On a beautiful sunny Tuesday evening, in front of a crowd of 218, the Stan faced a big challenge against the Northern League Division 1 Whitley Bay. They were up for the challenge even though the visitor’s line up included 9 first team players. The Stan made 4 changes from their Gary Hull Trophy victory starting line up on Saturday with Blackbourne, Proctor, Burn and Holmes replacing Waters, Sharpe, Imray and Carr.
Both teams were trying to attack but it was the Seahorses who had the 1st corner after 3 minutes from which Regan eventually caught. Stoddart then supplied Hopper at the other end but the ball was cleared although the Stan continued to keep the pressure on. Most of the half was end to end with possession changing frequently. In 7 minutes, Bay countered and Regan had to catch &, after 11 minutes, Bay’s Hishi Lama shot wide under pressure. After 19 minutes a Stan free kick into the box was cleared although they attacked again twice in succession. In 23 minutes, Stoddart supplied Holmes who was blocked when he should have had a shot himself. Soon after there was a long ball to Hopper, who made some good runs throughout the evening, but he couldn’t control the ball. He then got into the box with the ball twice but was unable to shoot due to good Bay defensive work. The visitors shot over the bar in 31 minutes and soon after the Stan shot wide. The Stan then had a free kick & some sustained pressure, with Burn doing well, but again the Bay defence worked well. The Stan kept trying to attack but found it hard to break the Bay defence down. The Stan had their 1st corner in 37 minutes, but it was blocked. After a period of Stan pressure, the last 3 minutes of the half saw some Bay pressure & it ended with the visitors shooting well over. It had been a competitive half with both sides working hard.
At half time, goal keeping coach Tom Flynn had to replace the injured Regan and went on to have a good performance. Hall also replaced Blackbourne. The 2nd half was started positively by both teams and in 48 minutes Holmes was shoved to the ground in the box by Lowery but nothing was given. There was then good defending by the Stan and a counter attack which saw Proctor supply Hopper who was blocked before he could pass to Holmes. In 52 minutes, a McAndrews long shot went wide. The Stan had a couple of minutes of sustained pressure, but the Bay defence dealt well with it. In 56 minutes, a Stan effort was deflected wide before Bay also shot wide. In 58 minutes, Carr replaced Holmes. The Stan continued to battle although in 61 minutes Bay sent a shot straight at Flynn. 3 minutes later the visitors were ahead when Matty Wear headed in from a cross. There was then more Bay pressure although the Stan eventually cleared. In 68 minutes, Imray and Mason replaced Bailey and McAndrews. The Stan were back level in 71 minutes direct from a fantastic 30-yard free kick from Burn.
In 73 minutes, a trialist and Simpson replaced Stoddart and Dobson. 2 minutes later, from a Stan corner, Bay countered through a trialist (no14) who went all the way and was only stopped by a great save by Flynn. They soon had a corner from which Hall had to clear. In 77 minutes, Poole replaced Proctor. A curving ball in from the left by Bay led to a great save by Flynn. The Stan didn’t give up and in 79 minutes there was a great ball to Hopper who was blocked for a corner. Burn took it but the Bay keeper punched the ball clear, Carr then blocked on the halfway line to supply a long ball to Hopper but he couldn’t just get to it. In 81 minutes, a Hornsby free kick was headed just wide by Hopper. In 84 minutes, Burn, who had an especially great 2nd half, won the ball which was eventually blasted over by Imray. 2 minutes later & Bay also blasted over. After good work by Hopper, Carr had a good opportunity with 2 minutes to go but was blocked. Both sides had an attack before in the 91st minute a poor clearance allowed Hopper to get in, but his shot was blocked. Stan had a final chance from the halfway line that the keeper caught. The Stan thoroughly deserved a draw and, when more goal scorers are available, it should make them a real threat this season. Whitley Bay filmed the match which can be viewed on YouTube.
Stan: Regan; Stoddart; Hornsby; Bailey; Blackbourne; Dobson; Proctor; Burn; Hopper; Holmes; McAndrews. Sub (All Used): Flynn; Hall; Carr; Imray; Mason; Trialist; Simpson; Poole.