Heaton Stannington’s 20 league match undefeated run came to a sudden end at Chester Moor against a side who started the match in 15th place, but in reality played well above that position, scoring 2 second half goals, with Stann replying with a late goal from Connor Campbell. A large following of away supporters in a crowd of 172.
The Cestrians started well with Owen Henderson firing across and beyond the far post in the first minute. Stann hit back with a nifty run and cross from Dean Holmes which Campbell drove just past the upright.
On 10 minutes a poor clearance from Dan Regan was collected by Joshua Akal who crossed for Matthew Ward to strike well over the bar. Home keeper Jack Wilson copied Regan with a poor kick, straight to Holmes, just inside the hosts half, one touch to control, volleyed it just wide with Wilson a spectator.
On 14 minutes Mason Stephenson fouled Campbell. Free kick taken by Dan Stephenson to Jay Hornsby whose cross was collected by Wilson under pressure from Campbell.
Campbell was pulled back by Daniel Hepplewhite 25 yards out, Stephenson and Holmes standing over the ball, with Holmes shooting wide of the post.
A great opportunity for the Cestrians on 25 minutes with a Michael Hepplewhite shot going wide but Akal headed it back and wide of the far post.
Stann had a good move, started and finished by Michael Hall on 29 minutes. He collected the ball in his own half, came forward with the ball, linked well with Campbell and as he bore down on goal his second touch let him down and a goal kick resulted. Unlucky.
Laquan Esdaille stopped Ward getting a through ball, allowing Regan to collect. Holmes had a crisp drive just over the bar before Esdaille again marshalled another through ball, this time for Michael Hepplewhite, with Regan collecting.
A tough half for Stann, not at their best, not because of Liam McBryde and Leighton Hopper not playing, but their opponents had worked hard and played well, and in the second half they were playing down hill, their favourite practice.
Ryan Bailey had a shot over the bar and within minutes he was booked for a foul on Joseph Howey.
On the hour a major let off for the league leaders when a poor kick from Regan was picked up by Akal on the left, who crossed for Ward in a central position but somehow he shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Stann replaced James Proctor with debutant Jason Chanayire on 62 minutes. He was promptly in the action, and from a Cestrian corner he broke away with amazing pace up the pitch. Though nothing came of it, he looks like a player who will light up Groundsell Park with his pace.
On 69 minutes Kevin Carr and Andy Burn replaced David Luke and Bailey.
However, the hosts opened the scoring 3 minutes later with a free kick hit fiercely goalwards by Henderson, and Regan wonderfully pushed away the ball but the unmarked Jack Mitchell stroked a low shot into the corner of the net. 1-0 and it had been coming.
Chris Stephenson was booked for a foul but Burn hit the free kick wide of the post.
Chester le Street doubled their lead on 79 minutes when Stann failed to clear a ball in their box, with substitute Elliott Judson drilled a low shot through the legs of Regan.
Campbell set up Carr but his low drive went wide of the post. In the 90th minute Holmes crossed from the left with Campbell heading in from close range for his 5th goal of the season. 2-1
For myself, it was the coldest match day of the season, amazed my pen did not freeze up as my fingers certainly did.
Chester le Street fully deserved their win today, inflicting a third defeat of the season on Stann, who played well below the level seen throughout the first half of the season.
Credit: Joe Street