After a comfortable home win against Blyth on Wednesday in front of the biggest crowd in England that night at tier 6, the Stan welcomed Willington who beat Jarrow 6-1 Jarrow on the same night. The 2 changes saw McAndrew replacing Stoddart & Hopper returning from injury instead of Proctor.
The Stan started lively and were ahead almost immediately in 4 minutes after Hopper was brought down in the box. He took the penalty himself and sent Robinson the wrong way. 3 minutes later McBryde’s effort is saved by Robinson & Sharp’s rebound shot goes over the bar. Hopper then wins a corner from which he headed over the bar. Sharpe blasted over from another corner in 11 minutes. The 1st Willington attack came in 12 minutes when they got a corner which Regan eventually caught the ball from. The Stan were in control of the match & there was a good move when Hornsby sent a ball into the box to Stephenson who past to McBryde who blasted over. In 20 minutes, there was a deliberate low hand ball in the crowded Willington box which led to their manager being sent off by the referee for foul language. The resulting penalty in 21 minutes was taken by Hopper who chose to shoot towards the opposite corner from for his 1st penalty &Robinson saved it. Almost immediately he had to clear from a Stan corner although the visitors then countered but their long range effort went well over. In 27 minutes, McBryde shot from outside the box but Robinson managed to put the ball over to stop an almost certain goal. From the resulting corner, the ball was initially cleared but was sent back into the box by McAndrew for McBryde to head into the net for 2-0. The visitors didn’t give up & in 29 minutes they sent a free kick into the Stan box & from the resulting corner Hall cleared. In 31 minutes both Sharpe & Stephenson were blocked & so was the resulting corner as the Stan kept the pressure on. In 34 minutes Burn’s free kick went just wide. Willington only had 3 attacks in the last 10 minutes of the half but 1 went in after 36 minutes when an attack was eventually blocked but the ball came back in & Cummings sent the ball past the advancing Regan for 2-1. Hopper had been struggling & eventually had to get replaced by Campbell in 39 minutes. In 41 minutesRobinson caught a Stan shot then a McBryde shot from a corner was deflected for another. The Stan were ahead at half time but should have had more than a 1 goal lead.
The 2nd half started quietly until a Willington free kick into the Stan box was cleared. The 1st 10 minutes saw Willington getting most of the ball. This didn’t matter as after 54 minutes, Burn tried a speculative but good shot from outside the box which saw Robinson stay still & the ball went in the net for 3-1. There was then some Willington pressure which eventually was halted by a Regan catch. The visitors attacked again but Hornsby cleared. In 60 minutes Stephenson shot from the edge of the box but Robinson easily caught. After some Willington pressure, Campbell sent a ball in to the box to McBryde who put it just over under pressure. In 71 minutes there was a great joined up goal when Sharpe passed to Stephenson who supplied the advancing McBryde who tapped the ball into the net from 6 yards. In 75 minutes, Stephenson advanced into the box but the ball was deflected for a corner from which Burn shot through the crowded box & forced a good save from Robinson. The Stan’s lead was slightly reduced in 77 minutes when a high ball to theadvancing Cummings saw him get his foot up to put it past Regan in mid–air. In 79 minutes a long free kick into the visitor’s crowded box was headedby McBryde towards the keeper who couldn’t hold but Stephenson eventually sliced a follow up effort just wide. After a Stan corner ball was headed clear & a Willington long range effort went wide, the visitor’s were denied in 84 minutes by a great stretching save from Regan. In 86 minutes Regan sent a long ball towards Campbell who was flattened in the Willington box but nothing was given. At the other end a Willington ball across the box was missed by everyone. Campbell was still trying to advance but the score remained 4-2 at full time. Although weather wise it was a miserable afternoon, there was still sunshine at GrounsellPark after a comfortable victory, although they should have been well clear by half time, and the Stan are still unbeaten at home after 4 league matches and are now 5th in the league but only 1 point off top spot.