Guisborough Town vs Heaton Stannington

A comfortable but relatively uneventful 0-0 draw at sunny Guisborough, in front of a huge number of vocal members of the Stan Army, saw the Stan secure a play-off place with 2 games to spare. This was the 4th game in 7 days & the Stan remained undefeated gaining 2 wins & 2 draws. There was delight at the final whistle after Dean Nicholson’s squad achieved a play-off place after only 2 seasons in Division 1. There were 2 changes from Wednesday night’s win over Shildon with Stephenson & Sayer replacing Palmer & Slaughter.

There was a relatively quiet start to the match & although both teams were trying to advance there was very little end product with both defences easily dealing with any attacks. In 6 minutes, Lashley supplied Sayer whose header & rebound header were blocked. By the 10th minute it was mainly Stan pressure but without any real threat. Guisborough had their 1st advance for a while in 15 minutes although it was cleared by Evans. There was not much happening although Hopper broke in 18 minutes but sliced his shot as he was tackled as he went to take it. In 25 minutes, a Guisborough free kick into the Stan box was easily caught by Brass. Neither defence were being penetrated & another home free kick was cleared by Hopper. In 28 minutes, Lashley supplied the advancing Hopper who was brought down just to the side of the home box. The resulting Stephenson free kick was headed over the bar by Reid. In 32 minutes, a Stan attack was blocked by the home keeper followed by a Guisborough shot being sliced wide. 4 minutes later & the home side had another attack cleared. The 1st proper chance for Guisborough came in 37 minutes when Brass had to get down to save. In 42 minutes, the home keeper easily caught a Stan effort followed at the other end by a home attack which eventually ended with the ball being headed wide. In the 45th minute, from a throw in, Sayer entered the box, but his effort was headed clear. Guisborough attacked soon after with the move ending with Brass getting down to catch. A very quiet 1st half ended 0-0.

The 2nd half immediately started more livelier than the 1st with Hopper crossing from the right to Sayer, who was advancing into the box, but the keeper managed to put his close range shot just wide for a corner. In 49 minutes, the home side attacked but shot well over. In 53 minutes, Hopper advanced into the home box, but the ball was deflected for a corner, from which the ball was headed clear. Stephenson sent a high ball back in but it was easily caught by the home keeper. A minute later & Hopper was sandwiched in the box by the keeper & a defender, but nothing was given. Soon after, Hopper broke again with the ball & passed 2 players, but the home keeper collected the ball before he could shoot. In 57 minutes, Brass caught a speculative high ball from Guisborough. 2 minutes later & Stephenson cleared the ball from a Guisborough corner & he did the same thing after another 2 minutes. There was a quieter period before Reid was brought down in 66 minutes. The resulting 40-yard free kick by Stephenson saw the ball initially spilled by the keeper before he caught it just before Hopper got to it. A Guisborough corner was then cleared followed by the ball going back into the Stan box & being easily caught by Brass. Both teams were trying to attack but without really threatening although Guisborough shot over from a dangerous position in 74 minutes. In 79 minutes, Lashley broke & was brought down for a free kick. From it, Stephenson sent the ball into the box to Reid who headed down towards goal but the home keeper got down to save. 2 minutes later, & Brass got up to easily catch. There was then a good opportunity for the Stan when Hopper supplied Reid who passed to the advancing sub Anderson in the home box but he lost the ball to a defender. Scott replaced Lashley to strengthen up the defence in 84 minutes although the Stan were also still seeking a winning goal & in 86 minutes Hornsby supplied Burn whose long-range effort, through a number of players, forced a great save from the home keeper. In 88 minutes, Anderson shot wide. Into 3 minutes of added time & Brass had to catch a high ball into the Stan box. In 92 minutes, Burn passed to Anderson, but he lost the ball allowing Guisborough to counter, but Brass got out to block. Stephenson cleared the ball from the resulting corner followed by Evans sending a long ball to Lamb but the home keeper got out to clear. Despite a slightly livelier 2nd half, the match ended 0-0.

Both teams in the end seemed happy with the draw & Guisborough still have a chance of achieving a play-off place. For the Stan though, there was a party atmosphere when the 2 coaches returned to Grounsell Park full of singing players, coaching staff & fans. Congratulations must also go to Heaton Stannington A who secured promotion today to Northern Alliance Division 1, with 3 games to spare, after beating North Sunderland 4-0. With a 3rd place finish still possible, & therefore a home advantage in the play offs, the Stan have 2 remaining league matches starting with Bora Rangers at home on Thursday followed by a trip to Crook Town on Saturday.

Kevin Mochrie

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Guisborough Town vs Heaton Stannington

3:00 pm