20 Nov 2019 in Match Reports
HEATON STANNINGTON 3 RACA 4
Albion Come from Behind to Win Thriller
Ryton progressed into the quarter finals of the Comtek E Armstrong Cup after trailing 0-2 with goals from Sam Norris, a brace from Jack Cooper and one from Scott Jasper turning the game right around, but a late third goal from Heaton had Albion hanging on to the win at the end.
Stan & RACA locked horns for the second time this season with most of the 133 spectators expecting another close game. Neither side had played for 18 days thanks to waterlogged pitches, & it showed in the opening 15 minutes as both sides looked ring rusty although it was the hosts who created most of the few openings there were. Albion's first half chance came from a 15th minute Jack Cooper free kick from which Adam Dobson back-headed narrowly wide, this being followed a minute later with a Sam Norris shot from just inside the box that Heaton keeper Dan Regan saved well. But as the cup tie gradually sprung into life it was the men in black and white who got their noses in front on 22 minutes when Daniel Sayer launched a cross into the Ryton box and the unmarked Regan Paterson nodded home. That lead could have been doubled a minute later in a role reversal with Paterson crossing to Sayer, but his header went over Josh Graham's goal. RACA went on a run on the Heaton goal and a looping cross was almost headed in his own net by Jordan Ray, but the defender had judged his clearance well as the ball went just past the outside of the post for a Ryton corner from which Cooper brought a fine save with his legs from Regan. On the half hour mark, Stan had one foot in the quarter final when David Mason's cross found Sayer on the back post to tap home from close range and make it 2-0. It was looking like plain sailing for Heaton but Albion had other ideas & hauled themselves back into the tie on 35 minutes when James Thompson found Norris just inside the opposition box & he slid in to fire past Regan and the deficit was halved. Albion pushed on for an equaliser and Cooper stunned Stan with a trademark pearler from distance that sailed into the top corner of Regan's goal & suddenly it was level pegging again with RACA going into the interval with their tails up.
HT HEATON STANNINGTON 2 RACA 2
The second half started a little slowly but a few supporters on the far side thought Joe Kerridge had restored Heaton's advantage on 64 minutes, though his shot had actually just rippled the side netting. A minute later and Albion were under pressure again as Jonathan Wright lost his marker & with just Graham to beat albeit from an unfavourable angle, he tried to chip the keeper, but it was an easy gather for the RACA stopper. A minute later and it got even better for the Tyne Valley club as a breakaway saw Cooper beat the offside trap following a ball forward from Norris, and he slotted home to put the visitors in the lead. Heaton's defence looked at sixes and sevens at this stage & were punished again in the 69th minute when Scott Jasper chipped defence and keeper alike to make it 4-2 and surely put Ryton into the quarter final draw. Any chance of a comeback from Stan was almost snuffed out on 74 minutes when an overhead kick from Jasper looked goalbound, but Lee Middleton cleared off the line to just about keep his side in the tie. Jamie Dunn then had a chance to wrap the game up in the 78th minute, but somehow blazed over from close range. Ryton might have been made to pay for the missed chances as Heaton broke away smartly & Middleton spotted Graham out of position and headed over him to put his side right back in the tie at 4-3. This seemed to un-nerve Ryton and they were left hanging on a bit at the end, Joshua Wilson spurning a late chance for Stan, but Albion saw the tie out to make it to the last eight.
FT HEATON STANNINGTON 3 RACA 4
REFEREE- SAM PARNABY
RACA- J Graham, Below, Moody, Dobson, Barker, Dick (Davis 56), Thompson (Ramsay 65), Cooper (Blewitt 81), Jasper, Dunn, Norris. Unused Subs- Shepherd, Outterside