Heaton Stannington game abandoned
By Daniel Prince
Today’s game at Heaton Stannington was abandoned after just short of an hour after a serious injury to one of the home side’s players.
South Shields had turned in a terrific performance against the promotion-chasers and deservedly led 2-0 after a goal from Colin White and an own goal by Kevin Carr.
However, Heaton Stannington’s Lee Johnson was then involved in a collision on 58 minutes and screamed out in agony after hurting his back.
The player was prone on the ground for some time before the referee brought the players off the pitch, and an ambulance was called for.
Just short of 5pm, the match was abandoned, and the ambulance had still not arrived at the ground.
It finally arrived some 48 minutes after the incident.
That means Shields have still not completed a game in the league since December 28.
Things could not have gone much better for them until the abandonment against promotion-chasing Heaton.
The Mariners – with the wind at their backs – started on the front foot, and proved menacing from set-piece situations.
They were rewarded in the eighth minute when Chris Feasey’s corner from the left bounced down off the crossbar into the path of White, who bundled it past the defender on the line.
Ben Telford then scuffed his effort straight at Jak Wells at the other end, before Shields doubled their advantage.
On 16 minutes, a Feasey free-kick from deep evaded everyone and eventually went in off Heaton’s Carr.
The home side claimed the ball had been cleared off the line by despairing defenders, but the linesman’s flag immediately went up to signal the ball had crossed the line.
Dean Deagle’s free-kick for Heaton Stannington was as close as they came, with Wells doing well to palm over his powerful effort.
Shields thought they had gone three up before half-time after another free-kick was bundled home by Luke Richardson, but it was ruled out for offside.
They almost saw their lead halved just before the break after tying themselves in knots at the back, but Carr dragged his effort wide as he looked to make up for his own goal.
Heaton put on some pressure at the start of the second half, with White bravely blocking an effort from Paul Blakey before Phil Smith fired well over.
The last action of the match before the sickening injury saw Adam Burnicle go clean through on goal for Shields before going down, with the referee ruling it was not a penalty.
The abandonment now means the Mariners have nine fixtures that will need to be played in midweek before the end of the season.
Their next game is against Willington at Peterlee on Saturday.
SOUTH SHIELDS: Wells, Hall, Riding, Fraser, White, Locke, Burnicle, Cutts, Ramsey (c), Richardson, Feasey. Subs not used: Lynch, Logan, Greenwell, Fenwick, Clark.
Goals: White (8), Carr own goal (16).