Redcar Athletic 1-2 Heaton Stannington
Steelmen: Sean Reid OG (33’)
Heaton: Konner Lamb (32’), Leighton Hopper (62’)
Redcar Athletic continued to lack that killer instinct, as a gritty Heaton Stannington prolonged the hunt for an elusive first win.
The Newcastle-based outfit found the net either side of the break to sink the sorry Steelmen, who could only respond through a fortunate own goal.
The result leaves Gary Forster’s side with a lone point from nine at Green Lane, and a long way off their original expectations heading into the new campaign.
Matters didn’t seem so bleak as the evening affair began, as Redcar got off on the front foot in the seaside sun, almost making the perfect start when Layton Watts fired Coleman’s headed knockdown over Lewis Brass’s crossbar.
Stannington quickly responded with a howler of their own, as new man and defensive stalwart Craig Scott sliced his volley out for an Athletic throw.
The Steelmen sported the lion’s share of possession until the break, and thus proved in total control, but fell flat at the final hurdle with a lack of decisiveness in the attacking third.
Predictably, Heaton capitalised on Redcar’s hesitancy, as Nathan Fisher failed to hold Daniel Sayer’s low effort, and Konner Lamb followed in to roll home the opener.
The lead lasted mere seconds, as Layton Watts pounced on his own blocked effort to fizz the ball back across goal, where it was turned passed his own ‘keeper by Heaton’s Sean Reid.
At the start of the second period, Redcar still felt in a position to take all three points, with Liam O’Sullivan again providing an avenue of attack, teeing up Adam Wheatley for a headed effort into the grasp of shot-stopper Lewis Brass.
The restart seemed to breathe a new lease of life into Heaton, who looked a much better outfit, forcing the first save from Nathan Fisher through Leighton Hopper’s close-range drive.
From the resulting corner, the Stan found their deserved winner, as Hopper ghosted in at the front post to prod the low delivery into an almost open goal.
Forster introduced Isaac Walker in hope of injecting some impetus into his trailing side, with the forward twice close to restoring parity, stinging the gloves of Brass with his curling free kick, before dragging an effort wide at the end of a winding run through the middle of the park.
Adam Wheatley had another chance to get his name on the scoresheet, striking on the turn in the centre of the area, but finding only the advertising hoardings.
With the clock ticking down, Heaton managed the game out with composure and wit, draining as much time as they possibly could, whilst using Redcar’s aggression in their favour.
As the indication of eight additional minutes ignited a spark of hope around the terraces, the brandishing of the red card kicked it straight back to the curb again.
Mason McNeill was the man given his marching orders, as Heaton’s Konner Lamb threw himself to the ground under pressure, and the challenge was deemed the denial of a goal scoring opportunity.
The dismissal typified another night of despair for the Steelmen, who have a short break now to look to turn their season around, before a trip to Esh Winning in just over a week’s time.
Line-Up: Fisher, McNeill, O’Sullivan (Thompson 90+3’), Watts (Fletcher 80’), Guru, Wheatley, Conway (Hall 90’), Boyle (Sayer 80’), Tymon, Coleman (Walker 60’), Bell
Next Match: Esh Winning (a) | Saturday 26th August 2023
|15/08/2023||7:30 pm||Northern Football League - Division 1||2023/24|