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Heaton Stannington v North Shields

Heaton Stannington 1 - 0 North Shields
26 Aug 2020

A first half strike from Connor Campbell frustrated the Robins as they fell to a 1-0 defeat in the final pre-season friendly to Heaton Stannington.

The former Robins striker opened the scoring early on with a well taken lobbed shot from the edge of the area.

Heaton almost had a two-goal lead heading into the break, after striking the upright from close range.

The Robins pressed hard in search for an equaliser, with David Robinson, Dan Wilson, and Chris McDonald all testing the keeper.

But despite Ryan Carr striking the post with seconds remaining, the Robins were handed only their second defeat of pre-season.

Shields almost had the perfect start when after seven minutes, Callum Smith’s freekick was headed at goal by Wilson, only for the home shot-stopper to deny a certain goal.

Only a minute later, the early dominance continued when Anthony Myers saw his thunderous header drifting narrowly over the crossbar.

But it was Heaton who opened the scoring when a long ball forwards found Campbell racing past his marker. Spotting Purvis off his line, the striker lobbed the keeper from the edge of the area before seeing the ball settling into the bottom corner.

The Robins responded to this setback well, with good linkup play between Kyle Patton and Nick Cassidy allowing Craig Spooner space to shoot at goal. His first time effort from just outside the penalty area agonizingly skimmed the top of the crossbar.

Heaton weren’t looking to sit back and defend, with another break away at goal allowing them the perfect opportunity to double their lead. But after attempting to replicate their first goal, the home attacker sent his lob wide of the upright.

But only one minute later, Wilson had a great chance to level the scores when he connected with a Smith freekick, only to see his headed effort tipped around the post by the diving keeper.

Wilson seemed hungry for a goal today but the home number one seemed determined to keep him out, reacting quickly in the 33rd minute to prevent a powerfully struck close range shot from finding the back of the net.

Pushing forward in search for a leveller was leaving space at the back for the hosts to exploit and in the 39th minute, they should have doubled their lead after striking the upright from close range.

Having come on as a substitute at half time, Jamie Clark was determined to show his worth, with the regular season just around the corner. In the 49th minute, he looked to pick the top right corner out with a long range curled shot, only to see his effort clear the bar.

As the hosts began to tire, the Robins’ level of fitness was beginning to benefit them, with Robinson scuffing an effort into the welcoming hands of the keeper after 77 minutes.

Four minutes later, Wilson was once again at the heart of the Robins’ attack, collecting a defence-splitting pass from Rhys Williams before firing right down the keeper’s throat from a tight angle.

With seven minutes remaining in the game, it was a wonder how the Robins hadn’t equalised after the Heaton Stannington keeper made back to back saves to deny multiple visiting players excellent chances on goal.

And with seconds remaining in the game, Shields were left with their heads in their hands when Carr towered above his marker, put his head on an excellent McDonald long throw, before crashing his effort against the upright, with the referee calling an end to the game only moments later.


Match Highlights