Heddon St Andrews kicked off their 2015/16 campaign with an industrious 2-1 victory over Hexham FC.
In the teams first pre-season outing of the season they battled back from 1-0 down to pick up a crucial 4 points in the Clayton Cup. MOTM Jonathon Woods set the tone within the first ten seconds when he left one in on the Hexham FC midfielder which earned him a chat with the referee.
The team settled into the game well and began to win their battles in all areas but the key battle was won by the midfield three, up against a technically sound Hexham FC midfield Dan Ramshaw, Ross Bailey and Jonathon Woods really took control which allowed the team to begin to get the ball down and play in the right areas. The experienced Gary Howarth was another player who alongside Connor Ballontyne gave the team the foundation to build on from the back.
After going a goal down after a poor throw in (something for pre-season on Sunday morning) the team got back into the game with a stroke of luck, a soft free-kick was awarded about thirty yards out and Dan Walker stepped up and fired home, one for the Hexham FC keeper to forget. Heddon grabbed the lead just before half-time when Dan Walker stepped up again and curled home from just outside of the box. A goal worthy to win any match if i don't say so myself, a goal that wouldn't have been out of place scored in front of the Gallowgate!
In the second half both teams had opportunities and Walker would have been disappointed not to grab his hat-trick missing a couple of chances he should have put away. The team changed personnel in the second half and youngsters Rob Howarth and Joe O'Donnel came into the side and looked comfortable in the high tempo game. A great moment for the Howarths playing on the same pitch at the same time.
The final whistle blew with Heddon picking up a narrow 2-1 victory. In the Clayton Cup there is a penalty shoot-out after the game for an extra bonus point. Heddon prevailed 4-2 with GK David Wadds stealing the show with two impressive saves proving the doubters wrong after his performance in the session before this game.
Penalty scorers - Dan Walker, Joe O'Donnel, Connor Ballontyne, Jamie Lishman
I have no words for anybody that misses a penalty so well not discuss the missed kick.
Next up for Heddon St Andrews is Prudhoe Town a week on Wednesday another difficult tie but with players due back in the side not one that the team fears.
Howay The Heed!