Anchors season ends in heartbreak

Stockton Town missed out on promotion after a penalty shootout defeat to Long Eaton United. 

The Blues had a half time lead through Alex Marshall but fell behind to goals from Dale Mulligan and Matty Tymon.

They managed to get back on terms when Luke Cox netted.

After they could not be separated in extra time it went to penalties.

It was Long Eaton who kept their nerve to secure the win for promotion when Jamie Walker netted the winning penatly.

Stockton Town manager Michael Dunwell named the same team that had beaten Stocksbridge Park Steels on penalties, while Long Eaton United manager Ian Deakin named two changes to his side that overcame Hebburn Town.

Long Eaton had the first opening of the game when Danny Gordon flicked the ball into the path of A.Marshall who was denied by excellent challenge from Dan McWilliams.

They had lead in the 25th minute when Tom Cursons forced Callum Roberts into a save before A.Marshall was able to tuck home the rebound.

Long Eaton saw out the remainder of the first half to go into the half time break ahead.

Stockton Town produced an excellent response at the start of the second half and drew level when D.Mulligan converted from Cameron Painter’s corner.

The Anchors were now the ascendency and tried to pile the pressure on Long Eaton. They were rewarded for their persistence when Tymon converted a low cross from Kevin Hayes.

The joy among the home crowd soon became subdued when Long Eaton equalised. Cox sent a header towards goal and it found its way into the net.

That sent the game to extra-time and it was Stockton who had their better of it. Tom Portas got forward before laying it off for Tymon who blazed his effort over.

Substitute Mikey Roberts then found himself through on goal but Durrant denied him.

Long Eaton did have their chance in the second half of extra time but C.Roberts was able to deny substitute Micah Jebbison.

Just like Tuesday night for both sides, the game was once headed for penalties. The chance to gain promotion to Step Three came down to this.

Both teams converted their opening penalty but it was Stockton who blinked first when Lewis King struck the crossbar. Tom Cursons then netted to hand Long Eaton the advantage.

It was more despair for Stockton when Dan McWillams saw his penalty saved by Durrant.

Captain Sam Parker stepped up to compound Anchors misery but C.Roberts saved to keep their hopes alive.

However, that was the last time Long Eaton were denied and they won it when Walker scored to win it 4-3 on penalties.

Stockton Town: C.Roberts, King, McWilliams, Portas, D.Mulligan (Nicholson 91) , Coulthard, Hayes, Butterworth, Tymon (Beddow 109), Painter, Thompson (M.Roberts 75)

Unused subs: N.Mulligan, Liam Cooke

Long Eaton United: Durrant, King, Parker, Gordon (Bertram 73), K.Walker, Cox, Fearon (Jebbison 97), T.Marshall, A.Marshall (M.Fearon 56), J.Walker, Cursons.

Unused subs: Wilson, Hutchinson

Goals: 0-1, 25 min, A.Marshall; 1-1, 47 min, D.Mulligan; 2-1, 77 min, Tymon; 2-2, 81 min, Cox.

Attendance: 1,800

Words: James Cartwright

Photo: Harry Cook


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