NL2 Play off semi final
4 May 2022, 7:30 pm
Heaton Stannington
2 - 0
Easington Colliery
Grounsell Park
Attendance: 652
Heaton Stannington First Team
Referee: Daniel van Hymus

Match Report

Although the opposition was the same, a lot had changed in this play off game from the last league match 4 days earlier after which heads had been down as the league title was missed out on due to goal difference. Knowing promotion was still up to them, the Stan took control of the match and provided a positive display which resulted in them booking a place in Saturday’s play-off final at home against Tow Law. This was very match appreciated by the record crowd of 652, which resulted in the crowd being 3 deep on dug-out side, & it gave a cup tie feel to Grounsell Park. There were 3 changes from the match at Easington with Hornsby, Bailey and Esdaille replacing Proctor, unavailable Carr & McBryde who had a thigh strain.

On a pleasant evening, the Stan started on the attack with Steavans in the Easington goal saving in 3 minutes from a Hopper shot. The resulting corner saw Hopper head straight at the keeper. Apart from 1 Easington shot over the bar, the Stan dominated the 1st 30 minutes. Stephenson shot just over the bar in 6 minutes & the early pressure paid off in 9 minutes when Holmes advanced & lobbed the keeper for 1-0. In 17 minutes, Burn hit the bar & Hopper then headed just wide & they continued to put pressure on the visitors. In 26 minutes, Hopper intercepted the ball but Steavans got to it on the edge of the box before he could shoot. The Stan were playing well although Regan had to put out with his feet in 29 minutes. From the corner, Regan made a great save when he put the close range header over the bar. 2 minutes later Hopper made a great run which resulted in the ball being deflected for a corner. In 32 minutes, Stephenson won the ball just inside the Easington half & advanced confidently beating the keeper to make it 2-0. The Stan continued to put the visitors under pressure, often through clever interceptions, especially though Holmes and Stephenson.

The Stan again started the 2nd half positively & continued to put Easington under pressure & in 48 minutes a Bailey low long shot was put out by the keeper. Stephenson & Holmes continued to create opportunities although an Easington attack against the run of play in 57 minutes was headed clear. A minute later & a Holmes shot was blocked by the keeper’s feet. Soon after Hopper hit the post. It was still mainly Stan attacks although Easington tried to advance when they could although this was not very often, but they shot wide in 63 minutes & over the bar in 69 minutes. After 2 good Stan corners were cleared, Luke shot over in 75 minutes. 3 minutes later & a low Bailey header was stopped by Steavans. A confident Stan continued to pressure although just as the 4 minutes of added time approached, Easington had a late surge which lasted to the final whistle. In 90 minutes, from a corner, Regan made a great double save & in the 94th minute he put a shot over the bar. The ball from the resulting corner was headed over but it was too little too late for the visitors & it was the Stan who advanced to the play off final.

It was a great attacking team performance although Regan also made some great saves, when Easington did on occasions threaten, which is why he was voted man of the match. Close 2nd though was Dan Stephenson who had a great performance working hard all night and he also scored the 2nd goal. The match resulted in the Stan now only being one game away from promotion & another record Grounsell Park crowd is expected at it on Saturday when Tow Law are the visitors.

Kevin Mochrie

Photo Gallery

Credit: Joe Street

Lineup

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

Subs

Name GLS PENS OG Cards
12
Lee Kerr Ryan Bailey
13
Evan Howard Dan Stephenson
14
James Proctor Dean Holmes
15
16