Anchors win Boxing Day cracker at the MAP Group

Stockton Town produced a professional second-half performance to edge past ten-man Consett in a Boxing Day cracker at the MAP Group UK Stadium.

With Hebburn Town not in action until the traditional 3pm kick-off slot, the Anchors had the perfect chance to move six points clear at the summit of the Northern Premier League East Division with a victory on home soil.

Michael Dunwell’s side made the perfect start to doing just that as Stephen Thompson capitalised on a loose pass in the Consett defence to curl a stunning outside-of-the boot strike beyond the dive of James Anderson inside the opening sixty seconds.

Early celebrations were cut short, however, as the Steelmen were awarded a spot-kick following a trip on Wil Shaw. Callum Roberts stepped up to save Scott Fenwick’s tame penalty before Shaw eventually headed home in the aftermath.

Mikey Roberts almost responded instantly with an audacious overhead kick from inside 12-yards, his strike just over the bar.

The visitors rode the early waves of pressure to take the lead just five minutes later as Ben Ramsey took the ball in his stride inside the penalty area before firing into the bottom corner.

Stockton fought back with a stirring period of play around the quarter-hour mark, with Thompson firing over from Nicholson’s knock down in the penalty area before Michael Fowler had his first chance of the game saved by Anderson.

It was a ferocious opening half-hour with chances and challenges aplenty, allaying fears of a sluggish encounter following a heavy Christmas period.

With Consett on the verge of a half-time lead, the Anchors found a second wind to equalise on the stroke of half-time through Mikey Roberts, whose work rate and endeavour was rewarded with a clinical finish from close range into the roof of the net.

Half Time: Stockton Town 2-2 Consett

The forward could have struck the Anchors into a half-time lead but his header was well saved by James Anderson.

Stockton flew out of the traps in the second period with a plethora of chances in the early stages, Kev Hayes first seeing a shot saved by Anderson before finally making the pressure tell with a low shot into the bottom corner on his left foot through a crowded penalty area.

Roberts attempted another audacious overhead kick inside the box as Stockton looked to double their advantage in double quick time.

The second-half cooled down as it entered the final stages of proceeding, Hayes’ free kick being palmed away by Anderson the only major chance of note.

Tempers did threaten to flare as Hayes was on the end of a couple of feisty challenges, with a red card forthcoming to Joshua Baggs for a late challenge on Michael Fowler 15 minutes from time.

There were a few nervy moments in the final minutes as Consett threatened to earn a share of the points in the last moments but the Anchors defence held strong to record a third win in 10 days over the festive period.

Full Time: Stockton Town 3-2 Consett

Up next for Dunwell’s side is another North-East clash against last season’s Northern League champions Newton Aycliffe on December 30th.

Stockton Town: C.Roberts, King, McWilliams, Henry, Nicholson, Coulthard, Hayes, Butterworth, Fowler, Thompson (Painter 68′), M.Roberts (Sweet 78′)

Unused subs: D. Mulligan, N.Mulligan, Spears

Consett AFC: Anderson, Smith, Baggs, Slocombe, McKinnon (Outterside 89′), Young, Shaw, Orrell, Fenwick, Atkinson, Ramsey

Unused subs: Caygill, Spoor, Mouat

Goals: 1-0, 1 min, Thompson; 1-1, 6 min, Shaw; 1-2, 11 min, Ramsey; 2-2, 45 min, M.Roberts; 3-2, 54 min, Hayes

Words: Jamie Beattie

Photo: Harry Cook


Scroll to Top