Competition: FA Vase

Emley vs Heaton Stannington

Heaton Stannington fans travelled to West Yorkshire to give Emley their best FA Vase attendance of the season, 438, but they witnessed the end of their Vase journey for this season, at the same stage as last season, conceding a lone second half goal.

Expectations were high, Leighton Hopper had a superb solo run in the opening minute, leaving 3 men behind but was unable to test keeper Declan Lambton, but a big blow on 5 minutes as he tackled Paul Walker, and had to be substituted by Liam Doyle.  

Emley started brightly and exerted pressure in the early period of the first half, their midfield well on top, with Stan missing the suspended Richie Slaughter. 

On 14 minutes right back Samuel Pashley did well to deny Andy Burn a shot, but conceded a corner on the right. Dan Stephenson took it, setting up Sean Reid to run onto and head the ball low and wide. Joe Shepherd did well with a high ball as Lambton looked to get in and score. 

On 21 minutes nearly a great through ball for Konner Lamb but the ball hit his heel as he surged forward. Just inches away from a most interesting opportunity for Stan.

Tom Flynn was again outstanding, but needed some treatment but was able to continue. 

Emley captain Alex Metcalfe, put in an excellent cross but Ruben Jerome headed inches over the bar. Shepherd blocked a shot by Joe Clegg, and Craig Scott did similarly with 2 shots. Stan mistake at the back but Flynn made another good save. 

An Emley corner on 42 minutes, but Stan breakaway, Lamb to Stephenson, but Metcalfe got back to deny Stan.  

Three minutes added on with Stan winning a free kick but Stephenson fired over the bar. 

HT 0-0 

On 51 minutes Doyle drove a shot over the bar. Three minutes later good fortune for Emley, when they built up well from a throw in, the ball ricocheting to Metcalfe who poked in from close range. 0-1

Emley the better side but a cruel way to concede.

On the hour the first of 6 bookings in the match, Joseph Kenny, Emley

Flynn saved a couple of low shots, one from Emley leading goal scorer, Iyrwah Gooden, was well saved.

Mark Turnbull won a corner on the right, Stephenson took giving Scott a header which Lambton saved.

Nathan Greenwood made his debut, replacing Shepherd on 64 minutes. He soon had a low shot saved by Lambton.

69 minutes Kane Evans was booked.

Then a good link between Stephenson and Louis Anderson, great ball for Greenwood who shot from a narrow angle, which helped Lambton make a save.  

On 73 minutes another Stan opportunity when Anderson crossed for Burn, but he didn’t connect properly. 

75 minutes Lamb cut inside with his strong shot hitting a defender, did he use his arm, Far corner thought so, but referee pointed to his shoulder and ignored Stan appeals for a penalty.

On 77 minutes, a foul by Turnbull, which produced a yellow card for him. The free kick, a cross for Jack Cowgill to head goalwards but Flynn made his best save of the game, outstanding!

On 80 minutes Scott was booked, then Reid, with Jerome booked for kicking the ball away, in an attept to run the clock down.

In the dying moments Anderson with his back to goal managed a bicycle kick but Lambton made a good save.

Stan did throw everything into the closing minutes but were unable to snatch an equaliser.  

Brian Pratt

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Heaton Stannington vs Darwen FC

The Stan remain on the road to Wembley after a comfortable win over Darwen of the North West Counties League Premier Division in the 1st round proper of the Vase. The Stan have now played & beaten 2 ex-league teams in the Vase having won 2-1 at Nelson in 2016 & are in the 2nd round for the 1st time since the 1981-82 season. There were 7 changes from last Tuesday’s Senior Cup match at Benfield with only Hornsby, Stephenson, Shepherd & Anderson starting both games. Tom Flynn replaced injured Lewis Brass in goals.

The match was played in surprisingly dry conditions & started with both teams trying to attack. Darwen had the 1st attack although it was the Stan who, from a Stephenson free kick, had the ball in the net in the 2nd minute courtesy of Hopper but Anderson was flagged for off-side. The Stan attacked again twice then Flynn had to get up to catch a high ball in 5 minutes. 2 minutes later & Darwen shot wide. 

The lively start continued as both teams tried to attack when they could. In 14 minutes, a long-range Slaughter effort beat the Darwen keeper & hit the left post. Darwen had an attack cleared in 17 minutes, but it was the Stan who took the lead a minute later. A home attack saw Lamb calmly blast the ball with his left foot through a number of defenders to make it 1-0 to the Stan. A minute later & Hopper broke through but was blocked as he entered the 6-yard box. Soon after another Stan attack was headed away in front of goal. 

The match was being played at a high tempo & in 23 minutes it was the Stan who scored again. Hopper ran through &, with defenders on either side of him, he kept his calm, entered the box & slotted the ball past the Darwen keeper. Darwen hadn’t given up though & in 28 minutes a free kick into the box was cleared for a corner. From the corner, the Stan headed clear from in front of the goal before a Darwen player headed over the bar. 

Both teams kept attacking when they could & in 36 minutes a Stephenson free kick went just over the bar. In 39 minutes, a clash involving Slaughter eventually saw the referee consulting the linesman before sending him off. Darwen tried to take advantage of their extra man & in 43 minutes Reid had to head out for a corner. From the corner, Flynn expertly pushed the ball clear. Into added time & Darwen attacked again but the half ended with the Stan leading 2-0.

