|15 August 2023
|Northern League Division One
The Stan’s 1st away league match of the season saw them to travel to Teesside to take on Redcar Athletic. Both teams were desperate for a win & although it was not a match to remember the Stan did enough to secure all 3 points. There were 4 changes from Saturday’s home draw with Carlisle, with Sayer, Burn, Slaughter & Stephenson replacing Doyle, Hornsby, Cassidy & Bisset.
The match started with both teams trying to attack but with them just cancelling each other out. The Stan did have a corner after only 2 minutes which was eventually cleared. Redcar had the 1st clear effort in 8 minutes when they shot over the bar after some good build up. The Stan then had a free kick into the box which was blocked then Scott shot well wide.
During a quieter period, Brass had to catch from a Redcar free kick in 15 minutes & 4 minutes later he punched clear from a corner. Soon after Reid, who was playing as a centre half, had to head clear. Both teams were again trying to score but both defences were stopping them including some good work by Slaughter.
By 30 minutes, it was Redcar who were putting slightly more pressure on, but it was the Stan who scored 1st in 32 minutes. Sayer sent a speculative shot into a busy Redcar box & although the keeper caught the ball, he dropped it allowing Lamb to slot it into the net. A minute later & Redcar were back level as an attack into the Stan box saw the ball blocked 3 times before a home player’s shot was deflected into the net off Reid.
After a Stan attack that was blocked, Kane had to head clear a Redcar headed effort from a corner in 37 minutes. Hopper then also had to clear. At the other end, balls were often being sent too far & high for Lamb to connect with although he never stopped running for the rest of the half & indeed all night.
The 2nd half started with both teams knowing that the match was there to win although this was rarely put into action. In 48 minutes, Brass caught from a corner followed by Stephenson shooting wide under pressure at the other end. The Stan had started positively but the Redcar defence was holding strong.
After 54 minutes, Redcar had 2 attacks cleared but this was followed by a quiet period. This changed in 62 minutes when Evans sent a ball into the home box for Hopper but the ball was blocked for a corner. Stephenson took it & the ball was put into the net at the far post by Hopper to make it 2-1 to the Stan.
In 65 minutes, Brass had to get down to save followed by 2 clearances by the Stan. For the rest of the match, when the opportunity arose, Redcar tried sending balls from long high throw-ins into the box. The 1st one in 67 minutes ended in a shot in the crowded Stan box going just wide. Both teams though were cancelling each other out although a Redcar long range effort in 72 minutes went just wide.
A few minutes later the Stan had some pressure & in 77 minutes a ball from a Stan corner was deflected just wide for another corner. Redcar then had an attack blocked before a Stephenson free kick at the other end was headed out for a corner. In 82 minutes, a Lamb counterattack saw him cynically brought down. Redcar then had a few minutes of sustained pressure.
The Stan though were always looking to counter, mainly through Lamb, & in 89 minutes a Stephenson long ball to him saw him chip the keeper but the ball went just wide. 2 minutes later, & another long pass from Stephenson saw Lamb get by a defender who then brought Lamb down just outside the home box when he only had the keeper to beat. The player was sent off although Lamb’s resulting free kick went over the wall & wide.
Lamb was brought down again in 94 minutes. The long drive back to Tyneside for the sizeable Stan Army was delayed as the referee added on an unexpected 10 minutes of additional time which was mainly taken up by fouls.
It was a stop-start game & not a good one to watch for the 300 crowd, but the Stan held in to win & move up to 8th in the table. Next off the Stan are on the road to Wembley (or metro for most of the Stan Army) as they cross the Tyne on Friday night to take on Hebburn Town.