Anchors stunned by Whickham

Stockton Town crashed out of the Durham Challenge Cup after a home defeat to Northern League Whickham. 

The Anchors took the lead through Kev Hayes but Scott Robson fired the visitors level to make it even at the break.

Early in the second half two quickfire goals from Charlie Aitken and Robson put the Lang Jacks in a commanding position.

They wrapped up the upset with a quarter hour of normal time remaining through Eddie Thomas.

Stockton had a consolation with the final moment of the game as Dan Field scored an own goal.

The Anchors came into this one on a six-game winning run following a 4-0 win at Grantham Town on Saturday. In the two previous rounds they had put a combined nine past Chester-Le-Street Town and Gateshead.

Michael Dunwell named five changes to the team from Saturday. Niall Frampton got the start again as he had the previous two rounds. Peter Bulmer made a rare start in place of Lewis King, Dale Mulligan was in for Adam Nicholson and both Cam Painter and Michael Sweet returned to the XI.

It was evident early on that Whickham would not be overwhelmed by the task, they had a half chance which Robson put wide.

The Anchors took the lead when some inter-play was finished off by Hayes who extended his scoring streak to four matches.

Whickham responded well and almost levelled when Frampton handed it on a plate to Robson but the goalkeeper redeemed himself with a strong foot save from the resulting effort.

The Lang Jacks did get on terms when a low drive by Nathan Stephenson was spilled by Frampton and Robson made no mistake to tuck the ball away.

Stockton had a half chance to go ahead into the break but Michael Fowler could not direct his header on goal.

HALF TIME: Stockton Town 1-1 Whickham 

In the second half, Whickham came out well and went into the lead when a quick breakaway was finished by Aitken for his debut goal.

The lead was further increased moments later when Whickham caught Stockton again and Robson’s effort squirmed beyond Frampton to complete his brace.

Stockton Town made three changes to spark some life into their game with Mikey Roberts, Shane Henry and Johnny Haase coming on for Michael Sweet, Cam Painter and Dan McWilliams.

Roberts did add some energy to the left side but they were still unable muster up any genuine opportunities.

That went punished with a quarter hour remaining when another break forward by Whickham was finished by Thomas for his debut goal.

Stockton would end the evening with another goal as Field put through his own net to reduce the scoreline with the final action of the game.

FULL TIME: Stockton Town 2-4 Whickham 

The defeat sees Stockton exit the competition at the same stage they did last season. Next up is the huge top-of-the-table league clash against Hebburn Town.

Stockton Town: Frampton, Bulmer, McWilliams (Haase 59′), Butterworth, D.Mulligan, Coulthard, Hayes, Painter (Henry 59′), Fowler, Thompson (N.Mulligan 64′), Sweet (M.Roberts 59′)

Unused subs: Nicholson

Whickham: Lister, Johnson, Agnew, Howard, Field, Galbraith, Bisset (Davis 32′), Stephenson, Robson, Thomas (Hewitson 86′), Aitken

Unused subs: Wardle

Goals: 1-0, 10 min, Hayes; 1-1, 26 min, Robson; 1-2, 52 min, Aitken; 1-3, 53 min, Robson; 1-4, 75 min, Thomas; 2-4, 90 min, Field OG.

Attendance: 189

Photo: Harry Cook

Words: James Cartwright

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