The Stan welcomed league newcomers Redcar Town to fortress Grounsell in front of another bumper crowd. There were 2 changes from Wednesday’s home win with Hornsby & McBryde replacing Stoddart and Hopper.
The 1st 18 minutes were relatively quiet with the Stan having slightly more of the ball & shooting wide after 9 minutes although the visitors had an early corner after 3 minutes & shot well over after 8 minutes. Things livened up in the 19th minute when a joined up attack involving 4 players saw the ball going just wide followed by Regan having to make a good save at the other end. It was 1-0 to the Stan in 20 minutes when Proctor supplied Holmes in the box who confidently put the ball into the right hand corner of the net via the post. Soon after, Redcar had a free kick which saw Regan go out to the edge of his box to catch the ball. In 24 minutes Proctor advanced into the box but a defender cleared & 2 minutes later Stephenson shot just over when it looked like he had scored. The Stan forced a corner but then Regan had to clear. The 33rd minute saw some Redcar pressure with a corner ball being headed clear followed by Esdaille clearing the follow up. A Stan counter was short lived as the ball was soon back in the Stan half & a defensive mistake allowed a Redcar player into the box but Regan saved his shot & got to the rebound ball 1st. It was then back to the Stan & they were 2-0 up in 38 minutes. A Stan attack was initially blocked but Carr won the ball & advanced into the box but couldn’t get his shot in from within the 6 yard box so he eventually passed to McBryde whose shot saw the keeper get down to the ball but he couldn’t stop it going over the line. After a quieter spell, Bailey was blocked in the 6 yard box for a corner. From it, the keeper punched clear but Proctor put the ball back in for Esadille to head to McBryde who made it 3-0 after 43 minutes.
The 2nd have started quieter although the visitors eventually had a few attacks with the Stan not having one until the 52nd minute. Both teams were trying to attack but were not getting anywhere until the 57th minute when Proctor was brought down in the box & Holmes confidently converted the resulting penalty for 4-0. Redcar then immediately attacked & hit the post. The Stan then attacked & Proctor was again brought down but it was judged to have taken place just outside the box. Esdaille & a Redcar player were booked during the resulting fracas & the Stephenson free kick ended with Holmes shooting wide. After a double Stan substitution, which resulted in Burns & Sharpe both trying to create chances until full time, Redcar attacked & won a corner. From it, Regan sent a long ball up to substitute Sharpe but he could not get to the ball due to defensive pressure. As the Stan attacked again & Stephenson was fouled. Wetherald was sent off for Redcar after having words with the referee. In 67 minutes, Burns made a great run down the right & crossed into the box for Sharpe but the ball was cleared. The ball came back in but Hornsby’s shot was easily caught by the keeper. The Stan kept the pressure on & had 2 attempts that were headed the wrong way. A Redcar counter then saw Regan have to catch the ball. In 75 minutes Redcar got a corner which Esdaille cleared but from the resulting 2nd one a minute later they scored a consolation goal through Lee. Burn replaced Carr in 80 minutes & immediately helped search for a 5th Stan goal wining a corner. He was then brought down on the edge of the box but a corner was given & from it McBryde headed wide. In 83 minutes Redcar shot over the bar before the Stan attacked again. The last 10 minutes, including added time, was quieter but all the clear attacks were by the Stan including in 87 minutes when the keeper got down to save a Burns effort. Into injury time & McBryde headed over from a corner & Burns shot well over the bar & the match ended 4-1 to the Stan.
As well as achieving a comfortable victory, the Stan have won 3 of their last 4 league games 4-1 & are undefeated in their last 10 matches. The Stan remain top of the league at the beginning of a busy 7 days which also sees them travel to Jarrow on Wednesday & Barnoldswick in Lancashire on Saturday in the FA Vase.