Preview: Stockton Town v Whitley Bay

League football returns to the Coverall Stadium on Wednesday night as Stockton Town host Whitley Bay. 

Of course the big news coming out of the club today is that star winger Kevin Hayes has left to join Spennymoor Town. Kevin was a key member of the squad for the last two seasons and among the most exciting players in the squad. The fans at the Brewery Field have a great player to look forward to.

Equally there has been the positive news that Tom Coulthard has committed his future to the club. Tom is a mainstay in the defence and hopefully will be for years to come.

Looking ahead to Wednesday night’s game, the Anchors will look to build off a positive start on Saturday when they drew 1-1 with Shildon. For much of the game Stockton were the better side and worried Shildon with their counter-attacking style of play.

Whitley Bay provide another stern test, the Seahorses started the season well with 4-2 win over Seaham Red Star at the weekend. They are fairly new squad as six players made their debut.

Boosting their defence is former Cheltenham Town defender Gavin Caines along with Luke Salmon from Ashington and Ryan Redford. In midfield they have added Luke Carr previously of Team Northumbria. In attack they have made some solid additions with Dan Taggart, who scored twice at the weekend along with Jack Foalle and Olly Martin formerly of Jarrow Roofing and Sunderland.

The big changes come as a result of Andy Gowens starting his first full season in charge. Gowens, who was manager between 1999-2003, returned to the Bay in Februrary after the sudden departure of Marc Nash to rivals North Shields.

Last season’s FA Vase run will live long in the memory but so will Stockton Town’s 2-0 victory over Whitley Bay in their debut season in the competition. Goals from Adam Nicholson and Joe Scaife-Wheatley gave Stockton the win at Hillheads.

In the league last season Whitley Bay got the better of the Anchors as they completed the double. In August they won 2-0 at Hillheads.

Then in January they secured a 5-2 win at the Coverall Stadium.

Team News

Stockton have an unchanged squad from Saturday for this game. Fred Woodhouse is still a few days from recovering and should be back for Saturday’s trip to Newcastle Benfield in the FA Cup. Defender Jordan Robinson will have to continue to wait to make his debut after his injury looks worse than originally thought. An estimated return to action is in another 2-3 weeks. Alan Cossavella will also be missing again as he is still on holiday.