Heaton Stannington 3-0 Willington
Saturday 8 October 2016
Coming off the back of an impressive away win at Whickham, the Stan welcomed Willington to Grounsell Park. Kevin Leighton and Lee Johnson came into the starting side, replacing Graham Williams and Paul Blackett, as the home side looked to get their first win of the season at home at the fourth attempt.
The game started off tentatively, with both sides feeling each other much like in the opening round of a boxing match. On thirteen minutes though the game sprung into life with Sam Walton rising above the Willington defence to head a free-kick towards goal but it was saved. Two minutes later, the Stan almost took the lead through Dan Robinson who broke in behind the defence but his shot was well blocked by the Willington keeper. This was a sign of things to come as in the nineteenth minute Robinson got in behind the defence again and he pulled the ball back for Lee Johnson but the midfield man couldn’t connect properly with the ball. Willington failed to heed their warnings on 23 minutes and the home side took the lead. Robinson once again broke free of the defence and cut the ball back, this time to Dean Imray who rifled the ball into the net. Just four minutes later and the Stan doubled their advantage. Walton produced a fantastic flick to tee up Lee Johnson who struck the ball into the top far corner of the net. With the home side two goals to the good, they looked in control of things although Smith had to produce a fine save to deny Willington pulling one goal back through Bill Preston on 33 minutes. Both Walton and Johnson saw good efforts go over before the half-time whistle as the Stan looked to press home their dominance.
The second half started off similar to the first half with both sides beginning tentatively. The game sprung into life though on 62 minutes as a fantastic ball played Robinson through. The striker, who has scored nine goals this season already,looked to head the ball into the net but the Willington keeper denied the forward. Just three minutes later though the Stan added to the score line again. Robinson again was the provider as he played Sam Walton through on goal, who calmly placed the ball into the net to make it 3-0. Walton continued to be a thorn in the side of Willington and he almost got his second of the match when he got the ball inside the box on 70 minutes. His shot though deflected off a defender and was gathered by the grateful keeper. As the game drew to a close with Stan comfortably in control there was a potential flash moment in the 53rd minute with Walton at the centre of it. Having been played into the box, he went down under a challenge. However, the referee refused to acknowledge his appeals for a penalty waving play on. The decision though mattered little as the Stan secured a fully deserved victory; back to back clean sheets and another important three points.
Stan Team: Smith; Stoddart; James; Leighton; Wear; Fulcher (Bailey); Imray; McCabe (Jones); Robinson (Yates); Walton; Johnson.