Hebburn Town Versus Heaton Stannington
August 26th 2017
Hebburn Town faced their rivals from “across the water” on a perfect sunny day on an excellent pitch. Both teams were missing a number of regular players; defenders Craig Malley, Scott Wallace. Rhys Jones were missing from the back four which has started all games this season; usual midfielders Iain Bickerstaff, Kris Hughes and Glen Hargrave were not available and striker Channon North decided that he had better attend his own wedding. (To be fair he was also suspended).
Chris Douglas, Stuart Bramley, Peter Jones, Ewan Simpson, and Gary Shaw (signed from Washington on Friday), came into the side; striker Jason Blackburn recovering from injury made his first appearance of the season, on the bench.
Heaton Stannington also arrived on South Tyneside with a much depleted side, and only one substitute, a reflection of their current unusual place at the bottom of the table.
The Hornets started well and after five minutes Peter Jones tested Mathew Smith in the Stan goal with a shot from the edge of the box, which the keeper held on to, diving to his right. The keeper would come to the away team’s rescue on a number of times during the game. Two minutes later, the ex-Washington and Dunston player, Gary Shaw almost opened his account on his debut for the Hornets when he broke through the away defence to strike a low shot, which Smith managed to turn round the post with his fingertips. To everyone’s amazement the referee awarded a goal kick.
Nineteen year old Ewan Simpson, also making his debut, stepping up from the Reserves had made a solid start and after 20 minutes was involved in a clever move with Shaw and Feasey which ended with an excellent cross by Feasey; the outstretched leg of a defender preventing a certain goal.
There was little goal mouth action in the remainder of the first half, although Kanda might have done better when he met a corner eight yards out but cleared the bar with a strong header. Steve Hubery, in the home goal was rarely tested as Heaton Stannington favoured a more direct route, with the Hebburn Town defence coping well with the long balls into the box.
However, after only five minutes of the second half the Hornets’ defence were caught on the hop by a quickly taken long throw which went over the top of the defenders and Stan captain Dean Imray took the ball into the box before calmly slotting the ball past Hubery to give the away side a surprise lead.
This stirred the Hornets into a spell of action which could have delivered victory. After 52 minutes play Callum Smith brought a great save from his namesake Mathew Smith who turned the ball over the angle of the goal. Five minutes later a remarkable episode left the Hebburn team and supporters wondering how Mathew Smith had kept his goal intact as he deflected short range efforts from Shaw and Chow onto the post and bar before clinging on to the ball in an almighty scramble on the line.
When it was looking likely that missed opportunities would again be Hebburn’s downfall, Gary Shaw made his mark on the game after 75 minutes, when he drove into the box only to be brought down by a trip from behind. The Heaton Stannington players became extremely agitated by the decision and crowded round the referee, to no avail, and Paul Chow struck the resulting penalty past the keeper to level the scores.
All to play for, but it was the away team who started to apply the pressure as they gained a number of corners and free kicks in the Hebburn half and Steve Hubery pulled off a tremendous save to prevent the Stan from taking the lead. Heaton Stannington players attempted several long range shots but these were often high or wide of the mark
However, as the game moved into injury time, an opportunity fell to legendary goal scorer Paul Chow, who would put chances like this away 99 times out of 100. Unfortunately, with only the keeper to beat from five yards, Paul skied the ball well over the crossbar.
Still unbeaten at home, the Hornets once again rue missed chances which might have seen them higher up the league than the 5th place they currently hold; would also expect Heaton Stannington to climb up the league from their current bottom place.
Manager Scott Oliver can also take comfort and lots of positives from the performances of the players who came into the squad for this game.
|1. Hubery Steven Michael|
|6. Jack Donaghy|
|7. Callum Smith|
|12. Gary Shaw|
|8. Mechack Bolenge Kaanda|
|9. Paul John Chow||Goal|
|17. Christopher Feasey|
|17. Samuel Stuart Bramley||Yellow Card|
|18. Christopher Douglas|
|18. Ewan Simpson||Yellow Card|
|45. Peter Jones|
|13. Lee Burrell|
|16. Jason Blackburn||Sub12|
|26. Michael Watson|
|27. James Talbot|