Despite dominating most the match West Auckland came away from this one with nothing to show from their efforts.
West controlled the opening period of the game comfortably and in the 8th minute Hegarty delivered a precision cross, which Scott managed to get a crucial touch to put West Auckland ahead.
Just four minutes later, Stafford played a perfectly timed through ball to Scott, who only had the keeper to beat, but the Heaton stopper made a fantastic outstretched leg save to deny what seemed like a certain goal.
However, the visitors, Heaton Stannington, were not to be outdone. In the 18th minute, Sean Reid rose above the West Auckland defence to head in a corner, levelling the score at 1-1. West will have been disappointed to conceded such a sloppy goal against the run of play.
Heaton then took control of the game and maintained control of possession for a significant portion of the remaining half. Heaton came dangerously close to taking the lead when Potter executed a last-ditch block to clear the ball off the line.
Unfortunately for West Auckland, they were reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute when captain Liam Potter denied a goal-scoring opportunity, leading to a penalty for Heaton. They capitalised on the opportunity, taking the lead just before half-time.
West Auckland came agonisingly close to equalising on multiple occasions. Whitfield had a chance inside the box but smashed the ball just wide, while Bailey’s shot from the edge of the box narrowly missed the target.
Just after half-time, West Auckland made a substitution, bringing on debutant Will Constantin for Jake Stafford.
In the second half, Constantin came close to scoring on his debut, narrowly missing a flicked header from a Hume free-kick in the 51st minute. Heaton had their moments too, with Banda making a crucial diving save to deny their efforts.
West Auckland continued to press for an equaliser, with Whitfield and Hegarty combining well down the left. Whitfield’s strike was palmed over by the Heaton keeper.
Scott had another opportunity in the 67th minute, narrowly heading wide from a Joey Hope cross. West Auckland made substitutions, introducing Corey Nicholson for Wayne Whitfield and Jordan Blinco for Lee Hume in their quest for an equaliser.
As the match approached its conclusion, Constantin had a header that was miraculously tipped over by the Heaton goalkeeper, Brass, in the 90th minute.
In the end, despite their valiant efforts, West Auckland fell short, with Heaton Stannington emerging as the victors with a final score of 2-1. Despite the result West Auckland can be proud that they controlled most of the game after the red card were unlucky not to take a point from the game.