Esh Winning 0-6 Heaton Stannington
Saturday 17 September 2016
It is always a pleasure to visit Esh Winning’s West Terrace ground in neighbouring Waterhouses, one of the most picturesque grounds in the Northern league, and it is an even greater pleasure to have such a fine day to boot. There were 3 changes from the Vase match and there was a return to the dugout for Geoff Walker. Kick off was delayed for 5 minutes as the match officials picked fault with one of the nets and then the match ball had to be changed. The Stan kicked off on the long grass and from the off the gulf in class between the 2 teams was evident, with the Stan dominating the opening 10 minutes. It was no surprise that on 20 minutes Paul Blackett fired the Stan into the lead when he simply out muscled the Esh defender to fire home. Blackett doubled his tally 2 minutes later to put the Stan firmly in command and 2-0 up. That seemed to wake Esh up and they forced their first meaningful attack but the Stan defence was more than up to the task. On 31 minutes, a misjudged attempt by Stan keeper Smith gave Esh a free header but the lad could not direct the ball on target. On 35 minutes, Smith denied a certain Esh goal with a fine stop. It proved to be costly for Esh as the Stan made it 3-0 on 40 minutes when Sam Walton got in on the act. The referee blew bang on 45 minutes for half time and the Stan were well on the way to 3 points.
The Stan started the 2nd half as they finished the 1st and increased their lead on 51minutes when Paul Blackett got his hat-trick. Sam Walton made it 5-0 only 2 minutes later as Esh simply folded. Esh did try and get a consolation but Smith was desperate to keep another clean sheet. On 70 minutes, a great shot by Walton almost gave the Stan their 6th goal but the Esh keeper made a fine stop. On 79 minutes, there was a great direct free kick from Esh but once again Matt Smith was not going to be beaten and he made another fine save. After 80 minutes Esh should have had their consolation goal but their player blazed the ball over the bar when it seemed easier to score. On 88 minutes the Stan got their 6th goal when Paul Blackett scored his 4th. This confirmed the team’s 7th away win on the bounce which is a remarkable run. It would be easy to say Esh were poor, but in reality the Stan were very clinical and gave the home team no chance. The win puts The Stan in 5th place with their 19 points all coming on the road.
Stan Team: Smith; Jones (Walker); Anthony; Scott; Imray: Williams; Fulcher; Bailey; Blackett; Walton; Johnson (James). Subs unused: Deagle; Robinson.