Heaton Stannington 3-3 Billingham Town
Saturday 24th September 2016
The Stan were playing only their 2nd home league match of the season and hoped to build on their 7 consecutive away wins. There was 1 change from Saturday. The 1st clear effort came in the 5th minute when a Billingham effort was headed away. 2 minutes later and Blackett shot just wide. 3 minutes later a visitor’s free kick went just wide after getting through the wall. The Stan’s pace was putting Town under pressure as they sought the 1st goal. In 21 minutes the Stan shot wide but then a Billingham player broke free and looked like he would score when he shot towards the corner of the goal but Smith made a great save. There was a good passing spell by the Stan, and a couple of attacks, followed by a period when nothing much happened. Against the run of play, the visitors controversially took the lead in 41 minutes. An attack was blocked by Smith and as a Town player turned from goal to get the ball he caught Antony who fell in the box. A penalty was given for hand ball against Antony when he fell and Craig Hutchinson converted it. 2 minutes later, form a throw in, the ball got to Chris Dickinson in the middle of the Stan box and Stoddart was unable to prevent him from slotting it past Smith. With the Stan Army in shock, the players had the right attitude and attacked immediately with Blackett playing a great through ball on the right to Sam Walton who shot to make it 1-2 in the 44th minute.
The 2nd half started as the 1st finished with Blackett passing to Walton who accelerated in front of the Town defence but his good effort was deflected for a corner. The corner ball got to Jones on the edge of the box and his curving shot looked like going in over the keeper but he got his hand to the ball to put it just over. The Stan were again 2 goals down against the run of play when, in 49 minutes, a Town counter attack saw Jack Connor shoot and score with a defender either side of him. 3 minutes later they had another chance when a ball from a free kick was headed down towards the goal-line but Smith got caught it. It was end to end action but the visitors were helped by a linesman who was over keen to flag offside. Town shot over in 56 minutes and then had another attack cleared before sub Robinson beat the offside but his shot from distance was easily stopped by the keeper. The Stan pressure finally paid off in 61 minutes when a ball through the visiting defence was met by the accelerating Paul Blackett who was tripped but kept going and shot and scored from the edge of the box with the keeper advancing. Both teams continued to attack. The best chance of this period fell to the visitors when, after a poor offside decision on Robinson, a poor Johnson pass allowed Town to counter attack and No11 lobbed Smith but his effort went just over. In 73 minutes, Robinson surged down the wing and, as he went into the box, he hit the ball which made contact with a defender’s hand. Paul Blackett scored form the penalty to make it 3-3. It was his 6th goal in 2 games. The Stan searched for the winner and an extended attack started by Blackett saw efforts by both Bailey and Scott. Smith punched clear a free kick in 81 minutes. 2 minutes later Town shot over from another free kick and shot just wide from a corner 4 minutes after that. Normal time finished with Scott failing to prevent Town shooting just wide again. There was then 5 minutes of injury time with end to end action as both teams attacked and counter attacked as they pressed for a winner. Smith made a good save to put a Town effort just wide but the match finished with the Town keeper catching a Blackett shot. It is the other Billingham team, Synthonia, who visit on Saturday in the Vase when the Stan hope to take another step towards Wembley.
Stan Team: Smith; Jones; Anthony; Stoddart; Williams; Scott; Imray (Robinson): Bailey; Blackett; Walton; Walton; Johnson (Y). Subs unused: Wear; McCabe; Yates; Deagle.