Shildon AFC emerged 2-0 victors this afternoon but they needed two Robson Penalties to clinch the points. Another disappointing result for Stockton but another positive performance and despite the lack of goals the fact they more than held their own against a top 3 side and created enough chances to have won the game, better results are surely on the horizon.
A lively start saw Stockton restrict Shildon to a couple of long range efforts whilst creating several good opportunities themselves the best of which followed a great run from Rovetec man of the match Kev Hayes cutting inside and leaving the full back for dead his right foot shot hit the post, the subsequent cross by Owens saw Coleman head straight at the keeper who made a great save and then with the goal gaping and the keeper stranded Craggs hit the follow up onto the bar from 3 yards out when it seemed easier to score. Owens had a great opportunity to put the Anchors in front just before half time when sent through with just the keeper to beat but the keeper managed to get a leg out and deflect the shot to safety. Next it was Coleman who’s fizzing effort was just off target. Unbelievably despite Stocktons domination of possession and the several good opportunities forcing Shildons keeper into making 4 great saves the first half ended 0-0.
Stockton continued on the front foot in the second half but a quick Shildon counter attack from a Stockton corner on 53 mins saw the visitors earn a penalty. Matty Robson successfully converted it with a low angled shot into the bottom right hand corner. Stockton created several good chances but were denied either by keeper Liversedge or the woodwork. Great footwork by Owens as he skirted past two defenders onto his favoured left foot but only to see Liversedge at full stretch to save a curling shot which had bottom corner in its sights the resulting follow up from the edge of the box by Hayes rattled the upright again, soon after another shot was slightly deflected but scraped past the post with keeper stranded.
The game was a lot more open now and Shildon were finally getting space in the final third whist Stockton pushed for an equaliser. Arthur kept Stockton n the game when rushing out of his goal to make a great save at the feet of Shildons striker.
Craggs was replaced by Carter and Dunwell was thrown on up front for full back Ward with 10 mins to go but it was Shildon who got the goal when an innocuous ball into the box in injury time saw Garbutt bundle over Gruelich-Smith for a second penalty cooly put away by Robson again.
Shildon fans breathed a sigh of relief as only the excellent Liversedge has stood between them and a shock defeat. Stockton will feel hard done by but at this level you have to take your chances and they will learn from this again hopefully.