Heaton Stannington 1-2 Tow Law Town
Wednesday 30 November 2016
On a cold and blustery night, which the opposition from high in the Durham hills should be more used to, there were no excuses though for the Stan as their poor home form continued to contradict their good away form. There was one change from the team that lost at home on Saturday with Wear replacing Williams.
The first 15 minutes saw both teams trying to attack starting with Robinson making a good run then crossing for Blackett who missed the ball, followed by Smith having to make a good save at the other end. Blackett had a high shot after 8 minutes followed by Tow Law doing the same. After 13 minutes Robinson, whose pace as usual was a danger to the opposition, blocked the visiting keeper’s attempt to clear the ball but it ricocheted out of play. The Stan then shot wide but it was the visitors who took the lead in 18 minutes from a corner when Liam Dixon jumped up high at the far side of goal to head the ball into the net. The wind was getting up as Tow Law continuously tried to increase their lead. It wasn’t until the 25th minute that the Stan had another attack and again 3 minutes later when Deagle was blocked by the visiting keeper. The Stan were now beginning to get back into the game and a good Blackett shot was stopped by the keeper in 30 minutes. 2 minutes later Deagle ran down the left and along the bye line where he crossed the ball into the crowded box and Robinson back-healed it into the net past the hapless keeper. Both teams attacked when they could but by the 41st minute Tow Law were putting pressure on the Stan defence and it paid off 2 minutes later when a poor clearance by Stoddart allowed Kieron Barker to blast the ball past Smith to give them a
2-1 lead. A Tow Law corner was then deflected wide and another corner was eventually cleared by the Stan defence in injury time.
For the 2nd half, Dixon and Johnson replaced Fulcher and Imray and 4 minutes later the injured Holland was replaced by Jones. In the 52nd minute, after a good Errington clearance, Robinson shot straight at the keeper followed by Tow Law hitting the side net. The Stan then had the ball for most of the next 10 minutes but Michael Allen in the away goal blocked or saved a number of efforts by pacey Dan Robinson. The visitors finally got an effort in 61 minutes which the Stan defence headed clear. The game was disrupted by erratic refereeing but the Stan remained in control seeking an equaliser. A good move in 70 minutes saw Robinson break free and eventually get the ball into the box to Blackett who passed to Deagle who put it wide. Johnson, who was making some good passes, won the ball and passed to Blackett in the box but his shot was blocked. It remained mainly one way traffic with Robinson shooting wide in 73 minutes. In 84 minutes, the lack of recent opportunities for Tow Law reduced them to a long shot, though a powerful one, straight at Smith. They were though now managing to stifle the Stan’s efforts although Blackett did shoot just wide in 86 minutes. A minute to go, and Wear sent a good ball up to Robinson but he was offside. Dan somehow got the ball again and forced a corner. The Stan battered the Tow Law goal during the prolonged period of injury time but although they played better overall in the 2nd half, it was not enough to take something from the game.
Smith; Stoddart; O’Brien; Wear; Errington; Fulcher (Dixon); Holland (Jones); Imray (Johnson); Robinson; Blackett; Deagle. Unused sub: Yates.