A day in which the Stags had no luck!
We travelled to face an inform Heaton Stannington who were looking for their sixth win in a row. Meanwhile we were looking to reignite the form in which we started 2017 with, although it was always going to be a test against an organised Heaton Stannington.
Esh started the game on the front foot. They pressed high and caused the Stan problems. Within the first few minutes Chris Mordue (Esh) used his pace to beat William James (Heaton Stan) down the wing and put in an excellent cross which was collected comfortably by Matthew Smith in the Heaton goal.
On the twelth minute Michael Gray attempted a close range over head kick for Esh but was unable to beat Smith in the Heaton goal.
Twenty five minutes played and it looked clear that this was going to be an entertaining game of football with both sides trying to play football and get something out of the game. Max Stoker got his head onto a cross from Esh midfielder Scott Arnott but he was unable to hit the target.
James Huntley had his afternoon cut short when he pulled his hamstring on the 28th minute. Huntley had looked confortable upto this point doing well to stop several diagonal crosses towards Heaton Stan’s top scorer Jonathan Wright.
Five minutes after a forced substitution, Esh have a chance to take the lead through Joseph Kerry who found himself with a chance to score but Smith once again made a cracking save to keep the scores level.
After forty minutes Heaton Stannington had a chance to take the lead as Daniel Robinson ran towards the Esh goal only to be brought down by Esh defender Joe Wilkinson just inside the box as he tried to take the ball of the Stan centre forward.
Stan top scorer Jonathan Wright stepped up to take the penalty. Wright placed the ball into the bottom right hand side of the goal with Esh keeper Fish diving to the left hand side.
Heaton Stannington 1 – 0 Esh Winning
Just a few minutes after the penalty Michael Gray has a shot saved which rebounds to Max Stoker who slotted the ball into the Stan goal. The assistant referee had his flag up however. OFFSIDE!
Half Time – Heaton Stannington 1 – 0 Esh Winning
Just after half time Chris Mordue found himself with space 30 yards out. Rather optimistically Mordue has a shot which is just wide of the Stan goal.
A few minutes after Mordue’s optimistic shot he found himself with the ball at his feet inside the Heaton 6 yard box only for his close range attempt to be blocked by a Heaton defender.
61st minute and Alex Hird comes on for Joseph Kerry.
62nd minute and Jonathan Wright has a great chance to make it 2-0 to Heaton however he is unable to connect well with the ball and Fish calmly picks up the fluffed chance for Heaton.
After Wright’s missed chance Heaton look like they are going to step it up a gear. A cross into the Esh box looked dangerous. Jordan Ray rises like a salmon and heads the cross into the back of the Esh Winning net.
Heaton Stannington 2 – 0 Esh Winning
Seventy minutes played and Heaton Stannington are starting to gain more possession. Gary Yates beats the offside trap but is unable to beat Fish in the Esh goal as he dives to his right to save the attempt on goal.
Seventy five minutes gone and Esh have a great attempt through link up between Stoker and Boakes. Stoker drove forward beating two Heaton Stan midfielders to get the ball out wide to Boakes. Callum Boakes puts a great cross into the box but it is cleared for a corner by Stan skipper Joseph Wear.
Just 8 minutes left to play and once again Gary Yates beats the offside trap but Fish shows Yates what he is capable and picks the ball out of the air.
Max Stoker makes a great block on the line to stop Heaton making it 3-0 on the eighty fifth minute.
88th minute and Jack Stewart enters the field for the first time in an Esh Winning shirt. He replaces Chris Mordue who put in a good performance for Esh but didn’t get enough of the ball.
Stoker looks for a consolation goal with a powerful shot on the 94th minute but is unable to beat Smith in the Heaton Stannington goal.
A performance that Esh can be proud of today. Everybody worked hard and did their best to get something out of the game but it was not to be. I have no doubt that if we take this performance into our next few games we will pick up a few more points.
All views in this report are Matthew’s and not necessarily those of the club