’s first league goal of the season. Immediately the Synners attacked from the restart and the Stan’s Leighton crudely brought down a Billingham’ player and rightly went into the ref’s black book. As the half went on, the Stan quietly took a foothold on the game though to be fair they hardly ventured into enemy territory. Just before half time, an excellent move by the Synners saw them almost snatch a deserved equaliser but the ball went just past the post.
The Synners were out a full 5 minutes early, eager to get started, and they started much as they played the first half on the attack. It’s an old cliché but ‘it’s a funny old game’ was very apt when the Stan, with their second attack of the game, incredibly increased their lead. Dan Robertson was once again the scorer. By now the Synners were really mad and attacked straight from the restart with a terrific effort from Craggs that just sailed over the bar. By the time the hour mark came up, it was the Alamo for the Stan with Synners throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at them. Credit to the Stan though who were holding firm. On 68 minutes, a clumsy challenge gave the Synners a penalty and the aptly named Nathan Steel made no mistake and gave the Synners a foothold. On 71 minutes a super shot from the Stan’s Jones just whizzed past the post. Back again came the Synners but Smith was having a fabulous game between the posts. However, on 82 minutes, Josh Rowbotham broke the Stan Army’s hearts and equalised. Still the Synners were not finished and they sensed blood and victory with O’Sullivans long throws causing havoc in the Stan defence. Finally, after what seemed an eternity, the ref blew for full time and somehow the Stan took a point from a very good Billingham Synthonia. Yes they had a bit of luck but it was a great backs to the wall defensive display by the Stan with every player contributing.
Stan Team: Smith; McCabe; Philipson; (Jones); Scott; Leighton (Y); Fulcher; Bailey; Imray; Robinson (Robertson); Yates (Bynoe); Dixon. Unused subs: Walker; Johnson.