Sam Conway scored a hat-trick as Stockton Town U18s continued their impressive Junior Premier League campaign with a 7-0 thrashing of Bradford City’s Football Development side.
It is the second time this season that Conway has earned the match ball, following his four goal exploits against Carlisle City in the FA Youth Cup in September 2020.
Brad Povey, Harry Donachie, Justin Taylor and James Webb were all on the scoresheet as Liam Cox’s side matched the result of the reverse fixture against the Bantams at the MAP Group UK stadium.
The result means the Anchors are seven points clear of closest rivals Emley AFC at the top of the table, and require just one more win from their remaining four fixtures to guarantee top spot and a play-off fixture against the JPL North West table toppers.
The Anchors started brightly and were ahead inside the first seven minutes, Povey made the most of a quickly taken free-kick to send in a low cross which Gary Mitchell flicked on for Sam Conway to finish at the far post.
Arguably the pick of the goals came from the left foot of Sam Conway, the winger collected the ball 30 yards from goal out wide and unleashed a shot into the top corner that left the Bradford goalkeeper with no chance.
The visitors continued to threaten and could have been out of sight minutes later as Alfie Conway was first denied by the home ‘keeper and then sent a shot over the bar after fine work from Keelan Wright and Sam Conway.
A third goal did come just before the half an hour mark, Jack McCallay’s goal kick wasn’t dealt with by the Bradford defence and Povey took advantage to lob the onrushing ‘keeper.
Lennox Barry almost made it two goals in two minutes but his thumping header from a corner was thwarted by a terrific save from the home ‘keeper.
The Anchors continued to push forward before the interval, first Alfie Conway’s goalbound effort was deflected wide, from the resulting corner the home ‘keeper pulled out another good save to deny Donachie.
A dominant first half performance from the visitors was capped off by a well worked move, Donachie intercepted the ball in midfield before playing a one-two with Mitchell and side footing into the corner.
Minutes after the restart, Sam Conway had his hat-trick, latching onto a through ball over the top to loop the ball over the out of position goalkeeper.
The second half was a lot quieter as the Anchors were happy to keep possession throughout, Povey and Sam Conway both had shots saved from close range and James Webb had an effort saved at the near post.
A sixth goal came as Sam Conway’s corner from the right was pulled back across goal by Wright for Taylor to tap home from close range.
The visitors added late gloss to an already hugely impressive scoreline with a seventh goal five minutes before time as Webb converted Sam Conway’s corner at the far post.
Up next for the U18s is a long trip to Lancashire to face Chorley BTEC, as Liam Cox’s side look to guarantee top spot in the group.
Stockton Town U18s: McCallay, Scott, Hatton, Barry, Lea, Sam Conway, Wright, Mitchell, Donachie, Alfie Conway, Povey.
Substitutes: Croft, Barry, Webb.
Goals: 0-1, Sam Conway, 7 mins. 0-2, Sam Conway, 21 mins. 0-3, Povey, 28 mins. 0-4, Donachie, 44 mins. 0-5, Sam Conway, 48 mins. 0-6, Taylor, 74 mins. 0-7, Webb, 85 mins.