|18 August 2023
The FA Cup dream is alive & kicking as the Stan continue on the road to Wembley after a fantastic win over higher league opposition in the form of Hebburn Town from the Northern Premier East league. There were 2 changes from Tuesday’s league win at Redcar with Shepherd and Lashley replacing Mark Turnbull and the injured Hopper. There was also a start from the bench for Louis Anderson who is back at the club this week after returning from his travels.
The match started with both teams mainly cancelling each other out although Brass had to get down to save in 5 minutes & Lamb had an off-side shot in 11 minutes. After some Stan pressure, Brass had to get down to save in 16 minutes although 2 minutes later Scott headed wide from a Stan free kick. It remained pretty even although both teams were trying to attack.
After Slaughter had made 2 good clearances at the other end, a Stephenson free kick into the box was headed clear in 34 minutes. A dreadful tackle on Sawyer in 38 minutes saw the offending player red carded. Both teams ended the half trying to attack but without really threatening & there was nothing really separating the 2 them with both having everything to play for in the 2nd half.
The 2nd half started with Brass putting the ball over his bar for a corner. Hebburn had another couple of attacks, but it was the Stan who took the lead in 53 minutes through a brilliant goal. Stephenson’s free kick was headed into the Hebburn net by Burn who rose majestically to do so.
The Stan weren’t going to leave things there & in 56 minutes a great run down the middle by Lashley saw him brought down just outside the box but nothing was given. In 60 minutes, there was the start of a period of sustained Stan pressure. In 65 minutes, Sawyer was brought down just outside the home box but the keeper got to the ball from the resulting free kick.
It was all mainly Stan pressure now with some great joined up football. In 75 minutes, the home keeper had to get down to stop a Stephenson effort. It was then Brass’s turn for heroics. He made a great save from a Hebburn free kick. The ball from the resulting corner was blocked on the line by a helpful Hebburn player who was also off-side.
Brass then made a great save to stop a long-range home effort & he then put the close range rebound shot over the bar. Lamb counter attacked from the resulting corner & crossed to the advancing Lashley who confidently blasted the ball into the net to make it 2-0 in 79 minutes. Both teams were trying to attack & there were 2 bad tackles on sub Doyle.
There was some sustained pressure from Hebburn in 86 minutes, but they could not pierce the Stan defence. Lamb shot just wide in 89 minutes followed by Brass having to save at the other end. The action continued into the 3 minutes of added time, but the match ended with a 2-0 victory for the Stan.
What a performance by the Stan who deserved their win. In the 1st half they easily matched their opposition & in the 2nd, regardless of the player advantage, they played out of their socks across the park with special credit being given to keeper & man of the match Lewis Brass who pulled off some fantastic saves. The sizeable & loud Stan Army were ecstatic at full time & the whole Stan squad went over to the far corner to show their appreciation. There is more cup action next Saturday & the start of another route to Wembley as the Stan host Thackley Town in the FA Vase.