Stockton Town reached the Shipowners Cup Final for the first time with a hard fought victory over a determined Redcar Athletic and will now meet Ashbrooke Belford House from Sunderland in the Final.
Stockton started the game on the front foot and they had forced a couple of good saves from Redcar’s goalkeeper from both Stav Roberts and Kallum Hannah in the opening 10 minutes. We did not have to wait long for the breakthrough though after Stockton forced their third corner on 14 minutes. The corner was swung over from the Stockton right, cleared to the edge of the box by Redcar where Stav Roberts returned it for Tom Coulthard to spin and volley home from 6 yards.
Redcar were finding it difficult to put Stockton under pressure and again it was Stockton that went closest next. Chris Stockton picked up the ball in the left channel, cut inside onto his right foot and fired a rising drive just over the bar. Stav Roberts was the next to test Redcar’s goalkeeper with a fierce volley from the edge of the box that was pushed up into the air which the keeper claimed at the second attempt. Redcar then tested Michael Arthur in Stockton’s goal when a shot from 20 yards forced him to go full length to his right.
The second half started with Redcar on on the front foot and forcing a couple of early corners that Stockton cleared. The pitch was now cutting up and causing problems for both sides in what was turning into a midfield battle. Davy Dowd down Stockton’s right was starting to cause Redcar problems linking up well with Matty Garbutt to deliver a number of telling balls into the box that Redcar defended well. Manager Michael Dunwell made a change on 65 minutes when Macca Langstaff was introduced for Chris Stockton. There was also a change in formation with Macca Langstaff joining Kallum Hannah up front and it was this these two that almost immediately brought Stockton’s second. Kallum Hannah picked up a ball with his back to goal down the left channel, turned and fired across goal where Macca Langstaff was waiting to slide in and score his first goal in the Club’s Senior Team after stepping up from the U18’s, in the 70th minute.
The belief seemed to desert Redcar when the second goal went in and almost immediately Stav Roberts brought a ball down on his chest in the box but before he could spin and shoot Redcar’s goalkeeper collected the ball. Stockton were now totally dominant and comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to reach the Shipowners Cup Final for the first time. The Date, Venue and Time of the Final are not known to date but will be advertised once known.