|5 August 2023
|Tow Law Town
FA Cup fever returned to Grounsell Park as the Stan recorded their biggest ever win in the tournament as they hosted old rivals Tow Law.
Brass was injured in the warm-up, so Corkhill was a late replacement in goal. There were 4 other changes from last Saturday’s 1st league match of the season with Craig Scott, making his competitive debut, Stephenson, Mark Turnbull and Bisset replacing Shepherd, Hornsby, Burn and Doyle.
The Stan started positively & after only 3 minutes were in front when, from a Bisset corner, Scott headed downwards towards goal & Hopper stuck his boot out to put the ball in the net. The Stan kept the pressure on & Hopper shot just wide under pressure in 7 minutes. It was mainly all Stan with Tow Law’s 1st attack not coming until the 14th minute. This was followed by a Scott header, from a cross provided by Jake Turnbull, which was caught by the visitor’s keeper. Lamb then shot just wide.
Tow Law then won a corner from which they eventually shot wide & soon after Mark Turnbull had to head clear. It was then back to Stan pressure which included Mark Turnbull heading just wide & Jake Turnbull shooting wide. The 2nd goal did come in 29 minutes when Evans crossed into a busy box & the ball was forced over the line by a stooping header from Hopper.
It was 3-0 in 32 minutes when a Bissett corner ball into the box saw Scott head on to Mark Turnbull who headed into the net. There was then a quieter period but still with the Stan in control. In added time there was some late pressure from Tow Law although the half ended with the visiting keeper having to make saves from Jake Turnbull & then Reid.
It was normal service from the Stan from the start of the 2nd half, as in 47 minutes Scott headed just wide from a Bisset free kick. 2 minutes later & it was 4-0 when Reid advanced towards the Tow Law bye line & sent the ball back to the advancing Lamb who slotted the ball into the net. He then had another shot blocked followed by Jake Turnbull being brought down in the box but nothing was given. Lamb then had a deflected shot go just wide for a Bisset corner & from which Reid’s header was blocked on the line.
In 55 minutes, Tow Law had a rare shot which went wide followed by a Stephenson shot being blocked by the visiting keeper. Jake Turnbull then had a long-range effort which went wide followed by another which went through a crowded Tow Law box & hit the post. It was all Stan pressure now & Scott headed just wide in 68 minutes.
In 73 minutes, sub Lashley made a great run into the box & confidently slotted the ball past the Tow Law keeper for 5-0. 2 minutes later & Tow Law shot wide. More Stan pressure followed including a Bisset shot that was cleared from just in front of The Tow Law goal mouth in 80 minutes. Cassidy & Bisset came close but the match ended 5-0 to the Stan.
Given the dull, showery and cool weather, events on the pitch warmed & brightened up the Stan Army as every player gave a good performance to assist in achieving a comfortable win. It could though have been bigger even more though Tow Law kept their heads up throughout but were out played by a confident home team. After 103 years of involvement and 28 ties, the FA Cup still excites the fans & players & the Wembley dream continues on 19 August when the Stan travel across the water to Northern Premier East Hebburn Town. Firstly though, on Wednesday night there is an immediate return by Tow Law to High Heaton but this time in league action.