Heaton Stannington A 2-0 North Sunderland
Northern Alliance Neville Cowey Cup Group One
Saturday 17 April 2021
A sunny afternoon saw the Stan reserves play their 3rd Neville Cowey cup match, but it was the first time Grounsell Park had been used in 2021. Just to confuse things, the visitors from up the Northumberland Coast were in black and white (even though they had Sunderland in their name) as they had only turned up with their home strips. As a result, the Stan played in their away strip and there were 2 changes from Saturday with Anjos replacing Dunne and Walker replacing Munir. It was the same referee as last Saturday and again he made some controversial decisions.
The Stan started on the attack with the visiting keeper having to clear followed by another Stan effort going just wide. The visitors broke free in 6 minutes but were off side. North Sunderland (NS) now had a period of sustained pressure but they didn’t have an actual shot until an effort from a free kick on the edge of the box was headed out for a corner in 9 minutes. 2 minutes later and Walker won the ball and passed to Harper who ran into the box but was tackled for a corner. Poole then sent a free kick into the NS box that was headed out for a corner which also saw the ball headed out but by the Stan. In 19 minutes the Stan had another corner but Poole headed just over. The Stan were in control now and a NS pass back under pressure resulted in the 1st of 2 Stan corners with Poole heading just wide from the 2nd due to a deflection. In 28 minutes, Jones’s header from a corner was cleared when it looked like going in. 3 minutes later Bruce’s shot was deflected for a corner and in 35 minutes the visiting keeper caught under pressure. Although the Stan were having most of the chances, NS were seeking to attack and had a rare but great effort from the edge of the box in 39 minutes which looked like it was going in until Ripken somehow stretched and got his hand to it for a corner. Soon after a long NS effort saw Ripken come out to easily clear. Bruce then shot wide and although the Stan had the most shots on goal by far, it was NS who should have been ahead at half time when an effort in the box was blasted over when it looked easier to score.
2 minutes into the 2nd half and a joined up Stan attack saw a Walker effort under pressure go across goal. In 49 minutes, Ripken stopped a shot from a corner. In 55 minutes the Stan refreshed their attack with 2 substitutions although it was then Jones who hit the post from a long range effort. It led to a corner which saw the ball put just wide. The Stan were defending well when they had to but in 61 minutes Munir supplied Harper whose shot was deflected for a corner from which Harris put the ball over the bar. Poole then suppled Munir who advanced up the left and his ball into the box was deflected for a corner which then saw the ball headed off the line. Westphal, who was working hard, had a long range effort easily saved in 64 minutes. 3 minutes later a Munir shot under pressure was deflected for a corner that was not given. The Stan kept attacking and in 71 minutes the pressure paid off when Poole was brought down in the box. Harper scored from the penalty to make it 1-0. Jones then hit the post under pressure and soon after there was a dreadful tackle on Poole but nothing was given. Harper then shot just wide as the Stan continued to seek a 2nd goal although the defence continued to work well when the visitors were able to advance. In 85 minutes a great ball by Westphal to Munir saw the keeper block but by handling just outside the box which saw him booked. Poole took the resulting free kick which he superbly curved round the wall and straight into the net for 2-0. Forster made a great tackle to stop a NS attack but then from a corner Ripken had to block an effort which then saw the ball put over the bar for another corner. Harper then ran up the other end but the keeper blocked the ball with his foot in the box. In 88 minutes Harper was brought down in the box but nothing was given. Both teams had a couple of final efforts but the score remained 2-0. It was a deserved win for the Stan but NS put up a strong fight and made the match competitive. With 3 wins out of 3, the Stan are 2nd in their group and 1 point off leaders Morpeth but with a game in hand.
Stan: Ripken; Doyle; Forster; Anjos; Harris; Riley; Walker (Westphal 55); Poole; Harper; Jones (Da Costa 79); Bruce (Munir 55). Subs Not Used: Dannatt; Ward.
AFC Newbiggin Central 0-4 Heaton Stannington A
Northern Alliance Neville Cowey Cup Group One
Wednesday 14 April 2021
The Stan reserves 2nd Neville Cowy cup match saw them travel up the coast to fellow division 3 team Newbiggin. There were some positional moves but only 1 change from Saturday with Dunne replacing Anjos.
The Stan demonstrated their intentions immediately when an effort was cleared off the home goal line in the 1st minute. From the resultant corner, a good headed effort from Harper was cleared by the keeper. The Stan were ahead in 4 minutes when a ball across the box allowed Jones to tap into an empty net. In 17 minutes Harper smashed an effort against the bar. 5 minutes later he broke down the right and crossed to Munir but the ball hit off his shoulder and went over the bar. After a quieter period, the 1st half finished with Jones shooting over the bar.
The start of the 2nd half was also quieter until 56 minutes when the home team had a rare long range effort which saw Ripken make a great save, backtracking to put the ball onto the bar. After the 1st 2 substitutions in 59 minutes, sub Walker crossed to Bruce who passed to Riley in front of goal but he blasted the ball over. Bailey and Westphal from the 1st team joined the action in 65 minutes. 4 minutes later Da Costa passed to Walker who with an easy effort made it 2-0. In 75 minutes scorer turned supplier when a great ball by Walker into the box saw Westphal score at his 2nd attempt. In 80 minutes, Bailey held the ball up and laid off Westphal who shot over. In 93 minutes it was 4-0 when Harris scored to give the Stan a great win.
The Stan were deserved winners starting and finishing very strong although there was a scrapy period in the middle of the match and the subs made important contributions for the last 3 goals. After 2 matches and 2 wins, the Stan are in 3rd place in the 7 team group but 1 point off 1st place.
Stan: Ripken; Dunne; Forster; Doyle (Bailey 65); Riley; Harris; Jones (Walker 59); Poole (Dannatt 72); Bruce (Westphal 65); Harper; Munir (Da Costa 59).
Kevin Mochrie/ Scott Lyndon