Heaton Stannington 4-1 Billingham Synthonia
Saturday 3 December 2016
We are barely into the mammoth run of winter home games that has seen the Stan’s fair share of disappointment first against the physically resolute and disciplined Easington Colliery and the following defeat by a dogged Tow Law side who came with a plan and stuck to it. With the 3rd home game in 8 days against fancied league challenging and 3rd place opposition, you would be forgiven in thinking the Stan might not overturn their current poor home form against the Synners. There were 5 changes from Wednesday night.
The first 20 minutes was almost one way traffic as the visitors dominated play and had corner after corner. After 11 minutes, the Synners worried the Stan’s defences with a difficult free kick which was superbly saved by Smith. This was followed up by quick thinking from the shot stopper from a free head. Barely able to get out of their half, the Stan fell foul to a counter down the left in 15 minutes as O’Sullivan picked out Conor Winters who placed the ball in the back of the net. There was more of the same after the restart with Synthonia barely letting the Stan have the ball. Wasted chances from both sides, and a stoic midfield from the visitors, made it look like the Stan might be on the end of another disappointing home defeat until a thunderbolt from Deagle from 25 yards, into the top right corner of the net, left their keeper with no chance. There was further pressure from Billingham after the equaliser which, to the relief of the Stan Army, came to nothing, This was thanks in part to the goal line heroics from Smith and as a result the Stan could be happy that somehow both teams went into the break honours even.
The 2nd half started off in a similar fashion with Synthonia wasting a free kick a few minutes in by firing it well over the bar. In the 63rd minute, the Stan produced their move of the match as slick movement allowed Robinson to cut free into the right edge of the box and dispatch a cheeky placed chip over the keeper. The home side now had the lead and a very different Stan side was emerging compared to the previous 2 games. 8 minutes later and a free kick for Stan was headed down by Yates, who worked hard all afternoon, into the feet of Imray who tucked the ball into the back of the net. Although it was 3-1, the Stan were aware of the Synner’s ability and as a result another goal would ideally be needed to put the game to bed. Right on cue on the 74th minute, a counter from the Stan allowed a long cross into the box towards the head of Lee Johnson who headed the ball home and all but killed the game off for the opposition. Synthonia attempted a comeback with a goal being disallowed for offside and yet another free kick being blasted over the bar. The Stan also had a chance to make it 5 as man of the match Robinson lost his marker on a counter attack before blasting the ball into the side netting.
The final whistle saw the Stan win 4-1. A determined 2nd half display from the Stan earned them a much needed home win and it was against a strong opposition. There is more home action coming up with a mid-week tie against Paddy Atkinson’s in form Terriers in the Ernest Armstrong Memorial Cup before a return to concentrating on the league as the Stan welcome Northallerton to Grounsell Park on Saturday. Howay the Stan!
Smith; Stoddart; Williams; Imray; Errington; Dixon (Y); Jones (Wear); Johnson (Y); Robinson; Yates; Deagle. Unused subs: O’Brien; Fulcher.