Consett were the visitors to the Coverall Stadium tonight in what was another goalfest unbelievably the 3 games played between the two sides at the Coverall Stadium since last September have all finished 4-3
Michael Dunwell made 2 changes tonight with Tom Coulthard back in defence in place of Jordan Robinson who continues his rehabilitation and Jimmy Ward coming in for Sonni Coleman.
Consett were the better side for the first 20 minutes their pace and movement was too much for the Anchors midfield and only two sharp saves by Michael Arthur kept the score blank, first with his feet from Michael Sweet, who seemed to be everywhere, and then a good block from Aksel Juul’s fierce shot from the edge of the box. In between Stocktons Roberts dragged an attempt wide when well placed after Dale Mulligan fed him in.
Stockton were finding it difficult to keep the ball but drew first blood on 23 minutes when a diagonal ball from Coulthard was misjudged by Consett full back Green, Risbrough collected the ball raced into the box and pulled it back from the bye line to Fred WOODHOUSE who fired home from close range. Consett levelled 8 minutes later when Calvin Smith was given far too much time to pick out the run of Michael SWEET and he finished well from 10 yards. Half-time was reached with the score 1-1, and both sides were now contributing to a decent game to watch in difficult blustery conditions.
Second half saw Consett take the early initiative again but Stockton looked better too. The Steelemen took the lead on 58 minutes with a well worked goal, Green crossed the ball for Sweet who cushioned a header down to Mackay he fired home a half volley from the edge of the box.
The last 30 minutes were end to end excitement with everything packed into it. Goals, saves, chances missed and woodwork hit.
Just 3 minutes later Mikey Roberts pace got him in front of the Consett defence and Lavery fouled him just inside the box although the Ref didnt give it at first the assistant confirmed the penalty. Nathan MULLIGAN despatched it assuredly again to bring the Anchors level. Roberts should have given the Anchors the lead a few minutes later after Adam Nicholson won the ball on the half way line and worked it forward to Woodhouse who put the striker in but he hit the post with the goal at his mercy.
The game was wide open now almost attack and defence, with both sides having chances and both keepers working hard. It was Consett who made it 3-2 in the 70th minute, Luke Carr robbed Woodhouse and fed the ball to the impressive SWEET and with apparently no danger he turned inside easily past Risbrough and fired home.
The Anchors pushed hard for an equaliser, Risbroughs good run down the left ended with a cross fizzed across the 6 yard box and scrambled away for a corner. Stockton got their reward on 80 minutes after good pressure when Adam NICHOLSON grabbed his 4th in 3 games reacting quickest in the box to fire home after his header from a Max Craggs corner was blocked by the keeper.
Four minutes later it was Nicholson again, from a corner, rising at the far post to crash a header goalwards only for Consett keeper Hayes to pull off a stunning save low down to his right. That proved crucial too as just when we all thought it was a point each Consett’s JUUL found himself in space 20 yards out and he smashed a great shot into Arthurs top left corner to take the 3 points for Consett and send them top.
After 20 minutes the Anchors would have happily settled for a point but with 10 minutes to go they looked the more likely to get all 3 so a bit disappointing that it ended the way it did.
Although overran at times, good displays from both Nicholson and Coulthard at the back, Max Craggs got the George Bar and Grill Man Of the Match award.