Stockton showed their metal on their visit to former ‘World Cup winners West Auckland. Staring defeat in the face when 2 down after an hour of the game they came back to grab a point with almost the final kick of the match, Owens equalising dramatically in the 6th minute of injury time.
Both sides went close in the first half, Owens hitting the bar early in the game and Fisher had an effort ruled out for offside but it was Mitchell’s unfortunate deflected free kick that put West ahead at half time. Second half saw Anchors keeper Arthur pull off a fantastic point blank save but West wouldn’t be denied and after Arthur saved Fishers effort Purewal tapped home to make it 2-0 on 56 minutes. The introduction of Woodhouse for the Anchors proved crucial as he won the Penalty to get them back in the game and after Mulligan (N) stroked it home West keeper McHugh continued his tirade at the ref and was dismissed with Purewal taking the gloves Stockton were now in the ascendency as they peppered the back line of West looking for an equaliser but couldn’t quite find the right final ball, until the home side’s time wasting backfired on them and deep into injury time a through ball found Mulligan (N) free inside the 18 yard box and he slipped it to Owens who slotted it home to make it 2-2 with virtually the last kick of the game. West were unhappy with the offside interpretation but the goal stood. Another big step in the progress of the team, earning a point away to a top 4 side shows the level of improvement in the last 6 weeks, the team are now showing a belief that they belong in ENL1 and can compete with anyone in this division on their day.
FT West Auckland 2 v 2 Stockton Town