Anchors exit FA Cup at Warrington Rylands

Stockton Town fall out of the FA Cup with an agonising defeat at Premier Division Warrington Rylands.

The only goal of the game came through James Baillie in the 52nd minute following composed build up in the box from a counter attack.

Michael Dunwell made one change going into the game from the side who beat Newton Aycliffe on Monday afternoon, bringing Glen Butterworth back in for the injured Tom Portas.

Warrington started the game on top, but the Anchors defence held firm in the opening stages and started to grow into the game against the higher level opponents.

The first big chance of the game came in the 18th minute when Adama Sidibeh was picked out in behind the Anchors back-line, but his curling strike sailed over the crossbar.

Then two minutes later, a deep Warrington corner was thundered towards goal, but a heroic header from Michael Sweet cleared the ball on the line after Callum Roberts was beaten.

One of Stockton’s closest attempts came in the 28th minute, when Stephen Thompson collected the ball on the edge of the area, and his curling shot narrowly missed the bottom left corner of the goal.

Despite a late spell of pressure from Stockton to end the first half, Michael Dunwell’s side were unable to create any big opportunities to find the opener, and the sides went into the break level.

Half-Time: Warrington Rylands 0-0 Stockton Town

Rylands came out of the changing rooms motivated in the second half, and the hosts found the target in the 52nd minute when a quick counter attack led to winger Ben Hardcastle unselfishly playing in James Baillie for a better look at goal, with the defender-turned-winger powering his effort past Callum Roberts.

Only two minutes later, an awkward pass back led to Adama Sidibeh getting the better of Adam Nicholson, but the Stockton skipper reacted very well to recover enough to disturb the striker’s shot at goal.

Rylands’ high pressure continued, and in the 56th minute it was Sidibeh again who found space in the box and unleashed an effort towards goal, which was met by a superb diving stop from Callum Roberts.

That wasn’t the end of the good chances for Sidibeh, he used his lightning speed to break through on goal, but Callum Roberts ran out to meet him and closed the angle enough to collect the ball before the Rylands’ danger-man could get a good shot off.

The Anchors reacted well to the host’s stint of pressure, and their wing play led to a Kevin Hayes cross being flicked on by Michael Sweet, but Elliott Beddow couldn’t connect well enough to guide it towards goal.

Beddow had another chance a few moments later, when a drilled shot from outside the area tested the hands of Luke Pilling in between the Warrington sticks.

The Anchors dominated the final section of the game, and the best chance for an equaliser fell in added time, when another Michael Sweet flick-on fell to Elliott Beddow open in the box, but after opting to try and bring the ball down, his heavy touch trickled wide of the goal.

Full-Time: Warrington Rylands 1-0 Stockton Town

It’s another cup game next weekend, as the road to Wembley begins when Pontefract Collieries visit the MAP Group UK Stadium in the Isuzu FA Trophy.

Warrington Rylands: Pilling, Baillie, Swaby-Neavin, Regan (Wilson 42’), Butler, Neild, Hardcastle, Hough (Kyfein 50’), Sidibeh, Touray, Maieco (Smith 16’)

Unused subs: Hives

Stockton Town: Roberts, King, McWilliams, Butterworth, Nicholson, Coulthard, Hayes, Painter (D. Mulligan 87’), Fowler (Beddow 59’), Thompson (N. Mulligan 73’), Sweet

Unused subs: Haase, Jones, Johnson, Frampton

Goals: 1-0, 52 min, Baillie

Words: Jordan Clarke

Photo: Harry Cook


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