Anchors secure play-off spot after Bridlington win

Mikey Roberts scored a late winner to secure Stockton Town’s place in the Northern Premier League East Division play-offs after a 2-1 win at home to Bridlington Town. 

Nathan Hotte headed Liam Cooke’s free-kick into his own net to hand the Anchors the lead after three minutes. 

Hotte levelled for Bridlington just after the hour mark, but the hosts responded and scored a winner through M.Roberts late on. 

The win over Bridlington ensures the Anchors will be playing in the play-offs in their first season at Step 4. 

Manager Michael Dunwell made three changes to the side, with Kev Hayes, Dan McWilliams and Nathan Steel all coming into the starting line-up. 

It was the perfect start for the home side, who took the lead after three minutes when Liam Cooke’s free-kick was headed into his own net by Hotte. 

Steel glanced a header narrowly wide midway through the first-half, while M.Roberts went within inches of putting the home side ahead just four minutes later. 

Stockton ‘keeper Callum Roberts was called into action at the end of the first-half, and denied Danny Earl from point-blank range. 

The first chance of the second-half went the way of the visitors, with Earl striking across goal and narrowly wide. 

Bridlington were level just after the hour mark when Hotte was on target at the right end, lashing into the top corner from the edge of the box. 

Hayes went close with an effort shortly after, and with the game entering the final stages, the Anchors took the lead for the second time in the game. 

Dan McWilliams delivered a cross from the left and M.Roberts headed home off the underside of the crossbar. 

Hayes went close to doubling Stockton’s lead on 88 minutes, but the Anchors saw out the remainder of the game to book their place in the play-offs in their first season at Step 4. 

Stockton Town: C.Roberts, King, McWilliams, Portas, Nicholson (Hall, 46), Coulthard, Hayes, Henry, Steel (Owens, 67), Cooke (N.Mulligan, 39), M.Roberts 

Subs Not Used: Franks, Bulmer 

Bridlington Town: Hitchcock, Dixon, Dennison, Bulless, Goundry, Barkworth (Beckett, 84), Davidson, Hotte, Earl, Annan (Norfolk, 81), Green 

Subs Not Used: Rogerson, Lewis 

Goals: 1-0, 3 min, Hotte (O/G); 1-1, 61 min, Hotte; 2-1, 78 min, M.Roberts 

Referee: Kirk Freeth 

Assistants: Matthew Davidson and Paul Mosley 

Attendance: 554 

Words: Andrew McDonnell 

Photo: Harry Cook 

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