Featured Game: Stockton Town Yellows U15 v Thornaby U15 (19/11/2017)

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Stockton Town Yellows U15 v Thornaby U15

12:00 Robert Atkinson Centre 18/11/2017

Stockton: Hoyland, Scott, Wild, Lawson, Bailey, Chapman, Pearson, Dalkin (J. Hollifield), Basham, Webb, Floyd

After a run of poor results had put a dent in Stockton’s potential title challenge they travelled to a Thornaby side boasting a 100% record in the league, winning 5 out of 5, and harbouring real title hopes.

Stockton, without the missing Ben Hollifield and Taylor Kitching were dealt a further blow on the morning of the game when midfield playmaker Charlie Tinkler was ruled out through illness.

The early exchanges were very tight with no quarter asked or given from either side. Stockton gradually came to terms with the physical nature of the game and aided by a subtle of change shape begun to control the game. The change allowed James Webb to play through the middle alongside the ever-impressive Elliot Floyd. This freed up Gareth Basham and the three combined to great effect to create a golden chance. A quick one two between the strikers and the ball was set back to Basham breaking from midfield and his through ball was perfectly executed for Floyd to delicately dink over the onrushing goalie, only to be denied by a great piece of defending clearing the ball off the line. Without a Russian linesman to clarify matters Stockton were left denied.

Stockton continued to create chances with Floyd and Adam Dalkin both denied by the athletic Thornaby goalkeeper. Stockton were left to rue the missed chances when the ball was given away cheaply in midfield and Thornaby turned the game around very quickly. The ball was worked out to the left and the previously impregnable back line were caught outnumbered at the back post and Thornaby took the lead.

In typical Stockton fashion, this set back threatened to derail the team completely and in a game that they had dominated should have been 2 down almost immediately when from the kick off the ball was played backwards and amongst the confusion the ball the ball was twice gifted to Thornaby attackers but they failed to capitalise. Stockton rallied from this and further dominated the rest of the half but could not break down a very strong, durable and organised Thornaby team.

The second half started much the same as the first with Lawson and Wild coping with the direct approach of Thornaby and Pearson and Chapman controlling and dictating the pattern of midfield. Stockton made a change with J Hollifield replacing Dalkin whose busy, tidy play had caused Thornaby problems. This change pushed the pacy Luke Scott further up the pitch and resulted in Stockton’s equaliser with 20 left to play. An Alonso-esque diag from Wild, over the left backs head set Scott away. The ball was played inside to Webb who sidestepped the centre half only to be denied by the keeper, the ball was worked back into the area and with forwards queuing Webb made no mistake the second time around and drilled home low into the corner to equalise.

This prompted another surge of energy from the home side. Stockton were not to be denied though and with 15 left they won a free kick wide on the right-hand side which was masterfully delivered by Basham and Joshua Bailey arrived late into the box to power a header home.

This inevitably pushed the home side on but it was Stockton who still looked the most likely to add to the scoring with both Floyd and Webb wasteful when in great areas. Stockton were put under real pressure from a side reluctant to relinquish their perfect record. Joshua Bailey made a couple of fantastic blocks and the composed nature of Hoylands approach saw Stockton to a minute of victory. At this point Thornaby looked to have snatched an equaliser when a corner was met at the far post and looked destined for the top corner until Hoyland managed to get a hand to palm it away.

In such a fantastic all-round team performance it seems wrong to single anyone out but Stockton’s man of the match went to Bailey Chapman who played in a slightly unfamiliar deep-midfield role and did so expertly. In a tactically disciplined performance Bailey dug in to protect the defence against anything attempted through the middle, anything that went long resulted in Bailey dealing with the second ball with real class and his distribution was both flawless and positive helping the forwards to get on the ball in good areas quickly. Baileys partnership and understanding with Finlay Pearson meant that despite being out numbered 3-2 in that area Stockton still managed to control possession.

Stockton 2 Thornaby 1

Round up

The under 7 blues edged a great encounter 5-3. In a strong performance they dominated the game but some great individual play for the opposition kept the game tight. James Hannah, Spencer Allan, A.J. Ngunga and a brace from Ben Gayle’s saw Stockton over the line.

The Under 7 yellows made it a double for the age group. In a dominant performance goals from Charlie Allan, Freddie Moore and Jack Johnson sealed the 3 points but the most pleasing aspect of this game for the management team was the clean sheet. Well done boys.

The under 12 Blues had to be at their best to beat come out on top against a physical and aggressive Thornaby side. The team kept their composure and eventually ran out comfortable winners with goals from Josh Barker (2), Tomasz Nowiki, Tommy Blackwell, Linden Garbut, Josh Turnbull and Bailey Bishop. Credit must go to the maturity shown by the boys who stuck to their footballing principles right throughout the game.

Under 8 Royals were on the wrong end of a 5-1 defeat to Darlington TSC. They were unlucky to come up against a goalkeeper in inspired form. Logan Ransom got the only goal for Stockton.

In an enthralling 3-3 draw with Seaton Carew Lions, Stockton Town Under 9 Blues showed great heart. In a game between two very strong sides, Stevie Cornwell and Ellis Chesworth (2) got Stockton’s rewards for an enterprising attack king performance.

Joel Lonsdale and Isaac Massey got 2 each and Harvey 1 as Stockton Town Under 11 Blues deservedly won 5-2 against Guisborough Town.

A fantastic attacking display of positive, flowing football direct from the training ground saw Stockton Town Under 13s win 10-1. The prolific Max Howells got 6, Olly Shaw overcame his recent injury to grab a trick and Joe Rae (yes that’s right JOE RAE!) got the goals.

An experiment in formation saw Stockton Town Under 11 Yellows lose 5-0 against Guisborough. The result was harsh on Stockton but reflective of both teams finishing.

Under 8 Blues won 4-2 against Wynyard Village. Wynyard took the lead but Stockton’s work ethic and passing principles were enough for them to turn the game around.

Stockton Town Under 8 Yellows suffered their first loss of the season in a 7-2 reversal. Stockton struggled physically and made costly mistakes but that should not take away from a very good opposing side. Lewis Davison and Jayden Ions on the mark for Stockton.