Stockton Town FC v Seaham Red Star
Another free flowing exciting game full of incident at Bishopton Road West today brought the Anchors another 3 points against a very good Seaham side and moved them up to 14th in the table. Incredible to think we were bottom with no points just 3 weeks ago.....
There were no changes to the Stockton lineup from Wednesday however fit again Fred Woodhouse and Paul Roddam were on the bench.
Stockton started the brighter but it was Seaham who had the first real attempt with Arthur making a comfortable save. It was keeper Arthur's clearance in the 7th minute that Coleman flicked on over the Seaham defence for Owens to run onto lob the bouncing ball over the onrushing keeper Harkess and roll it into the corner. Seaham responded straight away and a cross headed back to the edge of the box and volleyed sweetly by Bailey only to be blocked bravely by Poole 6 yards out. Both teams were pressing forward at every opportunity and there were chances at both ends, Chapman fired over from long range and Croft brought a good save out of Arthur on 30 minutes for Seaham but it was the Anchors who looked the more likely to increase their lead with Hayes and Stockton troubling Red Star down the flanks. Chris Stockton's pace and strength took him round the full back and into the box on but as he pulled the trigger it appeared the Seaham defender took his foot before the ball and it trickled tamely wide and the Penalty appeals fell on deaf ears. Stockton, released down the left by Mulligan flew past the full back again and crossed to Owens who controlled it superbly and rolled it to Hayes who dummied turned inside and wrong food the keeper with his effort to the near post only to see it agonisingly wide. It was striker Owens who eventually got the second goal on the stroke of half time glancing home a header from a Craggs corner, to give Stockton a deserved 2-0 HT lead.
The second half started in pouring rain and this only intensified the action. Seaham were pushing to get into the game and it didn't take long as on 50 minutes Munro grabbed a goal back for Seaham rising unchallenged to head home a Croft free kick. Stockton had a chance to finish the game off just before that when he latched onto a miskicked clearance from Harkess but his driven effort from 45yards was collected by the keeper. Seaham were pushing hard for an equaliser and Stockton's defending was sharp again, Craggs made a great tackle in the box to deny Croft and Alan Cossavella robbed Croft as he was about to shoot. Both Jamie Poole and Jimmy Ward also made last ditch challenges to prevent efforts on target in a hectic spell when Stockton just couldn't get the ball up the pitch, Joe Carters pace came to the rescue as he got back to deny McBryde just in the nick of time and it looked like the Stockton defence had enough to hold on. Matty Garbutt who replaced Chris Stockton had a great chance as the ball came to him 16 yards out but his shot was straight at the keeper. Stockton keeper Arthur earned his corn again with a superb one on one save from Munro on 84mins. Joe Posthill replaced Coleman and on 88mins he looked like being robbed in the Seaham half as 2 players closed him down but produced a great piece of skill to turn away and leave them for dead, running at the defence he went past Price easily into the box but couldn't hit the target when it seemed easier to score what would have been a wonderful goal. Stockton saw the game out for another cracking result and 3 points
Hopefully this impressive form can continue as everyone seems to be playing well and working very hard, with probably the form of Joe Carter, Kev Hayes, Al Cossavella and Michael Arthur being the most impressive. The squad also looks strong and has good depth now which is essential as we look to consolidate a mid table position in the next few weeks