NL2 
5 February 2022, 3:00 pm
Heaton Stannington
3 - 1
Tow Law Town
Grounsell Park
Attendance: 284
Heaton Stannington First Team
Referee: David Fittes

Match Report

In a match marred by a very strong wind blowing down the pitch, but nevertheless both sides put on an entertaining match for 284 fans, with Heaton Stannington having to battle hard to come out victorious in a tough game, inflicting a first defeat on the visitors since 18 September, by 2 clear goals. Dean Nicholson said, “It was the toughest game so far, they got the ball down, they played really well in good pockets of space. You are never ever going to get an easy game against them.”

Unlike their previous home match against Ryton, Heaton Stann set off strongly,  with the wind behind them and as early as the 4th minute a cross from Dan Stephenson on the left for Liam McBryde at the back post to head back and goalwards only for Thomas Orton to finger tip over the crossbar.

Stan were not to be denied, winning a corner on the right 3 mins later, with Stephenson putting the ball into the danger area, with the unfortunate Lawyers defender, Joel Pearson heading into his own net, under pressure from McBryde. 1-0

Repeatedly the visitors were caught offside, and H. Stan guilty of over use of the long ball, which often was swept by the wind to safety. Home keeper Dan Regan was almost a spectator with rarely a penetration into his half, and easy saves to make when they actually did. Lewis Murphy had a good match in the Lawyers midfield, working tirelessly for them without reward. 

On 36 minutes Andy Burn yielded a corner on the right. It was the visitors first corner. But a foul on Dan Regan ended their excursion. They did better 5 mins later when Alfie Pearn’s low shot went straight to Regan.

Leighton Hopper tirelessly looked for openings to shoot, but was either blocked, or the wind was the winner. Dean Holmes linked with Lee McAndrew and he put the ball into the box for McBryde, corner won. But just prior to the half time break, Holmes was penalised, with the free kick just outside the box, but the danger was cleared.

HT 1-0

Some silky interplay between 3 HS players in midfield was appreciated by the home supporters who delighted to see them back to their passing game.

Tow Law forward, Nicholas Marley, had a good game, a constant threat in the H. Stan half. On 51 minutes he was put through for a one on one with Regan, with home custodian saving the day.

But on 55 minutes they got their reward with the best goal of the match, when Thomas McAloon, out on the left flank, hit a 25 yard thunderbolt, and wind assisted, it flew into far corner for his 5th league goal of the season. No goalkeeper would stop that. 1-1.

Playing with the wind, and then the rain pelting in, would Tow Law now dominate and claim all 3 points?

Not at all, Stan reacted well, going ahead within 4 mins of that blow, from a set piece, with a super low left foot strike from around 12 yards from Rhys Groves. 2-1,

The away team came narrowly close to another equaliser with a low shot deflected by a home defender and it crawled slowly past the far post for a corner, then Marley on 75 minutes headed just wide of the post.

Stan added a third goal on 80 minutes when they broke away with substitute Evan Howard hitting a good low shot which Thomas Orton got down well to save but it left an open goal for Holmes, and he made no mistake. 3-1 “

Howard continues to impress with his cameo appearances. “I will score one soon” Evan told me after the game. Stan fans are warming to him. “Loads of potential there” said Dean.

Good performances from Stephenson, Groves, Luke and Holmes, with home supporters voting David Luke as MOM.

Brian Pratt

Photo Gallery

Credit: Joe Street

Lineup

Name GLS PENS OG Cards
1
2
3
4 1
5
6
7
8
9
10
11 1

Subs

Name GLS PENS OG Cards
12
Alistair Stoddart Lee McAndrew
13
Evan Howard Leighton Hopper
14
Kevin Carr Dean Holmes
15
16