NL2 
12 February 2022, 3:00 pm
Willington
2 - 1
Heaton Stannington
Hall Lane
Attendance: 86
Heaton Stannington First Team
Referee: M. Cain

Match Report

Willington 15th in NL2 were in a run of poor results, having lost their previous 5 league matches, had 2 players suspended, 4 players injured,  3 players they had signed but were unavailable, and struggled to put a team together, with manager Ibby Hassan rolling back the years, hasn’t played in a match for two and half years, and he played the whole of the match, and could not have been prouder as they produced a performance beyond expectations, in defeating the league leaders by 2 goals to one.

The visitors started well, on 4 minutes Liam McBryde played a through ball for Even Howard, starting his first game, but Ibby Hassan slid in to put the ball into touch.  Two minutes later a McBryde header and keeper Carl Robinson dived full length to turn the ball away.

But a warning came from Willington on 7 minutes when Aidan Hart shot from the left side, with it just going over the bar. Andy Burn quickly responded with a low shot wide of the post.

But the unexpected happened on 16 minutes, a world class volley from Hart from 25 yards beat Dan Regan even though he was standing close to his goal line. No keeper would have stopped that! 0-1 His first goal of the season. What a way to start. Warm appreciation from all 86 who attended.

Back and forth both teams tried to attack, but both sides gave the ball away far too cheaply, and some crosses were not getting beyond the near post and so were easily dealt with.

On 34 minutes McBryde had a shot from the edge of the area, but once again Robinson dived full length to turn the ball away.

Heaton Stannington equalised on 41 minutes when Howard netted his first goal for the club,  from close range after McBryde’s effort hit the post. 1-1

Surely that made both managers half time talks different now!

H.T. 1-1

Having equalised just prior to the break, I expected Stan would show their class, playing down the bank, up their efforts and go onto the win the match. Stan tried hard but could not get a goal.

A foul by Hart on Dean Holmes, gave Dan Stephenson a chance to whip in the free kick but McBryde headed over the bar.

Next goal was so important, and on 62 minutes another goal for Willington, from Craig Moody, who picked the ball up towards the centre of the field and moved forward, going left, and set himself up to shoot from the edge of the box, a low drive inside the near post with Regan unable to do anything about it. His 8th league goal this season. 1-2

Immediately Stan brought on James Proctor for Rhys Groves, but it was Willington now in front, and running the clock down was a frustration for Stan. Ashley Davis set up Josh Mills but he screwed his shot wide.

Stephenson interplayed well with Holmes to get into the home area but he fired wide, when well placed. On another day he would have scored.  A clumsy tackle by Mason Burton on Howard, gave Stan a free kick on the left, but  nothing came of it.

Kevin Carr replaced Howard. Proctor had shout for a penalty but the referee was not interested. Stann managed to  create two final efforts, with the hard working Stephenson firing across goal and wide of the far post, and then he crossed for McBryde to head goalwards but Robinson dived to save.

Including this game Stann have managed just one point in the last four visits to Hall Lane. It’s a tough place to go, and for me Willington are much better that 15th in the league. They have done the double over Ryton, beat neighbours Tow Law in the FA Vase, and won away at Birtley.

A tired but happy winning manager, would no doubt sleep well, whereas Dean said, ““A few more sleepless nights,  with a lot to think about. Nine games to go, let’s see if we can win the next one.”

FT 1-2

Brian Pratt

Photo Gallery

Credit: Joe Street

Lineup

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

Subs

Name GLS PENS OG Cards
12
James Proctor Rhys Groves
13
Kevin Carr Evan Howard
14
15
16