Anchors rescue point on opening day

Michael Fowler scored a stoppage time equaliser as Stockton Town twice came from behind to rescue a point on the opening day.

Charlie Oglesby gave Stocksbridge an early lead before Mikey Roberts had a penalty saved by Ben Townsend.

Roberts made amends when he struck the home side level just before the break.

Shortly after half time, the visitors regained the lead through Luke Rawson.

Stockton managed to level the game when debutant Fowler capitalised on a defensive mistake in stoppage time.

The game was between two sides that had met in the Play-Offs at the end of April. Stockton Town had ended Stocksbridge’s season with a penalty shootout victory in the Semi-Final.

Manager Michael Dunwell named three debutants in his starting XI. Niall Frampton started in goal, loanee Jonny Haase at left-back and Fowler led the line.

It was a poor start from Stockton as Stocksbridge took an early lead when Oglesby found the net after just six minutes.

Stockton pushed back as Adam Nicholson headed a dangerous free-kick towards goal that was well-saved by Townsend.

Stockton were then awarded a penalty when M.Roberts was fouled in the area. He stepped up but saw his penalty saved by Townsend.

It was a further quarter hour before the next chance and it fell the way of the visitors when Ross Goodwin found space in the box to shoot but he dragged his effort wide.

Frampton then showed his credentials with a quality save to keep out a close-range strike from Rawson.

That was a timely save as Stockton levelled through Roberts. He received the ball on the left wing before he fired into the bottom left hand corner.

Minutes in the second half, Stocksbridge regained the lead when Rawson was on target.

Just before the hour mark, Lewis King had two efforts on goal but the Stocksbridge defence would not allow either strike through.

Stockton then brought on Elliott Beddow and Michael Sweet who made his debut. The pair combined when Beddow’s cross was headed over by Sweet who was off balance.

Sweet then created space for himself on the edge of the box before his left foot was straight at Townsend.

The chances were totting up for Stockton and they eventually found their equaliser when Fowler profited on a mistake. The new signing from Dunston got his debut goal as he fired into the top corner.

Stockton Town now face a trip to Hebburn Town on Tuesday for the second game of the season.

Stockton Town: Frampton, King, Haase, Portas, Nicholson, Coulthard, Hayes (Thompson 71’), Butterworth, Fowler, Painter (Sweet 66’), M.Roberts (Beddow 59’)

Subs not used: McWilliams

Stocksbridge Park Steels: Townsend, Lemon, Tinker, Hogg, Oglesby, Langton, Turner, Goodwin, Rawson, Poole (Ofoegbu 86’), Macaskill (Watson 69’)

Subs not used: Baker, Dolman, O’Connor

Goals: 0-1, 6 min, Oglesby; 1-1, 45 min, M.Roberts; 1-2, 47 min, Rawson; 2-2, 90 min, Fowler

Attendance: 462

Words: James Cartwright

Photo: Harry Cook



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