The Stan won their 2nd trophy in 7 days when they retained the Gary Hull Memorial Trophy from 2 years ago. The match wasn’t played last year due to covid although the 2 teams did play a friendly & the performance today saw a huge turnaround from the Stan’s 3-1 defeat in that match.
On a hot, sunny and delightful afternoon, Dean Nicolson took his squad of old and new signings to welcoming Purvis Park. The Stan, in orange, started on the attack & after 2 minutes were in the lead when Hopper supplied Sharpe who tapped the ball into the net from 6 yards. It was all Stan & when Sharpe was brought down in the box after 7 minutes, McAndrews made it 2-0 from the penalty spot.
In 14 minutes, a McAndrews cross went just wide of the post. The team were working well together & if Percy Main got past the halfway line they were getting stopped almost immediately. There were a few quieter minutes but in the 20th minute Percy had their 1st real attack followed by another 2 but Regan & his defence dealt with them well. Percy were though getting more into the game & getting more of the ball. A bad pass led to their 1st proper shot which went wide in 22 minutes. A Stan free kick into the crowded box was cleared then in 24 minutes Sharpe got into the box supplying Hopper who headed just wide.
In 28 minutes, Percy’s keeper caught from McAndrews. They then had a great opportunity when a long ball to their No11 saw him pass to Rowan who shot over. Although the Stan defence were stopping most home advances, Regan had to clear in 32 minutes which allowed Hopper to counter but was eventually blocked. From the corner, the keeper just managed to clear under pressure. Rowan got the ball again & forced a good save from Regan. Percy were not giving up & also were defending better until in 38 minutes a great ball to the advancing Hopper saw him confidently slot past the keeper. Sharpe shot wide but in 42 minutes it was 4-0 when Hopper supplied McAndrews on the right who advanced and shot from a tight angle just inside the box. Regan had to block Rowan before Hopper countered & was blocked at the other end. So, the half started & finished with 2 Stan goals, but Percy had chances in the middle to make it a lively half.
The 2nd half started with the Stan on the attack again. After 2 minutes, Imray, Sharpe & Dobson were replaced by Poole, Proctor & Blackbourne. Percy were now more in control & pressing the Stan & in 50 minutes they shot well over from a free kick. The 1st Stan attack of the half was not until 52 minutes & came to nothing. In 55 minutes Carr & Stoddart were replaced by Simpson & a centre half trialist. Both sides were trying to attack but with no end result until 63 minutes when Bailey sent a diagonal ball to Proctor who took it well & advanced unmarked into the box & shot past the keeper for 5-0. In 68 minutes, Percy had a long-range effort caught by Regan who soon after got down to save. In 70 minutes, Imray was back on for injured Bailey & in 75 minutes Dobson was back on for Hornsby. The last 15 minutes saw more pressure from the Stan & in 76 minutes there was a good tackle to deny Imray an effort in the 6yard box. In 81 minutes, Proctor was brought down in the box as he was about to shoot. From the penalty spot Sharpe, who had come back on, hit the post. Waters soon after hit the bar & an effort from halfway by the trialist was easily caught. In 88 minutes, good defending prevented a Percy effort who then got 2 corners. From the 2nd, the ball was initially cleared but came back into the box & looked like it was going in when headed downwards bur Regan cleared with his feet. The Stan countered but the final whistle then blew at the end of a more balanced 2nd half.
Although the Stan had a comfortable win, Percy worked hard & this was their 1st proper friendly under new manager Dave Dickson. Both teams did well in the heat which resulted in 2 drinks breaks but the Stan were stronger both in attack & defence. They were presented with the trophy by Gary Hull’s family & hopefully this will be followed by more silverware during the season.
Stan: Regan; Stoddart; Hornsby; Bailey; Waters; Dobson; Sharpe; Imray; Hopper; Carr; McAndrews. Sub (All Used): Proctor; Blackbourne; Trialist; Poole; Simpson.