The 2nd half started like the 1st with both teams trying to attack although the Stan defence had to work harder due to the sending off, but they were soaking up the pressure. In 53 minutes, Shepherd headed clear before a Darwen player shot well over. In 57 minutes, there was a long ball to Lamb, but he was brought down as he was about to advance into the visitor’s box. As a result, the referee sent off a Darwen player & the numbers on each team were even again. The Stan shot well over from the resulting free kick. 

In 66 minutes, another bad tackle on Lamb just outside the visitor’s box saw a Darwen player receiving a yellow. Stephenson sent the resulting free kick towards the goal, but the Darwen keeper punched the ball away. Both teams were trying to attack but cancelling each other out. In 73 minutes Lashley replaced Lamb. A minute later, a diagonal ball from Reid gave the advancing Lashley his 1st touch of the ball since coming on & with it he comfortably sent the ball into the net for 3-0. What a goal! 

In 78 minutes, Darwen had 2 corners with the 2nd headed clear. From it, the ball went back into the box & a shot by a Darwen player went just wide. In 82 minutes, sub Sayer sent the ball into the box but no one was there to connect with it & it was eventually cleared. Soon after, Sayer crossed to Hopper who flicked on the ball to Reid, but his effort was saved by the Darwen keeper. From the resulting corner, Hopper headed over. 

In 87 minutes, the Darwen keeper got to the ball just before Hopper. A Darwen attack was then blocked by Shepherd. Into 5 added minutes & a Burn header from a corner was blocked. The match ended with a Darwen long range effort going well over the bar.

The Stan deserved their cup win with all the team working hard although Flynn in the Stan goal was rarely tested. Although each side had a player sent off, it was not a dirty game & most fans appeared surprised at both decisions. The Stan now travel in the 2nd round to Emley, near Huddersfield, of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.

Kevin Mochrie

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Heaton Stannington vs Ilkley Town

Although the match took place at Grounsell Park, the Stan Army were thinking of Wembley and FA Vase glory as the team took on Yorkshire based Ilkley Town from the North West Counties league division 1. It took a stylish 2nd half performance, after a 1st half Ilkley equaliser, for the Stan to tie up the match comfortably with a 4 goal cushion including a Hopper hat trick. Stan fielded an unchanged team from the one that had won 5-0 against Seaham 8 days previously.

The Stan showed they meant business from the kick off & Reid had a shot blocked after 2 minutes. 2 minutes later & Hopper also had a shot blocked. The ball from the resulting corner was headed clear but it went back in & Hopper headed just over via the crossbar.  Hopper & Lamb then had shots blocked as the Stan piled on the pressure. Reid then put the ball in the net but offside was given. 

Ilkley then had a corner but as expected, it was the Stan who took the lead in 12 minutes. The Ilkley keeper blocked Lamb, but he put the ball back to Anderson who put it in the net. Ilkley started to get into the game although it was the Stan who hit the bar from a Stephenson free kick in 18 minutes. 

Ilkley were back on level terms after 20 minutes when a good counter attacking move saw an advancing Ilkley player receive the ball in the box & he sent the ball towards the right of Brass & it squeezed into the net. 2 minutes later Hopper hit the post but much of the rest of the 1st half was more balanced & played at a slower pace. 

In 36 minutes, Hopper beat a player & sent the ball into the box but it was missed by Lamb who then recovered the ball but put it over. Ilkley shot wide but the Stan were getting more of the ball again. Even so, Evans & Turnbull had to make good defensive tackles. 

In 39 minutes, a Stan corner was cleared & then Reid’s header was blocked. Soon after Lamb hit the bar & Reid shot just wide. In 45 minutes, Anderson was brought down in the box & the Stan were able to finish the half in the lead when, a minute later, Hopper comfortably scored with his penalty kick.

3 minutes into the 2nd half, Hopper shot just wide followed by Ilkley having a ball from a corner cleared. The Stan though increased their lead in 50 minutes from a joined-up attack involving Stephenson supplying Lamb who passed to Reid who then gave the ball to Hopper allowing him to slot the ball past the keeper. 

3 minutes later an Ilkley ball went across the goal missing everyone followed by Lamb shooting over at the other end. In 56 minutes, Hopper made a great run into the box, beating 3 players in the process, & sent a cross to Lamb who put the ball over the bar from close range. The Stan shot over again a minute later but this was then followed by a quieter period. 

With 20 minutes to go, both teams were trying to attack but there was then another quieter period until in 79 minutes the Stan went 4-1 up. Stephenson crossed into the box & Lamb headed the ball into the net. 

In 82 minutes, there was a speculative high shot by Ilkley but Brass caught it. A Stan attack was cleared then Reid had a shot easily caught. In 87 minutes the Stan made it 5-1 when Lamb advancing on the right sent the ball back to Hopper on the edge of the box who comfortably curled it into the net. The hat trick was a good ending to a great performance throughout the match by Hopper. 

In 93 minutes, Lamb & Hopper combined to try & allow each other to score but their multiple efforts in front of goal were frustrated by the defence & eventually it was left to Sayer to blast the ball over the ball. In the last of 5 minutes of added time, an Ilkley player was sin binned then Reid’s long range shot went just over.

For the 2nd game in a row, the Stan scored 5 goals to record another comfortable win. Ilkley had never played in the 2nd qualifying round before, and it was the Stan who proceeded to the 1st round proper for the 2nd time in 3 seasons. The Stan again take on Yorkshire opponents on Wednesday night when they travel to Northallerton on league action.

Kevin Mochrie

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